Contact Jen

To discuss a professional visit to your school or library, please email Jen at jenbanyard@gmail.com .

For Classrooms & Libraries

Jen’s novels, Spider LiesMystery at Riddle Gully,  Riddle Gully Runaway and Riddle Gully Secrets, within a light, humorous framework embrace the complexities for young people finding pathways in the world. They interweave themes such as open-mindedness, compassion, respecting the environment and self-acceptance. Their appeal to readers of a wide range of age and experience (in particular, 7- to 13-year-olds) makes them excellent for classrooms and libraries. Like its Riddle Gully predecessors, in 2016 Riddle Gully Secrets (in abridged form) will be the feature novel throughout Term 3 in The West Australian newspaper’s Education supplement. Mystery is on the 2016 WAYRBA shortlist for 2016, and film rights have been bought for the first two Riddle Gully novels.

All four novels are accompanied by extensive teaching notes, those for Mystery, Runaway and Secrets being Australian curriculum-linked.

[Please scroll down for details on Talks and Workshops.]

What they say…

The feedback from Jen Banyard’s visit was extremely positive. […] The teacher resources online were excellent teaching tools as well. We hope to buy a class set of Mystery at Riddle Gully to be used in our upper school literacy program. Can’t wait for her next publication.

Corinne Johnson, Years 6 & 7 Teacher, Mt Tarcoola Primary School

My students thoroughly enjoyed Spider Lies. They quickly related to the well rounded child-characters and identified with their problems and triumphs. Throughout the book there are interesting scientific concepts that the students had fun developing, drawing from their existing knowledge and new research.

Christine Power, Years 4 & 5 Teacher, Wembley Primary School

I have read Mystery at Riddle Gully because our teacher thought that it would be a great read and it was. I enjoyed it very much. It was full of mystery, action and comedy. I love it.

Callan, Year 6 Student

Riddle Gully Secrets TEACHER’S NOTESRiddle Gully Runaway TEACHER’S NOTESMystery at Riddle Gully TEACHERS’ NOTESSpider Lies TEACHERS’ NOTES

Talks & Workshops

Jen conducts Meet the Author and/or Writing sessions (45 – 60 mins) as well as dedicated writing workshops (90 – 180 mins). She welcomes sessions with students from Year 3 through to Senior levels.

Jen has a PhD in Creative Writing from UWA and loves all aspects of the writing process. In her sessions, she draws on broad experience in junior sports coaching, university tutoring, music and theatre to engage and motivate students. Her sessions are interactive, inspiring and fun, while guiding students towards required educational outcomes. Under her guidance, students play games around the concept that stories are at our fingertips. Using unpolished examples from Jen’s own writing, students look at getting started on a story, the concept of drafts, the importance of persistence, and pathways out of trouble when the going gets sticky. Students leave with new tools in their writing kit and fresh enthusiasm to write and read.

Workshop themes – e.g. firing the imagination, building characters, choosing point of view, creating atmosphere, structuring – may be devised with Jen, who has a PhD in Creative Writing and is conversant with Australian Curriculum requirements.

Visits are at Australian Society of Authors rates.

What they say …

Children very engrossed – good fun! Really worked at children’s level. Highly recommend this. Great way to spend an hour! Good ideas to take back to school. Thanks!

Year 4 Teacher, International School 

Jen’s presentations were great in that they engaged the students. They loved being involved in the games and I can’t believe how many students put their hand up whenever she asked a question! The whole class!

Librarian, Shire of Kalamunda

An excellent time had by students. Jen is an engaging author. The students really enjoyed her interactive activities.

Librarian, Year 8 session, John Willcock College

Jen was able to really engage the visual learners … [The children] will be keen to read and write back at school.

Year 5 Teacher, Floreat Primary

I loved the games. She really turned our imagination tank on. I really enjoyed it. I’ll love to see her again.

Sophie, Year 5 Student

Jen, your books are amazing and yesterday I bought Mystery at Riddle Gully and Spider Lies and at the session I love the games that we played.

Thomas, Year 3 Student

Hey Guys, we just had Jen Banyard come in to RM 13! She was awesome 🙂

Gaby, Gal and Anne, Year 6  Students