I’m so excited to finally be able to share details of my next middle-grade novel, My Family and Other Romans, released 8th June by Chicken House Books.
Just look at the gorgeous cover by Flavia Sorrentino! Flavia also did the cover for my debut novel, Princess BMX, and I was so happy when I heard she was up for working on this one too – especially given she’s a genuine Roman! You can find out more about Flavia here. As for what’s inside the glorious cover jacket, here’s the blurb:
Silvia just wants to fit in. So, being catapulted back to Ancient Rome and finding out her mum is a war goddess is not part of the plan. As for the rest of the family – her sister is a cyclops, her uncle is building an army, and her role-play obsessed dad is now a lava soldier.
And to top it all, the Romans seem to think she’s some sort of chosen one – the fate of the world resting on her shoulders. Seriously, this is worse than double maths! Can Silvia embrace her differences and sort this mess out?
· A laugh-out-loud family caper full of excitement and heart.
· A time-travel adventure – with a LARPing twist
· Perfect for ages 8 and up
I had such a great time writing this book. I loved immersing myself in the Roman world and had such fun creating the characters. And I’m one hundred percent certain none of you are going to guess the ending!
Book a full-day school visit for the autumn term and receive a 10 percent discount.
As we enter the new school term, I am running a promotion offering a ten percent discount on my usual school visit fee.
Told by a careers advisor that girls like me don’t become writers, my school visits focus on encouraging others to smash stereotypes and defy the limits put on them by adopting a BMX mindset. To get a feel for the energy of my events, check out this photostream of my #BeMoreBMX assembly at St Oswald’s. I can’t promise a BMXer – St Oswald’s were lucky enough to have their very own – but I do promise flying teabags, bouncing eyeballs and lots of empowering fun!
“It was brilliant and I would highly recommend it to all schools. Marie is fabulous!” Tami Wylie, Teacher, Holy Cross Primary School, Oldham
“Marie, Thank you so much for today’s virtual assembly. We LOVED it! The inspirational advice, breathtaking videos, fun quiz…the list goes on. We are all going to try and #BeMoreBMX” Faye Cooper, Teacher, Adlingnton Primary School!
“Completely bonkers but a consummate professional, not a bad mix in my book.” Kaye Tew Director of the Manchester Children’s Book
BOOKING & FEES
Please visit my events page for the latest information on fees. My school visits are competitively priced and I often run promotions offering a discount to schools within an hour from my home in Manchester.
I’ve updated my website to ensure you can now find everything you need to know about booking a school visit – including fees and content – in one place.
Told by a careers advisor that girls like me don’t become writers, my school visits focus on encouraging others to smash stereotypes and defy the limits put on them by adopting a BMX mindset. An Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Met University, Outreach Tutor for The Portico Library and Writer in Residence at Writing on the Wall, I have extensive experience of delivering both virtual and in-person events to children and adults.
With two years to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships take place in Glasgow and across Scotland, I’m super excited to help mark the countdown, alongside two-time Olympic gold-medallist and Track Cycling World Champion Katie Archibald, with a free event hosted by Glasgow Life’s Aye Write and Wee Write book festivals.
My event, pitched at children 7+ will be available to watch from 10am on Monday 6 September until 10am on Monday 18 October 2021. You’ll find full details here but I’ve also pasted the blurb below!
As part of the celebrations over 2000 copies of Princess BMX will be given away for free and distributed throughout Glasgow Life’s libraries across the city. Books can be picked up from Monday 6 September from any open library.
But if you don’t live in Glasgow there’s good news for you too as Princess BMX will be back in stores very soon and I’ll be offering some free virtual Q and A sessions to schools along with the opportunity for children to buy signed books. More details soon!
#BeMoreBMX with Marie Basting
Join Marie Basting, author of Princess BMX, in her quest to find the extreme sporting hero within all of us.
With their resilience and team spirit, there is so much we can learn from BMXers. Marie talks about her own childhood and the limits others tried to put on her. She will talk about how she came to write a book about a BMXing princess and why adopting an extreme sporting mindset is the key to achieving your ambitions.
Also get a chance to create your very own upside-down fairy-tale adventure, and lots of laughs, learn all about this world of bikes and radical adventures while discovering why you too need to #BeMoreBMX!!
Sadly, due to Covid19, I am not currently offering live events, but I’ve come up with some great ways for us to connect online. All virtual visits include a free online book signing.
VIRTUAL VISITS MENU
Skype /Zoom Chat
£50 for 30 minute session
Choose to watch an introductory video with a reading from Princess BMX in advance of the session or a reading can be incorporated. A range of Princess BMX resources are available to schools who wish to follow up the chat with Princess BMX inspired creative writing or BMX themed activities.
Ideally this would be a class discussion though happy to chat if the school wants a bigger group.
#BeMoreBMXassembly style presentation with reading and Q and A
Themes of resilience, defying stereotypes and developing a positive extreme sporting attitude. Includes a look at my writing journey and of course some extreme sporting video clips!
£75 for 30-45 minute session
A range of Princess BMX resources are available to schools who wish to follow up with some writing or BMX themed activities.
While no limit on numbers, given the event is streamed via your preferred platform, schools will need to be mindful of logistics and the specific needs of pupils.
Princess BMX Character Mash – develop your own fairy tale character and send them off on an exciting adventure! Through the Portal – travel through the portal and build your own fantasy world.
£75 for 30-45 minute session
Shorter workshop includes Q and A and more time to share the children’s work. Follow up activities will be provided so that the children can turn the activity into a short story.
Loved by BookTrust and recommended by the Gender Collective, Princess BMX is not only fun but offers a range of educational opportunities – see the Reading Guide for further information. Couple this with my extensive experience of school visits, delivering writing workshops and participating in other book related activities and you are assured a quality event that will engage and inspire your pupils.
An adaptable and professional learning practitioner, with an MA in Creative Writing, I have been commissioned to develop a wide range of schools outreach and enrichment work for organisations including Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), the Portico Library, Writing on the Wall, Connell Sixth Form College and Marsden Library. So you can be assured, your event is in safe hands.
Marie is such an outstanding writer and practitioner who is passionate about sharing her creativity with pupils of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, including those who have EAL and SEN. Feedback from teachers and pupils has been overwhelmingly positive and is a testimony to Marie’s ability to engage and inspire the next generation of creative writers. Claudia Conerney, Schools Liaison Coordinator, MMU.
I’m super excited to be taking bookings for my new My Family And Other Romans school and festival events – perfect for anyone teaching the Romans or looking to improve reading and writing for pleasure.
I’ve pasted a little taster of the assembly event below but you’ll find full details on my events page or download this handy PDF.
How do you take history and myth and mix it up with live action role play (LARP) to create a hilarious timeslip adventure? Marie Basting will reveal all: • See exclusive photos of Marie’s bad haircuts as you learn about her writing journey; • Explore Hadrian’s wall and find out where you can visit Marie’s favourite Roman toilet, • Test your knowledge of bizarre and disgusting Roman facts; • Discover your inner LARP warrior as you join battle of the war cries; • And find out just how easy creative writing can be when you defy the limits others put on you, fire your imagination and mix things up! (Includes creative writing and drawing challenge.)
My Family and Other Romans is out 8th June with Chicken House books with these events running from there on in!
I had an amazing time at the SCBWI Conference in Manchester last weekend. As well as being part of the team that brought the conference to the North, I also delivered my new voice workshop – What Captain America Taught Me About Voice – writing with superhero pow!
As the writers out there will know, voice is a tricky concept to nail down and I have to admit I was a bit nervous speaking on this subject to an audience that included published authors who have been writing professionally for far longer than me.
Thankfully the hours – well OK more like weeks – I spent researching and preparing the session paid off and I have received some brilliant feedback. I’d love to now take the workshop out to other audiences, so if you are involved in commissioning events for writing conferences, festivals or other writing orgnisations and are interested in a fun practical session that demystifies voice please do get in touch via the contact page.
The content can also be adapted for older secondary school year groups, sixth form and universities. You’ll find more details of my experience working with these age groups here. Drop me a line to discuss!
The Session BlurbMarie Basting learnt everything she knows about voice from Captain America. OK, that’s a lie but using words to dramatic effect is kind of the point of this workshop. We’ll start by briefly exploring what constitutes voice and how our language and structural choices influence tone and style. Having established the building blocks, we’ll dive into some practical exercises and yes there will be a chance to meet the Marvel Avengers as we explore how voice works at both a narrative and character level. If superheroes aren’t really your bag, that’s OK because Marie has a range of other tricks up the sleeve of her leotard as she shares her own writing process, leaving you with some top tips to ensure your writing voice has superhero POW!
Your voice session was awesome, Marie! I really enjoyed the references and feel like you made “voice” more understandable and accessible. Colleen Cailin Jones, Regional Advisor SCBWI Ireland
A clever session on voice which made me really think about what it is and how to apply it fully within a manuscript. The exercises were helpful and enjoyable, and Marie is a natural presenter who put everyone at their ease. Sue Wallman, author of Young Adult thrillers
Your session on voice was engaging, funny and thought-provoking. I have useful exercises to work through for all my new characters. Thanks for contributing to an amazing weekend! @tabbykatstudio
For the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Manchester’s hidden gem The Portico Library as a workshop facilitator for their annual Sadie Massey Awards. This free to enter writing and book review competition is open to all schools and young people aged 7 – 18 and is a fantastic opportunity to encourage reading and writing for pleasure. There’s even a special arm of the Portico’s outreach programme dedicated to supporting pupil referral units and schools and departments with special educational needs to enter.
You can also book a specially designed creative writing workshop with one of the Portico’s author educators. I love delivering my fun fairy tale and folklore mashup, where inspired by fairy tales and legends from the Portico collection, children create their own magical characters and write the opening to a fun fantastical story set in the North. I also leave schools with plotting and editing resources which will help them complete their stories ready to enter the Portico Sadie Massey Awards.
You don’t need to book a workshop to enter the competiton though – just an interest in writing and reading. I really hope you decide to enter. Good luck!
Year 3/4 have had a very exciting week! On Friday 11th March, they had a virtual visit from Marie Basting, author of Princess BMX. They had the opportunity to ask Marie many questions.
Marie was very lovely and discussed her writing (including her new book which would be great for an upcoming Year 3/4 topic!) and shared her inspiration for Princess BMX. She was also asked about whether she likes sausage dogs!
Year 3/4 can’t wait to read more of Princess BMX especially because they know how great it is for boys and girls. We can’t wait to go on an adventure with Avariella!