Gillian visiting a school Gillian McClure is an author/illustrator with a Primary Teaching Diploma. She has over twenty year’s experience of doing fun illustration and writing workshops in primary schools using her own stories as a stimulus to inspire pupils’ own creativity. Her one-off visits are ideal for World Book Day or a school Art Week or Book Week. 

One-Off Visits

These can be a full day or a half day and can tie in with a school’s theme. Here is what she does:

Nursery & Reception: a story telling session based on either We're Going to Build a Dam   or Flood where pupils can enjoy the story using puppets characters and actions.

Primary Year 1: a story telling session based on The Little White Sprite  where pupils can act out the story using puppet characters and then explore the idea of going into a magical world of their own.

Primary Year 2 -6: with this age range Gillian gives illustration/writing workshops using character and place as the starting point for a story. These workshops are constructive and fun. Her most popular workshop centres on her classic book Selkie, about a magical creature that can transform from seal to human and there is another inspiring workshop based on her book in graphic format  Zoe's Boat.

In all workshops Gillian has original artwork and roughs to show pupils and where required she can do quick sample drawings.

Secondary & Students: for older pupils and students Gillian does mentoring and gives workshops on integrating text and image in a picture book.


Our World Book Day 2017 came to life through Gillian McClure’s visit to Pirton School. The children were mesmerised by her extraordinary illustrations in the Assembly. She took the children through active, imaginative, adventure sessions, which highly developed their imaginations. All children were extremely engaged and continued their story telling and writing skills further, after their class workshop. Gillian had a charming way of enchanting all of our pupils and raised the profile of reading and writing throughout our school.”

“The children of Mayfield from year 1 to 6 were inspired by the beautiful story of the Selkie to write their own stories and poems.  It was wonderful for them to meet Gillian at the end of Book Week and hear first-hand how the story was written and illustrated.  The experience has encouraged our children to write and draw and we have seen some wonderful independent storytelling as a result.”
The whole school had studied my book for a week prior to the visit. Here is a painting by Ruby inspired by one of my illustrations.

"Thank you so much for coming to St. John's. It was a lovely day. So many of the children had something marvelous to say about you and to remember you for, especially hoping that you carry on writing and illustrating such lovely books. I am attaching a few comments written by children."

Gwyneth Williams, St. John’s Prep School, World Book Day

"I really enjoyed the visit. I hope she will write another book. She has really inspired me to become an author and illustrator". Amara Rah – (Form 1) 

"I love your stories. I love “Zoe’s Boat” and the cover of “Selkie”. I also have the book “Tom Finger”. Thank you very much for coming to our school."Tioluwani Adedayo (Form 1)


"Gillian McClure visited my school during our Book Week in March 2014. She spent the day with us and gave inspiring workshops to our very young Nursery children to form 6 pupils. I was able to sit in on a session with my Form 4's. It was exciting as Gillian brought her current book, 'Selkie', alive by showing her amazing illustrations and using puppets to lead the children through the story. Gillian's calm and thoughtful manner engaged the children as to what might happen next in the story...All in all a great visit from a memorable children's author."  

Arabella Cutler
St.Edmund's Prep School

“Gillian McClure was an inspiration to pupils and staff. Having fabulous illustrations, as well as writing to share, enabled all pupils to fully engage in the experience. Zoe’s Boat was a particular favourite! A super day for all our pupils.”
Claire Richardson, Reading for Pleasure Co-ordinator, Park Junior School

The children enjoyed exploring the wonderful stories written by Gillian .The day inspired our children to think about how they could become writers themselves and  it was a wonderful stimulating  experience. I would highly   recommend Gillian as a visiting author- Her manner was warm, friendly and inclusive." 

R Hutchinson,All Saints' CE (Aided) Primary School

I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ for your visit. Class 4 have carried on with their sequel to ‘Zoe’s boat’ this week. They have such lovely ideas – so many different versions... and are really enjoying themselves."

Kate Mottram, Foxton School

"Gillian worked with all year groups in the school from Reception to Year 6. Her activities were varied, imaginative and at the right level for every class.
Ingrid Broomfield, Librarian

In the session with Year 6, the workshop was pitched at just the right level, leading to plenty of discussion and the creation of many interesting ideas. Being the oldest in the school, this session wasn’t until the end of the day but the children were very interested and stayed focused throughout.
Angela Robinson, Year 6 teacher


If you are a school in the South East, London or within an eighty mile radius of Cambridge you can contact and book Gillian

You can find out more about Gillian here.