Authors in Schools Programme

Jewish Book Week’s Authors in Schools Programme takes some of our generous festival authors to speak at schools throughout London and beyond. These visits to schools support our aim of education through the arts, and of promoting rigorous and adventurous thought and debate within educational settings. The programme allows young people access to the inspiring experience of listening to and questioning authors, whose books explore, reflect and help to shape the cultural currents of our times.  

Events are held throughout the school year to secondary and sixth-form aged students. Alongside London Jewish schools such as JFS, Yavneh College, Immanuel College and Hasmonean, speakers have presented at Wimbledon High School, More House, Streatham and Clapham High School, Channing School, St Margaret’s, Bushey, St James’s Girls and Boys School, Queen’s Gate School, The Archer Academy and The Urswick School. Besides the core programme, JBW have developed an ongoing programme involving speakers on the Holocaust who visit a number of secular schools, both state and private. 

View the programme’s list of participating authors.


Who organises the Authors in Schools Programme?

The Programme is run by Stephanie Marcus, a trustee of the Jewish Book Council, and Philip Skelker, a retired head teacher.

When and where are Authors in Schools events held?

Events take place throughout the calendar year at dates and times determined by conversations between the School and the author it wishes to invite to talk to its pupils. The most significant breakthrough in the programme’s development was our recognition that both authors and schools have extremely crowded schedules and that consultation between them is the best way to decide the days and times available for an Authors in Schools event.

Authors either speak at the school in person or by way of a virtual platform. The expertise schools have acquired in using virtual platforms has played a major part in raising the number of JBW school events held each year and given greater access to overseas speakers. A “V” by the name of an author on the authors’ list indicates that the author has volunteered to speak at a virtual event.

What is the connection between Jewish Book Week and the Authors in Schools Programme?

JBW introduces authors presenting at the annual Jewish Book Week Festival who will be of particular interest to pupils and teachers, and provides administrative support for the programme.

How much does it cost to hold an Authors in Schools event?

No charge is made to the school. The Authors in Schools Programme leaves it to the schools and authors to decide whether there is a sale of the author’s books. The only payment authors receive is their travel expenses, which are met by Jewish Book Week.

Why do authors accept invitations to speak at schools?

Authors are imaginative, enthusiastic and knowledgeable and recognise that books make a major contribution to individual lives and to the well-being of society. In short, they share the aims which prompted us to launch the Authors in Schools Programme.

What kind of schools are eligible to hold an Authors in Schools event?

All schools, maintained or independent, are eligible. Jewish, Catholic and Anglican schools are amongst those that hold yearly Authors in Schools events, and we cherish the hope that we will be able to increase this diversity.

Which age groups do the events address?

Generally, authors speak to pupils in Years 10 to 13, with an emphasis on the Sixth Form. Some Successful events have been held for pupils in Years 6 and 7.

How does my school organise an Authors in Schools event?

An appropriate member of staff, – perhaps a librarian or a member of a school’s enrichment team, – contacts the organisers of the Authors in Schools Programme and identifies the author they would like to speak to their pupils. We will contact the author and ask them if they are happy for their email address to be given to the member of staff who has made the enquiry. When the member of staff receives an email from us saying that the author would be pleased to talk at the school they should contact the author to find a mutually convenient date and time for the event.

Please do not contact an author before the organisers have consulted them. The Jewish Book Week Festival is a major cultural event and an invitation to speak at it is recognition of an author’s achievement. The prestige of the Festival helps us to recruit authors for our events.

Please contact us if you have any questions.