School & Festival Events

(Suitable for Years 3 - 8, ages 7 - 12)

Author Talk

Vashti offers an author talk event lasting 45 minutes to an hour (including Q&A), suitable for groups or assemblies. The talk covers the journey to author and introduces the students to the story of Brightstorm and the inspirations. The event includes audience interaction and some DRESSING UP where we discuss what tools explorers need and then most importantly to 'hidden' tools such as resilience and determination. This leads nicely into parallels between the qualities of explorers and qualities needed for writing and other pursuits and challenges in life.
These events usually include book signings, and the opportunity for pupils to purchase a copy of BRIGHTSTORM and meet the author after the event.

Brightstorm Creative Writing Workshops


Vashti offers  creative writing workshops which are focused on empowering all the children to believe in themselves as storytellers and devised to enable participants to discover the power of storytelling and build confidence, especially in those children who don't see themselves as being 'good' at writing. Possible workshops include:


‘Maps and Mischief’ Workshop (helpful for story planning skills)

  • Introduction to Brightstorm and a little about how I started writing and what sparked the story idea. I’ll show the children the original map I drew for Brightstorm and demonstrate how maps can be used to help plan a story with an example from Brightstorm.
  • Children draw their own fantasy maps for a journey imagining a fantasy setting not yet discovered by humans…
  • We’ll be thinking about what creatures they might met on the way, the dangers, the change of climate etc.


‘Welcome to the Crew’ Workshop (helpful for character building skills)

  • A character based workshop where students plan their own crew for an expedition story
  • I’ll talk about the characters of Brightstorm and their personalities, appearances and character traits. There will be an emphasis on how they complement and contrast each other and on challenging gender stereotypes.
  • Children will design their own dream crew and an opposing crew to get in their way…


‘Exploring the Senses’ Workshop (helpful for developing use of senses in writing)

  • Introduction to me and Brightstorm and a little about how I started writing, what sparked the story idea and my writing process, including how I use images/music/objects to help.
  • We’ll use a range of sensory stimuli to explore writing (all themed around exploration).
  • Free writing session using images and/or sounds to spark ideas.

Design your own sky-ship or explorer family symbol extra activity. If we have spare time, the children will have the chance to design their own sky-ship or bespoke explorer symbol, and perhaps the chance to dress up a sky-ship aviator explorer!

Workshops will include various visual stimuli and support prompts. 

Teacher CPD or Writing Based Workshops for Adults

Events suitable for teachers or emerging writers of children's fiction are also possible, as well as events specific to developing teachers' confidence in teaching creative writing and increasing their skillset. Please contact Vashti for details.


I charge fees in line with the standard Society of Author’s rates.


If you would like to invite me to an event in your school, library, festivals and INSET days, please get in touch via the form below or email, or to take part in a festival then please contact Olivia Horrox at Scholastic

Name *