“Warm, engaging and enthralling speaker.” St Augustin’s High School
“An outstanding and natural speaker…thought-provoking and challenging but also articulate, warm, accessible and often very funny. Liz captivated and instantly engaged our pupils with her talk.” Trinity Academy
“I’ve never been at an event where the young people have asked so many questions.” Ian Lebeter, Wee Write Schools Programme – Aye Write! 2019
“A captivating author, who engages young people from the second she starts talking.” Boroughmuir High School
“It was the first time I’ve seen pupils from younger years to be so silent and engaged throughout the whole presentation.” Sixth form pupil commenting on the S2 class.
“Totally inspired by Liz MacWhirter at YayYA today! Amazing!” Chryston High School at YayYA! Festival for Young Adult fiction
“… expansive and thought-provoking” Fountainbridge Library adult book club
March 2021 – Edinburgh Writers Club, details TBC
ISLE OF IONA 2020/2021 – Further writing residency; island book club evening. Dates TBC due to the coronavirus.
Booking new events
I live in Scotland and, depending on coronavirus restrictions, I’m happy to travel anywhere to speak at festivals, schools and other events for adults and young people (minimum age 11). Online sessions are also available. I’m listed on the Live Literature Programme at the Scottish Book Trust – please see my author profile.
Black Snow Falling explores cross-curricular themes for pupils age 11+. I offer:
- Interactive ‘Story of the Book’. A visual presentation with two interspersed readings from Black Snow Falling followed by Q&A. I pitch my talk and slides according to the age and stage of the pupils, supporting their engagement. Themes can include: early science as heresy, 16th century dynamics, sexism and prejudice, subverting masculine and feminine archetypal journeys, #HeForShe, fighting the ‘monsters’ of today, fantasy, Jung and the shadow self / does evil exist?
- Creative writing workshops inspired by the novel.
These are supported by inspiring activity suggestions. Please get in touch to discuss what would work best for you.
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2018 – Feisty Fantasy with Alice Broadway, Coping with Change with Melvin Burgess and Steven Camden, and an Imprisoned Writers reading.
Golden Hare Books – Dramatised reading with actor Rupert Smith; Q&A.
Interesting Times Book Tour – Waterstone’s Uxbridge 2 October 2019; Waterstone’s Argyle Street, Glasgow & Blackwell’s Edinburgh November 2 & 3 2018. Featured Tracey Mathias (Night of the Party) and Rowena House (The Goose Road) and L.J. MacWhirter (Black Snow Falling).
Fountainbridge Library – Book Group (adult) 19 November 2018. “Liz was effusive, engaging and energetic, making really interesting, expansive and thought-provoking comments.” Simon Brown, librarian.
Boroughmuir High School – Presentation on Creating Stories to 100 S3 pupils studying Creative Writing 21 November 2018. Watch the video of Q&A on my facebook page.
“A captivating author, who engages young people from the second she starts talking.” Fiona Aleksandrowicz, librarian, Boroughmuir High School.
Tynecastle High School – ‘Story of the Book’ presentation to 40 S1 pupils (12 years old) 22 November 2018
St Augustin’s High School – ‘Story of the Book’ presentation to 30 S2 pupils (13 years old) 23 November 2018 “Warm, engaging, enthralling speaker. Liz treated children with respect and openness… a meaningful talk which made the audience think. It was like a proper conversation.” Mike Spells, Librarian, St Augustin’s High School.
“Magical and memorable event, catching younger and older generations. Liz managed perfectly to get the attention of younger pupils, which is usually not expected, and they followed her across the whole presentation.” Sixth form pupil assisting the librarian at St Augustin’s School, Broomhouse, Edinburgh.
Trinity Academy – ‘Story of the Book’ presentation to 40 S2 pupils (13 years old) 10 January 2019 “Liz was exceptionally well prepared. Her detailed and informative powerpoint and ‘Black Snow Falling’ display board both immediately highlighted that this was a professional author at work, and this was then consolidated with her talk in which her natural bubbliness and enthusiasm immediately drew our pupils in.
Her use of a question bag was a master touch, and not something that we had seen at Trinity before. Our pupils are notoriously shy and reserved, and this was a really good way of getting them involved in the talk without having to go through the social awkwardness of being seen to come up with questions in front of their peers.
‘Black Snow Falling’ focuses on potentially difficult and heavyweight topics – sexism, banned books, loss of hope and middle ages science – but Liz struck that delicate balance well between pushing our second years’ intelligence and not overwhelming them.”
Far From The Madding Crowd – Adult event at Further From Festival 25 January 7pm
‘We are thrilled to announce that L.J. Macwhirter, debut author of the bestselling YA title Black Snow Falling, will be discussing her work at the Further From Festival 2019. The book is an update on a classic fairy tale, with echoes of Angela Carter and Naomi Novik, with a strong historical setting in the 16th century. What’s even more exciting is that L.J. has been nominated for the Carnegie Award 2019!’
George Heriot’s School – Story of the Book presentation to the whole S2 year group 26 February 2019
“We were very happy with the presentation. The content was pitched high, which challenged the audience to engage with the writing process and therefore to reflect on their own writing. Liz was well prepared and the fact that there was an opportunity to meet her at the end, buy a copy of the book and have it signed, meant that the pupils engaged even more.” Phil Lowe, Teacher of English
Feedback from pupils:
“It was very memorable because the talk was so fun and engaging that it made us want to read the book.”
“Creative and very good imagery.”
“Interesting, Imaginative and Inspiring.”
“Intriguing and informative.”
“Creative and clever- everything a book should be.”
“An exciting, invigorating and imaginative talk about the formation of a book.”
“Her talk was intriguing just like the book.”
Notre Dame High School – Wee Write Schools Programme in Aye Write!
1 March 2019 – speaking to 120 S3 pupils
“Both events were great but the morning session in particular was fantastic. The young people were particularly engaged and asked more questions than at any author event I’ve been involved in during my 13 years as a librarian.” Ian Lebeter, Glasgow Life
Castlemilk High School – Wee Write Schools Programme in Aye Write
1 March 2019 – speaking to 40 young people from S1-S3
YayYA! Scotland’s festival for Young Adult Fiction 2019
I delivered 12 x 15-minute immersive experiences in the world of BLACK SNOW FALLING for a range of high school groups.
“Totally inspired by Liz MacWhirter at YayYA today! Amazing!” English teacher, Chryston High School
Soutar Book Festival – Emerging Authors Showcase 28 April 2019
See the Courier Magazine Feature on Black Snow Falling and the connection with the Festival’s namesake, William Soutar.
Black Snow Falling – all-day event at Bramall Hall 13 May 2019
I hosted an all-day event at this Tudor Hall which was the inspiration for Crowbury Hall, arranged by my former school Bramhall High. The day featured a presentation, creative writing tuition, a mindfulness exercise in the chapel, following by the students working on creative writing exercises in locations around the hall.
“An inspirational author who left students feeling confident and determined to fulfil their dreams.” Gwyn Wood, librarian
“It was amazing, absolutely brilliant.” Jonathan
“Amazing, a really good experience.” Lyla
“Incredibly inspirational.” Rosie
Cymera Book Festival 2019
Historical Fantasy, the opening event for the Festival with Elizabeth May & Laura Lam, chaired by Eris Young.
Listen to the Podcast by Speculative Spaces http://www.speculativespaces.com/episode-14-cymera-book-festival/
Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow, June 2019
A Live Literature event themed around Inclusion.
“Having Liz come in and speak to all of our S2 pupils was the perfect way to begin our Book Week celebrations. Liz gave an inspirational talk about the writing process and went above and beyond by tailoring the session to fit in with our theme of inclusion.” John Wason, Librarian