School visits, author talks & writing workshops

Hi, I'm Kirsty.

I’m on a mission to encourage students to create not just consume, choose action over distraction, and to read not just view. I share with them the tools and processes that will help them put these ideals into practice, showing them how to use story to improve their own writing. 

Over the last ten years I have delivered author talks, writing workshops, residencies and keynotes at schools, writing festivals, and other venues, to audiences ranging from 4 to 1500, Australia-wide.

I aim to engage.

Even large audiences are active participants in my presentations, using their creative thinking. My talks and workshops are vibrant, authentic and inspiring. I love this part of being an author and I feel very alive while I’m doing it. 

Students are already storytellers.

My job is to ignite their respect for the skill, helping them bridge the gap between their ideas and well written pieces that meet word counts.

Storytelling is an essential life skill.

And one of the most important stories we’ll ever tell is our own. 

I often share parts of my journey in my presentations, including how I went from being raised in tough circumstances by a farming single mother to working at the Bank of England in London; to surfing my way around Australia and living out of a car while I first tried to write, working in kitchens and as a personal trainer; what I learned along the way to getting published, and how important failure was in that learning. 

In sharing this, I encourage students to analyse the story, reflecting on their own story, their voice and unique perspective.

Sessions are crafted to your specific needs.

I am happy to problem solve with you to find a way to deliver something that delivers maximum benefit to maximum students.

I am experienced, but I keep things fresh.

It is a privilege for me to be able to do this, and my speaking work reflects my ideals of authenticity, sharing and creativity. 

Some of the schools I have worked with include: Pittwater House, St Luke’s Dee Why, Abbotsleigh, Mackillop Catholic College, All Saints Bathurst, Davidson High, Cherrybrook THS, Ascham, Normanhurst Boys, Hornsby Girls, St Paul’s Grammar, Shore, Coonabarabran High, Newington College and Strathfield Girls.

I am proud to be an ambassador for the Stella Schools Program.

Some of my topics include:

Real characters and Raw Blue

Students are fluent in stories ... but struggle when asked to write one.
Drawing on my process as a professional writer, using examples from my award-winning novel Raw Blue, I show students the ONE THING that makes a character real, and share a character-based sequence for story.

Story through settings and mood

Students often hand in pieces that are overwritten, drowning in description that goes nowhere. Yet getting them to self-edit is really quite simple.
Drawing on examples from my own novels and discussing the decisions behind the writing, I show students how to frame the FEEL of their stories and write with a sense of momentum.

'Write what you know' and Saltwater Vampires

Students are immersed in stories daily, but fail to realise the value of their own.
Drawing on my own process as a professional writer, using my novel, Saltwater Vampires, to illustrate points, I show students how they can draw on their own lives and experiences to make their stories real for the reader, bringing their research to life.
I share with them a situation-based sequence for story.

Idea vs Story

Too often, students SUBMIT THE IDEA, and not a well-written story. Worse, they sometimes don't even try, convinced that they are not "creative".
Using short, sharp, fun challenges, I prove to students that having ideas is not a problem. And I share with them the ONE DECISION they need to make to successfully turn an idea into a good story.

Structure and Summer Skin

Senior students often get tangled up in assessment rubric when they are developing their own written pieces, but their innate understanding of story can be harnessed to improve their craft.
Drawing on my process as a professional writer, using my novel Summer Skin to illustrate points, I show students how structure can elevate their story, and make the writing process much easier.

Influences and Night Beach

Students often submit replicas rather than original stories.
My novel, Night Beach, was strongly influenced by the poets and artists of the Romantic Era. Using examples from the novel, I show students how stylistic inspiration and ways of thinking can direct their writing, while their own experiences make it unique.
I share with them an inspiration-focused sequence for story.

I can deliver presentations remotely:

Using Zoom, Skype, YouTube, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams.

To book me:

Please contact:

Booked Out Speakers Agency

P.O. Box 580, South Yarra VIC 3141

PH: (03) 9824 0177

Please note: If you have never booked a speaker for your school or organisation before, don’t worry – they will step you through the whole process and be an absolute pleasure to deal with :)