“And in that way, being guided by the invisible forces that hold the universe together, they were gently steered towards an unknown but very much needed destination…”


Whispers of a Million Elephants

‘From Brain to Bookshop’ is an opportunity for entire classes from throughout the UK* to get involved with every aspect of bringing a book to market. Created specially for students in years 6-8, they’ll learn everything about bringing a book to life and help conjure up the next Little Yellow Plane Adventure.

It’s a unique chance for your students to get engaged with books and an author. They’ll help in identifying a particular moment in history that needs bringing to light – continuing the work of the first two books in the series. There’s a dollop of geography, a load of creative writing sessions, and the chance to influence everything from character names to cover colours.


So what's involved?

There are three or four sessions for each term of the school year, starting in September 2023. Each of these will include a video for you to play in class where I’ll talk about the topic being covered. I’ll also share regular polls for students to vote on, and leave a space for questions to be asked – plus I’ll send out some specific resources that will help teach things like character creation and fine-tuning a setting. You could also use everything with school library clubs, as extension activities for super ‘keen bean’ students, or as part of after-school activity clubs!

Term 1

Session 1: the world of writing and writers; how boundaries are broken by indie authors; selling words to the world

Session 2: character, character, character. How characters are created, and how to make them work with each other

Session 3: the significance of setting and how it impacts everything in a book from plot to characters to mood

Term 2

Session 1: the art of research, and how we can investigate everything from recipes to ancient maps to give us knowledge

Session 2: refining research and picking a side; taking a stand, filtering the facts, the job of being a juror

Session 3: logistics and layout. How to include this pile of research into a story: being a plotter or a pantser

Session 4: writing and editing. And editing. And rewriting. And editing some more. From first to final draft

Term 3

Session 1: where titles come from, when they start to appear, and learning from all the errors I’ve made so far

Session 2: creating blurbs, how they need to both summarise and entice; the control aspect of indie publishing

Session 3: the cover. The final part of a book: how I work with my designer and where our ideas come from

Session 4: setting up a book for sale and the different methods used. How to get copies into local bookshops

And I've lined up some bonus extras...


 There’ll be a nationwide competition at the end of Term 1 and Term 2, with students set a challenge to complete over their holiday. The prizes will combine books and glory.

Snail mail!

Each term I’ll pick five classes at random to receive a spot of snail mail from me. Teachers from chosen classes can even nominate specific students who may benefit from a bit of a boost.


All schools who sign up will be able to benefit from some hefty discounts on purchases of multiple books, with up to 40% off class sets of the Little Yellow Plane Adventure series.

Five selected schools will also 'Adopt an author' and receive...

– a ‘We’ve Adopted an Author!’ poster for their classroom or school library


– copies of the first two books, Silver River Shadow and Whispers of a Million Elephants

– regular class post: actual, bonafide, old-school snail mail 

– twice termly progress reports either in person or online (I will aim to visit each school at least once during the year)

– an early release copy of the book we create 

In 2023, I’ve been adopted by: Babylon Class, St Budeaux Foundation School, Plymouth – Sapphire Class, Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, Oxford – 6P, Chester-le-Street CE Primary School, Chester-le-Street – 7D, Wheelers Lane Technology College, Birmingham – Southdown Class, Sheepy Magna Primary School, Sheepy Magna

How to get involved, absolutely FREE? Just sign up using this contact form and you’ll receive emails every time a new session has been released. You can watch them to suit your schedule, and either cheer from the sidelines or get seriously stuck in. It’s your call.

*Schools from anywhere in the world are more than welcome to sign up! It should be noted, though, that this course will run in conjunction with the UK academic calendar (so roughly September through June, split across three terms) and it’ll be tricky to take full advantage of it unless your school has a similar schedule.

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