Abie Longstaff

Children's author

Available for:
After dinner speaking

Website: http://www.abielongstaff.com


Coventry Inspiration Book Award for The Mummy Shop

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’m an experienced speaker at schools, lit fests, universities and conferences.

I can provide a range of options from large, interactive readings to small hands-on workshops.

I’m very happy to tailor my visits to suit your needs.


'Abie's talk was thoughtful, fun and informative. All the features that make her books accessible to children - an awareness of their everyday lives - shopping and haircuts etc! - also make them very appealing to our students, whilst they also appreciate the imaginative approach to challenging stereotypes about girls.'
Joy Mower, Senior Lecturer, Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University


‘Abie came to do a session with our year 1 and 2 pupils, and was enthusiastically received. Her presentations are full of energy, with plenty of audience interaction, and the pupils really enjoyed listening to the stories; so much so that they were happy to hear Rapunzel twice in the same week.

Abie also spoke to our sixth form, and I have heard her present to adults as well, so she is very versatile.

I can thoroughly recommend her as a speaker, and her books which are clever fairytale retellings with lots of detail and humour.

Elizabeth Howard, Librarian, St Helen’s School, Northwood



The Fairytale Hairdresser series (Random House. For ages 4-6) is a modern retelling of a fairy tale world where brave heroine Kittie Lacey faces up to wicked witches to save the day. There are lots of well-known characters to spot in the pages, and the books help familiarise children with fairy tales as well as teaching them to identify traditional story-telling themes. Many of the stories contain other examples of writing styles such as a diary or a newspaper spread.

See here for more about The Fairytale Hairdresser.

The Magic Potions Shop series (Random House. For ages 5-8) follows a pixie learning to be a potions master, and making all kinds of mistakes along the way. Although it is funny and filled with exciting characters and adventures, at its heart it is a series about learning, and about the environment. It covers many of the areas of PSHE, including the intra- and inter-personal skills children have to develop towards their work, such as confidence, resilience, team-work and self-reflection as well as ecology and nature issues. The books have a glossary, and fantasy recipes at the back, teaching children about data-collection and analysis within a fun, mythological setting.

See here for more about The Magic Potions Shop.

The Trapdoor Mysteries (Little Brown, ages 7-9). Ten-year-old Tally is a servant girl at Mollett Manor. She sleeps in the scullery sink, and spends her days scrubbing, polishing and ironing (when she's not secretly reading books). Then Tally and her squirrel friend, Squill, find a secret library hidden under the manor - a magical library where the books come to life! When Mollett Manor is burgled, can Tally use the knowledge she finds in the books to catch the criminals? Can they even help her solve the mystery of her missing mother?

See here for more about The Trapdoor Mysteries

In the How to Catch a Witch series (Scholastic, ages 8-10) the main character starts Year 7. She’s desperate to settle in, desperate to feel normal. She’s tried everything to fit in. Her last resort is a witch; if only she could find one. A heart-warming and witty story of friendship and identity, the series deals sensitively with common fears such as making new friends and confidence-building.

See here for more about How to Catch a Witch


I can do cosy classroom storytelling, or big events in the hall with an overhead projector. Children are often daunted by the idea of ‘writing’ as if it’s a very scary complicated thing and they sometimes have a fear of the blank page, so I talk about how ’mistakes’ are an important part of the creative process and I show them how I come up with an idea and develop it into a book. My sessions are interactive and fun, with lots of characters to spot.


Fun joint plotting sessions (which work very well for reluctant writers), story boarding, and talks about fairy tales or world-building (the children love inventing their own fantasy characters or potions and this suits both boys and girls.)

For more detail on my workshops click here


I give talks and presentations to suit all ages; from small children up to adults. Examples include talking to Year 12/13 about modernising the fairy tale world, addressing trainee teachers on using fairy tales to inspire reading and writing, seminars at the FCBG conference, speaking at the National Day Nurseries Conference.

See me on Channel 5 news talking about the importance of fairy tales here

and talking about Fairytale Hairdresser here

Read my light-hearted article about human rights in fairy tales in the Guardian here


My visits are £500 for a day, plus travel; or £350 for half a day, plus travel and VAT.

I live in Hove and am willing to travel widely, including abroad, if expenses are covered.

I write The Fairytale Hairdresser picture book series, as well as The Magic Potions Shop series for 5-7 year olds & older fiction - The Trapdoor Mysteries, and How to Catch a Witch
Superhero Hotel (isbn:1407166905)
Welcome to the Superhero Hotel - a top secret hotel where superheroes come to relax after a hard day saving the world.
The Fairytale Hairdresser (isbn:978-0552561860)
Brave heroine Kittie Lacey owns the salon in fairytale land. She faces up to wicked witches and more, to solve everyone's problems. See who you can spot in the pages!
View in Amazon
The Trapdoor Mysteries (isbn:1510200142)
Secret passages, coded fireplaces and mysteries to solve - for 7-9yos
View in Amazon
How to Catch a Witch (isbn:1407162519)
Charlie is not enjoying Y7. But all she has to do is catch a witch & everything will be ok. Won't it? Series for 8-10yos
View in Amazon
The Magic Potions Shop - The Young Apprentice (isbn:978-1782951896)
Tibben the pixie is desperate to become a Potions Master! But there's a lot to learn along the way. A magical series filled with dragons, mermaids, elves and more
View in Amazon
Society of Authors
Scattered Authors' Society

Other search criteria:

Sci-fi and Fantasy

Book Type:
Fiction for children (any age), Picture books, Fiction 5-9, Educational books

fairy tales, myths, mythology, dragon, cinderella, rapunzel, hair, curriculum, PSHE, ecology, potion, magic, fantasy, imagination, pixie, elf, learning, little mermaid, mermaids, fairies, princess, prince, nature