Charlotte Barkla

Charlotte Barkla

Queensland

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. Her books include 11 Ruby Road (March 2024), All Bodies are Good BodiesEdie’s Experiments and From My Head to My Toes, I Say What Goes.

11 Ruby Road is a historical fiction series for readers 7+, set in our very own Brisbane. Charlotte's author talk, Stepping Through Time (see Workshop tab), engages kids in the process of researching and writing historical fiction, and explores the power of learning from the past, in order to build a better future. 

Charlotte’s books have been translated in multiple languages and short-listed for awards. She regularly visits schools for creative writing workshops, sharing her passion for creativity and stories with children of all ages.

As well as writing for children, Charlotte writes feature articles for publications including the CSIRO’s Double Helix, Beanz magazine and Kookie magazine. She regularly visits schools for creative writing workshops, sharing her passion for science, creativity and stories with children 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.

Author talks: (Presentation-style sessions for large groups of students) 

Stepping Through Time (Years 2-6, tailored to the age group)

In 11 Ruby Road, author Charlotte Barkla wrote a fictional story set Brisbane in 1900, and she’s inviting you to travel back in time with her!

Journey back in time to the turn of the 20th century. Explore life in Australia in 1900, from the different foods, schools and transport, to the changes happening in wider society, such as the suffragist movement. Learn how authors use real stories from history to inspire their work, and delicately balance fact and fiction.

Charlotte will leave students with plenty of techniques for writing their own stories, as well as the inspiration to use their voices to mould the future. 

Topics covered:

  • Life in Australia in 1900, including housing, schooling, food and transport.
  • Life in Australia in 1900 in wider society, including the suffragist movement, where women worked to achieve the vote.
  • Researching and writing historical fiction.
  • Why learn about history? The power of learning from the past to better understand the present, and build a better future.

Experimenting with Story (Years 3-6)

Story and science experiments don’t have anything in common... do they?

In some ways, writing a story is just like conducting an experiment. You start with characters, with lots of different traits, problems and goals. When you mix them together, a unique plot develops. Sometimes, the plot bubbles along nicely... and sometimes, you get an explosion!

As well as demonstrating simple science experiments you can try at home, Charlotte will give insight into the writing of her STEM-themed series, Edie’s Experiments. She’ll leave the audience with a thirst for science and lots of great tips for writing their very own STEM-themed story.

Topics include:

  • Creating believable characters and exciting plots
  • Using structure to develop a story that increases in tension
  • Simple science experiments using household ingredients

 All Bodies are GREAT Bodies (Prep- Year 2)

What do you love about your body? Our bodies are all so different, and that’s what makes them wonderful!

Not only are they incredible, it’s also incredibly important we protect and care for our bodies. One of the ways we look after our bodies is through consent: deciding when to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a hug, holding hands or chasey games.

A session where we celebrate our wonderful bodies and learn how to protect them, Charlotte will also give insight into the writing of her best-selling picture books, All Bodies are Good Bodies and From My Head to My Toes, I Say What Goes.

Topics include:

  • Body positivity: celebrating our bodies!
  • Writing and publishing a picture book
  • Using inspiration from your own life to create stories

 

Primary School Writing Workshops: (Workshop-style sessions, for class-sized groups)

Crafting Great Characters (Years 2-6, tailored to the age group)

Great characters are the backbone of great stories. In this workshop, Charlotte will guide students through a series of interactive exercises to develop their own believable, flawed, unique characters, that will propel their next story forward.

Travelling through Time (Years 2-6, tailored to the age group)

Author Charlotte Barkla shares the tools for creating an engaging historical world, based on her experience writing 11 Ruby Road.

Learn how authors balance fact and fiction, and how they craft compelling stories using inspiration from history. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have your own idea for a historical story or time-travel novel, and the tools you need to finish it.

Start Your Story (Years 2-6, tailored to the age group)

Learn how to plot a story in this interactive workshop with author Charlotte Barkla. Charlotte will guide students through the process she uses to plan her stories, from generating story ideas and developing believable characters, to creating conflict, working with tension, and building satisfying resolutions. Students will have the opportunity to workshop and develop their own ideas, and will be equipped with the skills to take their story-writing to the next level.

Secondary School Writing Workshops: (Workshop-style sessions, for class-sized groups)

Start Your Story (Years 2-6, tailored to the age group)

Learn how to plot a story in this interactive workshop with author Charlotte Barkla. Charlotte will guide students through the process she uses to plan her stories, from generating story ideas and developing believable characters, to creating conflict, working with tension, and building satisfying resolutions. Students will have the opportunity to workshop and develop their own ideas, and will be equipped with the skills to take their story-writing to the next level.

Editing: Less is More (Keen writers, Years 7-12)

In this interactive workshop, Charlotte will guide students in developing a narrative passage, then will demonstrate how to completely demolish (and rebuild) this through effective editing. Students will learn the editing skills to rework and refine their work to create rich, compelling narratives.

How to Plan and Write a Novel (Keen writers, Years 7-12)

Want to write a novel, but not sure where to start?

In this interactive workshop, author Charlotte Barkla will guide you through the process she uses to plan, draft, edit and publish her books. Learn how authors write, research and publish their novels, timelines involved, as well as tips and tricks for building a writing career.

Testimonials

  • Charlotte Barkla’s ability to connect with the students at our Festival was wonderful. Through her storytelling and hands-on experiments, Charlotte ignited the students’ curiosity in both literature and science. Her ability to seamlessly blend these two disciplines created an immersive and educational experience that left a lasting impression.

    Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival - 2023

    Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival - 2023
    Charlotte Barkla
  • Charlotte engaged and inspired our students from Prep to Year 6. Her presentations were lively, fun, and informative. Thank you for sharing your talents, passion and stories with us.

    St. Anthony's CPS, Kedron - August, 2023

    St. Anthony's CPS, Kedron - August, 2023
    Charlotte Barkla
  • This week guest author Charlotte Barkla inspired and nurtured the creative minds of our Year 5 and 6 students and encouraged our budding writers. Through the sharing of her own writing process she ignited a spark in each participant, motivating them to explore their own creativity and dive headfirst into the world of writing. Charlotte helped the students set their scenes, develop their characters, and showed them how to craft an absorbing story. I wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone seeking guidance and inspiration in the world of storytelling.

    The Glennie School - September, 2023

    The Glennie School - September, 2023
    Charlotte Barkla
  • It was a pleasure to have Charlotte speak to our students. Both teachers and children were engaged during the sessions, and excited afterwards to read her books. They also loved the mini science experiment she slipped into the talks. She inspired the students to not only dive into her stories but to think of ways to create their own. Charlotte was very professional and easy to work with, and I would recommend her to any school looking for an inspiring author visit.

    St. Andrew's Anglican College - August, 2023

    St. Andrew's Anglican College - August, 2023
    Charlotte Barkla
  • Last Friday, we welcomed author Charlotte Barkla, to our school to talk to the students about her books and what it means to be an author. It was a wonderful presentation for the children – they were very engaged and Charlotte did a great job of sharing her experiences and knowledge.

    St. Anthony's, Alexandra Hills - August, 2023

    St. Anthony's, Alexandra Hills - August, 2023
    Charlotte Barkla
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Charlotte Barkla