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Professional Development – Going Live with Virtual School Visits

29 March @ 11:00 - 12:30 BST

Virtual Event
Free – £10.00

How can you make the most of your virtual school visit? What more can offer – and how do you avoid technical difficulties?

Children’s author Candy Gourlay will lead a workshop on hosting virtual visits for schools – what you can offer (whether live or a recorded or a hybrid of both), including advice on technicalities, how to avoid problems and how to improve your performance.

The session will not go into the basics of video creation but Candy will compile that information into a valuable document available to download after the presentation.

This event is in conjunction with our Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group with a short intro from Jo McCrum, the Group’s Administrator.

What will this workshop cover?

  • How to convert your in-person school visit into a digital school visit
  • Building your confidence by having the right tech 
  • Creating the best experience for you and your audience
  • Anticipating and preparing for inevitable challenges
  • Pre-recorded vs live-streamed school visits

Who is this workshop for?

This session is for authors seeking to offer virtual school visits from KS1 to KS3 – whatever genre they are working in and whatever stage of their career.

Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email Jo McCrum with ‘Going Live – Question’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and answer as many questions on the day as possible.


The line-up

Candy Gourlay – Writer

Candy Gourlay was born in the Philippines, grew up under a dictatorship and met her husband during a revolution. Growing up, she wondered why books only featured pink-skinned children who lived in worlds that didn’t resemble her tropical home in Manila. It took her years to learn that Filipino stories also belong in the pages of books. Her novel Bone Talk was recently shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Prize – it is set in the moment when headhunting tribes in the Philippines come face to face with American invaders. Her picture book, Is It a Mermaid, lushly illustrated by Francesca Chessa, was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Her novels have also been listed for the Waterstones, the Blue Peter and the Guardian Children’s Book Prize. Candy loves making videos. She has a fascination with the power and failures of the internet and since lockdown has been experimenting with virtual visits.
Website: www.candygourlay.com | Twitter:  @candygourlay | Instagram: @candygourlay


Any questions? Contact us

SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our Blackwell’s virtual store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate link a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


Book your ticket below.

SoA Members: FREE
Standard price: £10

All SoA @ Home professional development events are free for members but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE


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Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


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The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
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29 March
11:00 - 12:30 BST
Free – £10.00
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