Charlotte Barkla

Charlotte Barkla

South Australia

Speaker type

  • Author
  • Virtual visits
available for virtual visits

Charlotte Barkla worked as a civil engineer and physics teacher before rediscovering her love for children’s literature. She now writes picture books, middle-grade fiction and feature articles.

 Charlotte’s debut picture book, All Bodies are Good Bodies was published by Hardie Grant Egmont in January 2020. The first two novels in her middle-grade series, Edie’s Experiments, were also published in 2020, by Penguin Random House.
As well as writing for children, Charlotte writes feature articles for a range of publications including Good Health magazine, MiNDFOOD magazine, the Australian Educator and Engineers Australia.

 As a former teacher, Charlotte is an experienced speaker and workshop presenter. She loves sharing her passion for science, creativity and storytelling with kids of all ages.

 AllBodies Instagram 1080x1080 1 Mouths  AllBodies Instagram 1080x1080 2 Tummies  AllBodies Instagram 1080x1080 3 Noses

Looking for a speaker to visit your school or library? Children's author and freelance writer, Charlotte Barkla, is offering a range of author talks and writing workshops, designed to inspire a love of reading and writing.

Charlotte's sessions can be customised to the age group and curriculum, from primary through to secondary audiences. Sessions can be either be delivered in-person or virtually(via Skype/Zoom), and can be delivered as an author talk or interactive workshop. As a former teacher, Charlotte is an experienced speaker and workshop presenter. She loves sharing her passion for science, creativity and stories with children of all ages.

Sample Topics:

Science and creativity

(Primary and Secondary, tailored to the age group and curriculum):

Think science and creativity don’t mix? Think again!

In this session, students learn about the crossover between science and the arts. They will explore the role of creativity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and will be guided through a series of story starters and writing prompts, designed to gettheir creative juices flowing.

Charlotte will also discuss the process she used in writing and publishing her science-themedbook, Edie’s Experiments. Finally, students will have the chance to brainstorm ideas for their own STEM-themed narrative.

Topics include:

  • Debunking the myth of left-brain/right-brained – everyone’s creative!
  • The role of creativity in STEM
  • Developing and exercising your creativity
  • Writing a narrative that incorporates science
  • Student Q and A

:Note: This session provides cross-curriculum links between Science and English.

Writing picture books

(Primary, tailored to the age group and curriculum):

In this session, students explore the process of writing a picture book. Using real-life examples from Charlotte’s books, including behind-the-scene storyboarding and illustration roughs, students will explore how picture books are written, illustrated and published. Students will have the opportunity to develop or draw their own character, and we will practice our creative writing skills by developing a group narrative

Topics include:

  • Creating characters
  • Developing plot
  • Understanding the picture book format
  • Student Q and A

The craft of creative writing

(Primary and Secondary, tailored to the age group and curriculum):

This session focuses on the craft of creative writing. Through a series of interactive exercises, students explore what makes a great story, including developing believable characters, understanding plot and mastering pacing.

Topics include:

  • Characterisation
  • Story plot and structure
  • Action and pace
  • Finding your unique ‘voice’
  • Beginnings and endings
  • Mastering dialogue
  • Writing tips
  • Student Q & A

Ideas and inspiration

(Primary and Secondary, tailored to the age group and curriculum):

This session focuses on ideas. Where do an author’s ideas come from, and how are they developed into stories?

Using examples from her published books, Charlotte will share how she developed story ideas into polished manuscripts, ready for publication. Students will be guided through brainstorming techniques and story-starter activities, and will have the opportunity to workshop and develop their own ideas.

Topics include:

  • Brainstorming ideas and fleshing out concepts
  • Developing great characters
  • Planning stories
  • Exercising your creative muscles
  • Overcoming ‘writer’s block’
  • Student Q & A

Science at home

(Years 3-7, tailored to the age group and curriculum):

There’s no need for a science laboratory – there are plenty of ways to incorporate science at home!

In this session, perfect for distance learning, Charlotte runs through some fun experiments you can try at home using household objects. She’ll talk about the crossover between science and arts, and will give insight into the process of writing her science-themed middle-grade novel, Edie’s Experiments.

Topics include:

  • Science around the home, including fun experiments to try
  • Science and creativity
  • Writing a novel that incorporates science / STEM
  • Student Q and A

Note: This session provides cross-curriculum links between Science and English.

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How are books made?

(Primary and Secondary, tailored to the age group and curriculum):

This session delves into the publication process. Using real-life examples from Charlotte’s books, including behind-the-scene story-boarding and illustration roughs, students will learn how picture books and novels are published. Students will explore all stages of the publication process, from an author coming up with an idea through to a book ending up in a bookstore.

Topics include:

  • Transforming ideas into narratives
  • Understanding editing
  • Collaborating with illustrators
  • Designing book covers
  • Working with editors and publishers
  • The role of marketing and publicity
  • Student Q & A

Please note: All workshops and talks can be tailored to the school or library's requirements.

Additional topics available on request.

 

Testimonials

  • The session was a great mix of the kids listening, and getting involved themselves. The information was delivered in a really straightforward way that was perfect for the age group - plus I found it really interesting as well!

    City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters - July 2020

    City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters - July 2020
    Charlotte Barkla
  • I'd definitely recommend Charlotte's sessions - such a great speaker and she kept the kids engaged via the online platform.

    Unley Library - September 2020

    Unley Library - September 2020
    Charlotte Barkla
  • Charlotte was a very knowledgeable and engaging presenter. The sessions were engaging, hands on and supported the Book Making pedagogy we are using, so fitted our need perfectly.

    Christian Brothers College, Adelaide - July 2020

    Christian Brothers College, Adelaide - July 2020
    Charlotte Barkla
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Charlotte Barkla