NCBF At School

We are pleased to announce the launch of our short films for schools and families, which you will be able to find here from 3rd November.

These video interviews, which include a creative challenge set by the authors for children to complete in their own time, are entirely free for use either in the classroom or at home. All of the authors involved have been kind enough to dedicate their time to this project for free. We hope you find them entertaining and helpful.

Christopher William Hill

The author of the Tales from Schwartzgarten books, Christopher William Hill talks about his writing, the importance of food as inspiration and why happy endings are overrated.

Creative task: Turn toys from Kinder eggs into the characters of a story with a beginning, middle and dramatic end.

Age guideline: KS2

Martin Brown

The celebrated illustrator of the Horrible Histories and Lesser Spotted Animals books Martin Brown tells us what he’s working on at the moment, the illustrators and cartoonists that have inspired him, and how absolutely anyone can draw if they really want to.

Creative task: Learn about an animal you have never heard of before and then create a poster publicising it.

Age guideline: KS2-3

Matt Windle (for secondary schools)

Pro boxer and poet Matt Windle reads us one of his poems, talks about where his ideas come from and how poetry has the power to open up your imagination.

Creative task: Make a blackout poem by crossing out words from an established text to create a completely new piece of writing from the words that are left.

Age guideline: KS3

Sally Crabtree

Cornish-based performance poet Sally Crabtree, aka the Poetry Postie, reads us one of her poems, and chats about what makes her want to write and why she loves living in Cornwall.

Creative task: Make a word bird, a small bird-shaped booklet which you can decorate and use to showcase your poems.

Age guideline: KS2

Joff Winterhart

Illustrator and graphic novelist Joff Winterhart talks about what inspired him to start illustrating and writing. He shares drawing tips and gives advice to young illustrators who would like to create their own comic strips and graphic novels.

Creative task: Make the first page of a graphic novel or comic strip.

Age guideline: KS3-4

Matt Windle (for primary schools)

Pro boxer and poet Matt Windle reads us one of his poems, talks about where his ideas come from and how poetry has the power to open up your imagination.

Creative task: Write an acrostic poem where certain letters in each line spell a new word.

Age guideline: KS2

Ross Montgomery

Children’s author and former primary-school teacher Ross Montgomery discusses his new book Midnight Guardians. He tells us how you should read as much as you can, go for walks and why he still misses working in the classroom.

Creative task: Design your own imaginary creature and label all their little quirks and details, making sure to use the most imaginative language possible.

Age guideline: KS2

Frances Hardinge

Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge reads from her latest novel for young adults, Deeplight. She discusses the challenges of writing and how her house is full of toys and games, including a lightsabre.

Creative task: Write about someone who is pretending to be someone they’re not. Or when wallpaper peels off a wall in an old house, writing is discovered underneath. What does it say? Or write about the same incident from three different points of view.

Age guideline: KS3-4

This film series was made possible by grants from Arts Council England’s Emergency Fund and from FEAST. The editors were Giselle Hyam and Dan Hall and the credits were designed and animated by Matilda McMorrow.