"Martin is an energetic and charismatic speaker who delivered an immensely entertaining talk to over 50 captivated Year 7s. The students were focused throughout - no mean feat for the final lesson of the day! - and really enjoyed the talk and accompanying dramatic readings. We will certainly be inviting him back!"
Cat O’Connor, librarian, St Marylebone C of E School, London
As part of my role as a writer, I visit schools with interactive, entertaining workshops to promote reading and writing. Tailored to the junior and senior schools at secondary level, they're designed to promote the pursuit of creative ambition, and raise attainment in writing (creative, academic, or both!)
For S1 and S2, my presentation explores the nature of the creative process, detailing the journey from idea to book with entertaining stories, and appropriate readings from Riverkeep.
For S3 the presentation goes into more detail about the nature of writing, acting as an introduction to the increased responsibility expected of pupils as they move into National 5 and Higher.
For the senior phase, I discuss the unusual route I took towards publication, the ways in which inspiration finds its way onto my page, and what it's like to be a professional author. This is followed by a masterclass designed to raise attainment in writing at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher. The workshop will take account of pupils' progress through their portfolio, supporting them to begin or reflect on their work as appropriate. Using Riverkeep's manuscripts as well as live examples, I aim to help learners take responsibility for improving their own work by demonstrating the importance of editing to successful writing, with useful tips for putting these skills into practice.
“Kyle Academy pupils found Martin’s clever and witty presentation wholly engaging. Learners were genuinely captivated by his tales of the writing process.”
Julie McWhirter, Principal Teacher of English, Kyle Academy, Ayr
"From the get go Martin was pitch-perfect: engaging, honest, and even challenging where appropriate. Pupils were drawn in to his stories of the writing process, and to the novel itself- especially the boys. I would not hesitate to recommend Martin to any school."
Donna Baird, Librarian, St Ninian's High School, Glasgow
Martin's workshops had our sixth form students return to lessons "buzzing", according to their teachers. Not only is Martin witty, engaging and a pleasure to listen to, but the content of the workshops is incredibly helpful: carefully targeted at the groups he's working with. Students from Year 7 to 13 (and teachers too) will gain so much from his honest, humble, and very funny approach to creative writing and editing. He really went above and beyond to educate and entertain, and to talk to our students in his own time. We would welcome him (and his dog, Hugo) back to keep the river at Hatch End in a heartbeat.
Laura Stanley, Learning Resources Manager, Hatch End High School.
Our P7s loved Martin's creative writing workshop. He was funny, entertaining, engaging, and pitched his talk and activities at just the right level. His teaching background meant he knew how to communicate effectively, and sustain the classes' interest- they were enthusiastic about their writing, and keen to continue long after he'd left. He has definitely inspired a new generation of budding authors!
Rachel Glasgow, Primary 7 Teacher, Carolside Primary School