Dave Cousins visiting author. Photo by Lisa Shaw.
Photo: Lisa Shaw


"Brilliant! An inspiring performance that really engaged the students."

Janet Rothwell, LRC Manager, Langley Grammar School

Dave Cousins author event at ES RheinMain, Frankfurt
Photo: Ute Arias

 Join me on my journey to becoming an author! From dreams of joining the NASA space program and making comics in my bedroom, to writing songs and playing in a band (who were "almost famous!")—plus lots of reading and writing in between. Along the way, I reveal some of the true events that inspired my stories, and how learning to "sleep-type" helped me finish my first novel.


My author events have been described as "stand-up–with books", or as one year seven student put it: "well funny!" A mix of anecdotes, pictures, readings and leaping about. The underlying message is that we all have a story to tell, and if one ordinary bloke from Birmingham can achieve his childhood dream—anyone can!


I also offer writing workshops to help students generate and develop story ideas. These include tips on how to get their stories down on paper, and what to do if they get stuck. The workshops are mixed ability and incorporate group brainstorms and individual mini writing tasks.


In my drawing workshops I outline the process used for the Charlie Merrick books, then share a few simple tricks for creating different characters and expressions, and show how drawing a character can suggest story ideas. For students who think they can't draw, I demonstrate how everyone can tell a story using simple stick people and the secret of the "magic eyebrows"! In the comic drawing sessions, pupils learn the basic storytelling blocks and create their own single page comic adventure.


Sessions last approximately one hour, including time for questions, though timing can be adjusted to suit school schedules and special requirements (up to four sessions in one day – can be a mix of talks and workshops).  I'm always happy to spend time signing books and postcards, and bring free postcards to every event so that all students can take away a signed souvenir.


If you're interested in booking me to visit your school, library or literary event, please email me or contact Authors Abroad on 01535 656015. Thanks.


Screenshot of author Dave Cousins performing a virtual school visit via video link



It's great to be able to visit in person, but I also offer 'VIRTUAL VISITS' via Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc. This might be a good option for schools based outside the UK. An online visit will also save on travel costs so can be a good compromise if budgets are tight. These events are still very interactive and lots of fun, with an opportunity for students to ask questions and have bookplates personalised and signed if required. 


Please see below for details of a few of the events I can offer.


If you're interested in booking a virtual visit for your school, library, festival or book club, please get in touch via my message page, or email me and we can discuss options. Thanks.

Dave Cousins' Drawing Stories from Characters workshop

A fun, interactive event filled with stories, drawing and writing tips – part 'author talk', part workshop.


I'll start with a reading, then share my journey to becoming a writer – from dreams of being Batman to becoming the next Beatles! I'll explain how reading, then drawing my own comics, got me hooked on telling stories.


WE ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL and for me, stories come from CHARACTERS. I share how drawing characters helps me develop story ideas and lead the students through some of the exercises I use myself, to help develop their own characters and ideas. The session ends with a challenge to write a story featuring these characters.


Delivered in person or as a live online event via Microsoft Teams, the sessions last approximately 1 hour and is suitable for students in Years 3-7.

To find out more, or to book a session, please email me and we can discuss options. Thanks.


FREE WRITING TIPS sheet to accompany the DRAWING STORIES from CHARACTERS event.
Adobe Acrobat Document 805.7 KB
Dave Cousins working with KS2 children in a story workshop. Appledore 2022.
Creating some characters by drawing (with a little bit of help from my friends!). Appledore 2022. Pic by Kari (Thanks).

A 'football themed'
story workshop and author talk event.


I start with a reading from Charlie Merrick's Misfits in FOULS, FRIENDS & FOOTBALL, then share my journey to becoming a writer – from dreams of playing in goal for Bham City (!) to becoming the next Beatles! I'll explain how reading football comics, then drawing my own, was the start of my journey to being an author.


I'll share how I developed the ideas and illustrations in the Charlie Merrick books and how drawing characters helps me develop story ideas. Students then try some fun drawing and writing exercises to help them develop their own characters and ideas for the 5-a-side Writing Challenge!


Delivered in person or as a live online event via Microsoft Teams, the sessions last approximately 1 hour and is suitable for students in Years 3-6.

To find out more, or to book a session, please email me and we can discuss options. Thanks.


5-a-Side STORY WORKSHOP Writing Tips
FREE WRITING TIPS sheet to accompany the 5-a-Side Story Workshop.
Adobe Acrobat Document 823.4 KB




Dave Cousins Author Events

Dave Cousins performing a reading at the Appledore Festival in 2022
Acting the fool during the Appledore Schools Book Week in 2022. Pic by Kari (Thanks!)


"Seeing 200 faces rapt, involved and amused by Dave talking about his inspiration for writing was a joy. Introducing them to new books in such a lively manner will undoubtedly lead to more reading enjoyment."

Hilary Sutton, Librarian, Bishop Stopford School, Northamptonshire


"Dave Cousins was funny and energetic, engaging with the year 7s and holding their attention for the whole hour. They were so inspired that we sold out of his books and have had to buy many more copies for the library. Thank you so much."

Susannah Phillips, Librarian, Skinners' Academy, London

"Dave Cousins was very generous with his time and made some really honest comments about being a writer – something that is always valued by students. It was a very useful experience with some great insights being offered for all budding writers."

Louise Sautschak, Librarian, Northwood School

Dave Cousins discusses story ideas with students at Skinners' Academy
Photo: Thanks to Skinners' Academy, London


Reading Group Notes for 15 DAYS WITHOUT A HEAD
Ideas for exploring 15 DAYS WITHOUT A HEAD with students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
15 Days Reading Notes.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 239.7 KB
Reading Group Notes for WAITING FOR GONZO
Ideas for exploring WAITING FOR GONZO with students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Waiting for Gonzo reading notes.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 459.6 KB
Ideas for exploring the ROBOT series with children in KS2
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.1 MB
Crime & Mystery resources linked to A ROBOT ATE MY GRANDMA
Additional worksheets for exploring elements in A ROBOT ATE MY GRANDMA, and crime & mystery stories in general. Includes Code Breaking Worksheet, Word Search and Writing Tips.
Mystery Story
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 3.2 MB


"I really like the way Dave told us stories about his family and how different events in his life have led to him becoming a writer." Chipaka Henry

Chipaka Henry, Skinners' Academy, London


Dave Cousins Library Display Posters

These Library Display Posters are available on the DOWNLOADS page.

FREE WRITING TIPS to download …

Dave Cousins 15 Ways to Write a Story Writing Tips Download

When visiting schools I'm always impressed by the number of students who are working on their own stories. I'm often asked for writing tips, so I collected 15 of my favourites into a handy slideshow. It's FREE to download in a variety of formats below. I hope you find them useful.

15 WAYS TO WRITE A STORY! (Powerpoint)
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 5.4 MB
15 WAYS TO WRITE A STORY! (Multi-page PDF)
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.5 MB
15 WAYS TO WRITE A STORY! (High-res PDF in case you want to print)
Adobe Acrobat Document 17.4 MB
A selection from the series of writing prompts I posted during lockdown. A full set can be found on my blog (link sidebar). Search for 'writing prompts'.
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 2.7 MB
A four page A5 booklet containing tips on how to give the hero of your story a really bad day!
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.6 MB
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.2 MB

 "I thought the way he talked about how hard he had to work to become a writer, living in his attic and writing for years before getting published was inspiring."

Souheib Benfetouha, Skinners' Academy, London

A few event photos from my travels …


In March I visited Langley Grammar School in Slough to talk to students from Year Seven, Eight and Nine about 15 Days Without a Head and my journey to becoming an author.

A few weeks later an enormous envelope of cards, drawings, poems and cartoons arrived in the post. To say it made my day would be an understatement! I was so bowled over and impressed by the creativity on display I had to share it.

Huge thanks to all the staff at students at the school for making me so welcome on the day, and for taking the time to send me these …


"Thank you for visiting our school. It was really interesting about how you became an author. Your story has really inspired us to fight for the things we want in life."

Faiza, Nousheen, Marium and Ayswarya, Langley Grammar School

"You were very funny. I especially liked the fact that you acted out what you said. I found this very effective and interesting."

Mohinder and Rickweer, Langley Grammar School


Earlier in the year I visited Our Lady's Convent High School and Clapton Girls' Academy in East London as part of the Pop-Up Festival Booklinks Project. Here is some of the fantastic work students at Our Lady's produced prior to my visit. Below that is a short film about another excellent Pop-Up Booklinks project I was lucky enough to be involved with. See if you can spot me!