Gillian McClure

Children's author, Author/Illustrator

Available for:
After dinner speaking


Contact: Contact me on
Tel. 01223 575406

My books have been shortlisted and Commended in the Smarties Award, one was Highly Commended in the Kate Greenaway Medal and one won the US Parent's Guide to Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Books

Adults, 5-7 (Key stage 1), 8-11 (Key stage 2), 5-11 (Key stages 1 and 2), 11-13 (Key stage 3), 14-16 (Key stage 4), 11-16 (Key stages 3 and 4), 6th Form and college


I love inspiring children to be creative. I can do this in a variety of ways- with puppets, live drawing or showing sketches, roughs and original artwork. I can give workshops based on my own books or workshops that fit in with the school's themes and literacy units.

 Nursery -Reception:  I  draw and tell one of my stories that pupils can act out and develop,using puppets.

Year 1-Year 7 :  I give illustration / writing workshops using character and place as the starting point for a story. These are constructive and fun - ideal for a Book Week or an Art Week. My most popular workshops are based on my picture books Selkie and The Little White Sprite, both about magical creatures and another based on my picture book Zoe's Boat which is in graphic format. You can email me for more details. 

I'm prepared to travel to London, the South East and an 80 mile radius of Cambridge.I also have a base in West Sussex and Kent to reduce travel expenses for schools in the South West and South East. 

In a day I can give four sessions lasting one hour plus either an Assembly Q&A or a half hour Nursery/Reception session.

Here is some feedback:

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.

"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."

Gwyneth Williams

St. John’s Prep School 

2015 World Book Day

"I am attaching a few comments written by children."



"I really enjoyed the visit. I hope she will write another book. She has really inspired me to become an author and illustrator".  YYYYY

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)



"Children inspired to see the process of writing a story."

Phil Reid

Cliff Park Infant School, March 2015




"This visit greatly supported the work Y1 &2 are doing in literacy. It helped to develop the children’s knowledge of setting, character and problem."


Judith Lowes,

Harpley Primary School, March 2015




"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. During the question and answer part to the session Gillian was both open and sensitive as she responded to the children's curiosities...All in all a great visit from a memorable children's author."


Arabella Cutler

St. Edmund's Prep 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

“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



“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, Wellingborough.  (March 2014)

Gillian McClure has written/illustrated over 20 picture books including
Dog on Wheels (isbn:9781909991361)
Dubbin, Dog on Wheels, goes for a walk with a smaller dog who wants to take a large bone. This attracts some interest from a not-so-nice dog.
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Mouse in the House (isbn:9780956510860)
Nursery and Reception pupils will enjoy this simple mystery story that explores the senses
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Flood (isbn:9780956510853)
When an ox, a fox and a hen find themselves thrown together in a flood, they realise they must start working as a team if they are going to reach land safely.
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We're Going to Build a Dam (isbn:9780956510846)
Two boys build a dam out of natural materials found on a beach while a dog isn't very helpful. Practical and funny.
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Zoe's Boat (isbn:9780956510822)
Friendship doesn't always run smoothly. With illustrations in a frame format, this picture book gives young children the graphic novel experience and, at the same time, a satisfying read-aloud text.
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The Little White Sprite: story and pictures by Gillian McClure (isbn:9780956510815)
˜This beautiful book captures perfectly a child's sense of a haunted world all around him."
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Selkie: story and pictures by Gillian McClure (isbn:9781909991262)
A boy rescues a seal and discovers she is a selkie - she can change from seal to girl. They become friends.
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The Land of the Dragon King and Other Korean Stories: story and pictures by Gillian McClure (isbn:9781845078058)
An illustrated collection of unusual and funny Korean stories
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Tom Finger: story and pictures by Gillian McClure (isbn:0747555966)
A mysterious cat arrives at Ben and Queenie's door. Is he a witch's cat?
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Bruna: story by Anne Cottringer pictures by Gillian McClure (isbn:0747564957)
Bruna always feels the cold until an exciting friendship helps her warm up.
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Mario's Angels: story by Mary Arrigan pictures by Gillian McClure (isbn:1845074041)
A little boy helps the artist Giotto liven up his fresco
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I have served on the CWIG committee of the Society of Authors and the PLR Advisory Committee. I have been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the Universities of Kent and Essex and an Escalator judge and mentor for New Writing Partnership.

Other search criteria:

Book Type:
Picture books, Fiction 5-9

World Book Day, Book Week, Art Week,skype, disability, Writing workshops,Author Visits, story workshops, illustration workshops, puppet characters, myths and legends, fairy tales, traditional tales, storyboards, drawing, writing, teacher insets, parents,