Author events

Teachers and librarians: would you like me to come and talk to your students?


What’s in a visit?

• My lively TALKS revolve around inspiration; outlining the random places I get my ideas from, with anecdotes and short readings to illustrate and inspire. My aim is to fire the imaginations of students, pointing out that small things can lead to big themes, whether it’s my full-length novels or their own creative writing. (One hour session/s, no limit to group size.)

• I also do WORKSHOPS, which are suitable for children aged 8-12 years old. (One hour session/s, group size: up to 30.)

Who do I talk to?

• AT PRIMARY SCHOOL LEVEL: My various books are suitable for age 7+, girls and boys.

• AT SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL: Usually Year 7/S1 (Scotland), girls only.

How does it work?

• Each session lasts an hour, with me talking (and showing-and-telling!) for around three-quarters of an hour, followed by an interactive Q&A session for the last section.

• In addition, ideally 15-20 minutes should to be scheduled for book signing (and perhaps chatting to any students too shy to ask a question during the session!).

• Schools or libraries either arrange for a local bookshop to come in with a selection of my books to sell, OR my various publishers can send a box of books on a sale-or-return basis.

• I’m happy to do several sessions in a day, with any size group (or up to 30, in the case of workshops).

Where do I go?

• As I’m based in north London, it’s relatively easy for me to travel to, well, lots of places easily reached by train within the space of a day.

• For anywhere further afield, accommodation might be needed. (It can be worthwhile getting together with other schools/libraries in this instance, to share costs.)

Get in touch!

• For more details, please contact Authors Aloud UK at who arrange my visits and events for me.

Where I’ll be?


Events which are marked *** are public events, ie anyone can come along!
[More dates will be confirmed – keep checking in…]

• Monday 25th: CHESTNUTS PRIMARY SCHOOL, Tottenham, North London. (Patron of Reading event)

Wednesday 10th: ST JAMES JUNIOR GIRLS SCHOOL, West London

• Tuesday 1st: MALOREES PRIMARY SCHOOL, Kilburn, London.
• Thursday 3rd: BOLTON MUSLIM GIRLS SCHOOL, Bolton
• Friday 6th (a.m.): CHESTNUTS PRIMARY SCHOOL, Tottenham, North London
• Friday 6th (p.m.): CAMPSBOURNE PRIMARY SCHOOL, Hornsey, North London

• Monday 18th: HARINGEY BOOK AWARDS, London

• Tuesday 3rd: CHESTNUTS PRIMARY SCHOOL, Tottenham, North London. (Patron of Reading event) 


• Monday 25th: BRENTWOOD CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL, Brentwood, Essex. *** 

• Thursday 20th: BLUECOAT ACADEMY, Nottingham.

Quotes from events

“From the first half hour session when Karen visited our school to meet with us, it was clear that she is full of enthusiasm for getting children reading and is highly engaging. During her sessions at the school, she has read excerpts from her (and other authors’) books, run very well received writing workshops, held book-breaks to encourage small groups of children to consider a variety of books to read and offered great support through whole-school assemblies. She has been a beacon of support for reading for pleasure, helping to champion the school’s initiatives and suggesting more of her own. The children are always enthusiastic when she visits and describe her as ‘fun’, ‘friendly’ and ‘encouraging’.”
Tanya Efthymiou, Librarian, Chestnuts Primary School, London


The girls loved Karen’s visit! She was so popular, I had so many positive comments afterwards and the books flew off the shelves! Karen was an engaging and enthusiastic speaker – the girls really warmed to her sense of fun and passion. Would highly recommend.
Eleanor Parker, Librarian, St James Senior Girls’ School, London

“Karen’s books are very popular at our school – she has a big fan-base amongst our students! The Year 7 girls thought Karen was warm, funny and inspirational. After her talk, the McC shelf of the library was bare, as ALL her books had been borrowed! Thank you, Karen, for coming, and we hope to see you next year at Loreto!”
Ramona Sandbrook, Librarian, Loreto College, St Albans

“Since your visit, it’s been amazing to have the boys and girls stopping me in the corridors to talk about your visit or about the work they’ve done or the books they’re reading, usually independent of adult interference – it really tugs at my heart-strings. A kind of miracle has occurred and you played a major role in making it happen. May you continue to do that forever!”
Karima Davis, Secretary, Friends Of Calverton Primary School, Newham, South London

“The Year 3/4s of Upminster Juniors thoroughly enjoyed your talk and their teachers remarked on your ability to connect with the children. And here at the library we’ve been so inspired by your talk that we’re developing a short story competition – based on your book – as part of our 75th anniversary celebrations.”
Marian Marston, Upminster Library, Essex

“Just e-mailing to say a HUGE thanks for your visit. We were delighted today when one of our reluctant Year 8 readers told us she had read three of your books since then! She is now converted to Karen McCombie novels, and reading her way through the rest!”
Lesley, Librarian, Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, Brentwood

“Karen provided a fascinating insight into how authors get ideas, which the children found highly entertaining. The children left the talk inspired, amused and with the tools to become budding authors themselves.”
Penny Casey, Librarian, Highgate Junior School

“Karen McCombie brought her world of writing alive to the Year 7 and 8 girls during her author visits as part of the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature. The girls immediately connected with her warm and humorous presentation. Her visit had such an impact that the girls have inundated their school libraries with requests for her books. Success!”
Fiona Hardcastle, Learning Centre Manager and Festival Co-ordinator, Dorcan Technology College

“We had the pleasure of taking Karen to a couple of local primary schools to talk about ‘You, Me and Thing: The Curse of the Jelly Babies’. Apart from being a potty Scot, she really has a way of connecting with her audience. I would recommend Karen to any school.”
Rob Welton, Events Coordinator, Jarrold’s Books, Norwich