Marcus in conversation with Marina Warner, April 2015
Author talks and school visits:
I may be able to visit your school if you're looking to host an event around the middle of September 2017, and are in the South of the UK.
Otherwise, I am essentially not taking bookings for school visits at the moment, but will consider offers made far enough in advance if you're very keen.
However, I am giving 'Virtual Visits' events by Skype/Facetime/Google Hangout. Please see below for more information, or CONTACT ME to discuss format, fees and dates.
For a taste of how a Skype event can run, take a look at this blog post.
“I just wanted to thank you for today's Skype presentation. Eighth graders (at least in America) can be a bit hard to impress, but they were buzzing after the performance. I'm not sure how it played from your end, but from our vantage point you were larger than life (projected on a big screen) and clear as a bell. The kids (and adults) were charmed by your sense of humor, your visuals, and your stories. Going into this, never having done it before either, I suspected it would be more like watching television than a live performance. But your interaction (including your rather impressive memory for students' names) made it seem as if you were right here in our library. I don't know if you will get similar offers from schools soon, but I wanted you to know it definitely worked beautifully from over here. Many kids actually wanted to stay longer rather than go to lunch (where they were serving pizza for god's sake), which is about as strong an endorsement you could ever get.”
Peter Keeley, Gilbert H. Hood School, Derry, New Hampshire
Marcus joined us to work with our Year 8s on a Gothic Literature project. His main presentation was tailored to our needs and had the whole year group totally engaged. In our workshops he was flexible in his approach and had an excellent rapport with students throughout the day. The day culminated with multiple mini Gothic drama performances. The results were phenomenal and it was clear the impact Marcus had on emphasising with students the essential elements of this genre.This was a really excellent Author Visit and we really appreciate Marcus taking a 13 hour flight to be with us!
(Robert George - Head of Libraries), The Alice Smith School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your visit last Wednesday which was a roaring success. I have had so many students come and tell me which of your books they've been reading over the weekend.I also had a Year 9 boy come and speak to me on Friday to tell me that you had inspired him to start writing again. He used to write a lot in primary school but gave it up because it wasn't cool, but you have convinced him that writing can be cool!
The students were entranced all the way through your presentation and it is all that is being spoken about by the students and staff. There has been a massive buzz about reading and writing since your visit which is wonderful.”
Anna James, Heart of England Secondary School, Balsall Common
The eagerly anticipated visit of Marcus Sedgwick coincided with the eve of Chinese New Year and followed the announcement of Marcus as winner of the Printz Award for his novel, Midwinterblood. The day itself proved to be as remarkable as one of Marcus’s stories - an inimitable mix of adrenaline-filled adventure with a twist of the unexpected! Our students were inspired by his presentation - the starting point for each of his stories. They whooped, hollered and clapped. I think every child asked him a question during the day and had a copy of his book for him to sign. We cannot wait for his next visit - he seemed to enjoy it as much as we did!
Janine Murphy - (Head of English), The British International School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Marcus visited Dulwich on 18th October to give a talk to our Year 7 and 8 pupils, before signing copies of his books for them. Our children are generally well-behaved and will listen politely but this was different; I could have heard a pin drop. One of the children has just said to me:' I was captivated' - and you can't ask more than that of a visiting speaker, especially on a Friday afternoon at the tail end of a half term! I have been organising author talks for over thirty years and this was definitely one of the most successful. Marcus involved the children, got them thinking, challenged them but never lectured or bored them. He is witty and engaging and they were constantly intrigued as to what was coming next. His talk was also a perfect demonstration of how to use technology to promote reading, thinking, story-telling... the most unlikely children enthusiastically gave up their Games lesson to come and buy books and talk to him and, of course, the children are now enjoying reading the books. I would highly recommend Marcus as a guest speaker and would happily have him back any time.
Fiona Booth, Dulwich, Cranbrook
I find it hard to think how your contribution could have been bettered. The presentation to Year 8 was gripping. You definitely made an impression on them in terms of what it’s like to be a writer and the influences behind some of your books. I thought the way you presented your material was very imaginative, but for me, it was the way you engaged with your audience so personally and humorously that really made my day.”
Stefan Smart, King Edward VI School, Southampton
“Many thanks for the outstanding workshop on Tuesday: I''ve never seen our Year 8s concentrate so well or become so engrossed in what they were doing. Thank you for inspiring them and setting the tone for their Creative Writing this year.”
Nelia Byers, Newton Prep, Battersea
“Thank you so much for an inspiring and very entertaining day! The students loved it (“That was great”, “He’s funny!”, “I enjoyed that”) and your titles shot off the shelves immediately. At present I am wrestling with a student to read My Swordhand is Singing, but I will have to wait, he says.We have had several authors and your visit was definitely the best! “
Elizabeth Harlow & Hilary Poole, The Barclay School
"I thought I’d drop you a quick line to say how much I enjoyed hearing you speak at Northwood College yesterday afternoon. I’m Head of English and have heard very many authors speak at schools in my time, but you, sir, take the biscuit. I thought you were fabulous, as did the girls who had the pleasure of meeting you."
David Brown, Northwood College
"Marcus Sedgwick visited Freman College and wowed 250+ Year 9 students with an understated yet dynamic and creative presentation. He revealed his background research to his novel, My Swordhand is Singing, and unleashed a well-pitched, humorous and entirely engaging performance. Members of staff were more than impressed with our first major author visit – the standard has certainly been set very high!"
Leigh-Anne Fitzgerald, Freman College, Buntingford
"I really, really enjoyed your presentation as it was interesting, funny and the questions that you asked kept us listening. I don't think that there was a single person in that hall that was drifting off while you were speaking. "
Year 8 Student
"Having read My Swordhand is Singing, I had the impression that Marcus Sedgwick had a more respectful attitude towards writing for older children than many of the current crop of authors. Rather than spelling out the message of the book in detail which denies the reader any chance to use their imagination, Sedgwick includes the reader in the creation of the picture. This was also true of his talk to our year eight and nine students, in which he explained the journey by which the novel was written. Not only did the talk serve to interest the students in both the book and its subject matter, it also reinforced many of the messages we wish to send, such as the importance of research and planning, drafting and editing. All of the children I have spoken to have said that the talk has inspired them to read the book and our library now has a waiting list despite our multiple copies. One student asked me where the nearest bookshop was to buy the book as it was the first he had ever wanted to read at home. Many of the students mentioned the use of humour in the talk as key to its effect."
Rosamund Fraser, English Dept.
"This is to say a huge thank you for visiting us at Allerton High School yesterday. Your talk was fantastic and much appreciated by the students and staff. Thank you too for staying around afterwards to chat informally with folk. It is wonderful for students to get the chance to meet and listen to an author. It creates a real buzz amongst the students, not just on the day but for a long time afterwards. Thank you so much for giving of your time in this way."
Anne Walker, Librarian, Allerton High School