Tomser Cat Books

home of brilliant children's books


see what others are saying about our Storytelling Workshops


"What an interesting and thoughtful session.  Not only did the children learn a thing or two about writing, it also made us reflect on our practice as professionals and our planning of the writing process.  Every teacher I spoke to was really positive about the session and the children were enthusiastic about writing and desperate to learn about what happened to Polly!  Sometimes we need to take a step back from the process and take time to learn again about the joy of stories and creative thinking, that's exactly what you did for us today."

Louise Jones, Literacy Coordinator, Derwendeg Primary School, Hengoed

“Just want to say a huge thanks for today. I went into the staff room afterwards and there was an overwhelming 'He was Fab, the kids loved him!' You were a big hit with the children and adults. Honestly, as the Literacy Coordinator, I couldn't ask for anything better!"

Rhian Morgan, Literacy Coordinator, Pontyclun Primary School, Pontyclun

"You are a great storyteller! You captured the children's attention and imaginations so well. You shared your genuine passion and enthusiasm with honesty. The children and teachers loved it. We wish you all the best! Keep telling and writing stories."

Miss Little, Mrs Kaur & Miss Jones, Kitchener Primary School, Cardiff

"An encouraging and inspirational workshop filled with humour and personality. The perfect way to start a school morning!"

St Illtyd's RC Primary, Merthyr Tydfil

“Mark's style of delivery was excellent and fully engaged all the pupils. His explanation of the writing process dove-tailed nicely with the messages given to the pupils in English lessons. This session would most definitely encourage the pupils to write!"

Timothy Crosse, Head Teacher, 

St Helen's RC Primary School, Caerphilly

“The children from Foundation phase really enjoyed listening to the stories read by Mark It was great for them to see and hear an author talk about his journey and share his work. They enjoyed the active participation and were able to relate to the experiences of the characters and to some of the places in the story. A wonderful way to further help the children to foster a love of books and reading!"

Andrea Helyar, Foundation Phase, 

St Helen's RC Primary School, Caerphilly

"Children were very engaged and motivated. Particularly interested in the process of how a book is made." 

Mark Walker, Albany Road Primary School, Cardiff

“What a fantastic morning we had. Mark was so interactive with the children, they were so engaged and enthusiastic. Both stories were great and the illustrations matched perfectly. Thank you for coming to our school!

Lisa Hearn, Deputy Head, 

Bryntirion Infant School, Bridgend

"Your storytelling was very engaging and had the children hooked from the beginning. Really interesting for children to hear about your edit process - we are really pushing them with this at the moment!"

Jane Marker, Year 6 

Roath Park Primary School, Cardiff

"The children thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and were all engaged and enjoyed joining in parts of the story! When back in class even the Nursery could tell me about the Can We Walk to the Moon? and How High Do Trees Grow? stories, and they remembered it well as the workshop was interactive." 

Aimee-Lee Allen, Parc Lewis Primary School (Infants), Pontypridd

“Thank you Mark for an exciting, funny and inspiring storytelling session.The children loved the different voices you used and were impressed by the illustrtions. The children were keen to participate in the session and they can't wait to hear more about Tyler, Rhydian the Dragon and the Un-Snowy Mountain!"

Samantha Evans, St Michaels RC Primary School, Pontypridd

"Our classes were totally enthralled by the whole session, but particularly the storytelling. Many pupils commented on the variety of voices that Mark used! Lots of pupils have said that they would like to write stories and be authors one day, following the session. Many thanks."

Mrs Protheroe, Year 3, 

Windsor Clive School, Cardiff

“Mark was engaging and used lots of expression. It was fascinating to meet a real life author and be able to ask questions, as well as seeing 'real' illustrations and then how they look in print!"

Beth Williams (with the help of Dosbarth Caernarfon), St James' Primary School, Caerphilly

"The children loved the story-telling. We all love the way you encouraged them to write many drafts - they've heard that from 3 authors now - and they are really fired up about 500 Words. I am going to start a club for just that."

Carol Fry

Lansdowne Primary School, Cardiff

"Thank you for your fun filled visit today. The children loved the story of 'Can We Walk to the Moon?' as the story captured their wild imaginations. We can't wait to continue working on their own ideas for stories and for you to return to hear them!  Thank you again!" 

Laura Dodd

Coed y Lan School, Pontypridd

“The children were really engaged and found Mark funny and interesting. The children were really interested in the story and were captivated by Mark's voices and movements. They really enjoyed the workshop and were talking about it all day! Thank you!”

Jennie Horner, Year 3, 

Kitchener Primary School, Cardiff

"Enjoyed! Enthusiastic, jokes brought drafting to life; storytelling great, funny, spoke to children not adults. Mark shared his ideas and was very inspiring. I have included some of the comments from our pupils who attended your class."

Class 9, Didsbury Road Primary School, Stockport

"Really useful for pupils to see the writing process, and the examples of drafted work to show how things can be improved was great. The workshop is a good mix of storytelling and writing processes."

Daniel Davies, Deputy Head,

Nantymoel Primary School

"The children thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and listened enthusiastically as they were made aware of the mechanics of writing & illustrating. 

The children are now 'wannabe' writers. Great characterisation & storytelling skills too!! Can't wait to read the book with the children!!"

P T Chaffe, Year 5/6 teacher

Pontygwaith Primary School

"A great workshop presentation which engaged all the children (and staff :-) ). We were inspired to use Mark's storytelling tips and looking forward to his book signing and reading the adventures of Polly and her Magic Bubbles - Thank you!"

Mair Shepherd, Year 3,

Dowlais Primary School

"My children had a 'Meet the Author' session at school with Mark today. Both of them came back very excited about the stories they had heard and wanted to immediately write their own. My son said "Mark has inspired me to write my own stories." I was very impressed with how much they had both taken in from the sessions, not just about the stories but about becoming an author. A very worthwhile visit from a wonderful new children's author."

Parent, Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff


"We would like to say a big thank you to Mark Dorey for his inspirational and thought provoking workshop and the craft of creative writing and storytelling. Myself and Cardiff High's reading champions thoroughly enjoyed learning about the process of writing, drafting and designing a novel. We feel so privileged to have heard a storytelling exert from the novel The Extraordinary Happenings of Peter Oddfellow, and can't wait to finish reading the novel for ourselves.”

Laura Lleision-Jones

Acting Second in English, 

Cardiff High School 

"Mark presented to a packed hall of Year 7 pupils who remained thoroughly engaged throughout the session. Pupils particularly enjoyed the glimpse into the world of book publishing and the journey a book undergoes from conception to final release. Mark’s delivery was excellent and the audience loved the storytelling element, immediately becoming hooked into the world of Peter Oddfellow."

Simon Hoey, Treorchy High  School


"Thank you so very much for today! I genuinely think it will have rekindled a love of reading in some and given others real food for thought. I am certain you inspired several to enter the 500 word story competition. How you held the attention of nearly 300 11-13 year olds for two sessions was amazing! The book looks amazing and I look forward to borrowing it from the school Library! I particularly like the message about patience when writing and the process of drafting. We’d love to get you back in to perhaps do a workshop some time. I will certainly be recommending you!"

Emma Reed, Acting Deputy Head & Literacy Coordinator, 

St Albans RC High School, Pontypool

"Thank you for coming in. I thought the presentation was great for our students. They obtained a real insight in to the publishing business as a whole. It was particularly interesting to listening to how you worked with an artist to get the image of the cover exactly as you’d imagined it. Students were intrigued by your story telling and were eager to find out more about the characters. They couldn’t wait for you to come back and sign copies of the book."

Orla Harries, English Teacher,

Cardinal Newman Catholic Comprehensive School

"I really enjoyed the presentation, in particular I liked the process of designing the cover, the redrafting, and rewriting, etc. This is important to the students. You hooked them with the introduction of familiar movies coming from books, and stories having an extra depth. The presentation of the books was retold with drama and imagination. There definitely was an audience that was keen and captivated by the story."

Gavin Jones, Year 7, 

Hawthorn High  School

"An engaging  presentation that interested students through storytelling and the mechanics of writing. I hope this has an impact on our reluctant readers."

James Cobb, Year 8, 

Hawthorn High School


"Our young writers were inspired by a visit from published young adult fiction writer Mark Dorey. Mark’s talk was entertaining, informative and well planned. Mark talked our year 8 and 9 students through the whole process of fiction writing from a small idea to the publication of his first book. The students were reminded that drafting is an important aspect of narrative writing and the students understood how important it is to revisit work in order to improve it. Mark’s engaging session complemented the practical narrative writing workshops that were run by the English department and his experiences as a writer undoubtedly led to more creative and improved written outcomes from our students."

Clare Jones, Year 8, 

Croesyceiliog High School

"A valuable session for aspiring writers. Thank you for inspiring us all."

Mrs Kent, Year 7, 

Croesyceiliog High School

"Mark’s presentation to my Year 5 class was a delight.  During the session, he took the children through the process of writing a book from the initial ideas to the final published volume.  They were enthralled by the many drafting stages and thoroughly enjoyed seeing his first manuscript complete with doodles and scribbles.  The children were keen to participate in spotting the alterations on pages of different drafts and this has inspired them to see redrafting as an on-going process in their own work.  Seeing the original full-size illustrations for the book was a real treat and they were fascinated to find that the character illustrations also go through a drafting process.  The children are now looking forward to Mark’s return visit to see their story ideas and sign copies of his book."

Davina Wilkshire, 

Maes y Coed School, Pontypridd

“Mark’s creative writing classes gave the children a valuable insight into what it means to be a writer. From developing initial inspiration ideas, to drafting, illustration and final book cover design, the children were inspired to write their own storyboards. I am more than happy to recommend booking Mark for a visit to your school.”

Mr R Carbis, Head Teacher, 

Ysgol Evan James, Pontypridd

"A wonderful experience to inspire and engage young children's experiences of stories and writing - Book a visit!!! If you want children to enjoy books ... listen to Mark Dorey. You can't beat a good storyteller to capture and expand their imagination ... and beyond!!"

Alun Jones

Cefn Primary School, Glyncoch

“The children were enthralled with Mark's storytelling session and enjoyed listening to his life story as a writer. We look forward to welcoming him again to our school in the near future."

Carrie Fisher, Llansannor & Llanharry Church in Wales Primary School

"Mark gave a fantastic presentation (and performance). I can tell he is really passionate about writing and I'm sure he's inspired the children; as he has me!"

Sophie Hunter Year 6, 

Cefn Primary School, Glyncoch

"Thanks Mark from all the staff and children at Cefn Primary School for making World Book Day 2014 such a success. Year 1 & 2 thoroughly enjoyed their story telling session of 'Can We Walk to the Moon?'. They loved the wonderful adventure story of Tom and his Dad, and the amazing artwork that you showed them. Years 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 had a real insight into the stages of drafting a book and were able to see all the decisions and changes that happen along the way to the writing and artwork. They were captivated by the storytelling of 'Polly's Magic Bubbles' and inspired to work on their own storyboards. We are all looking forward to your return visit. Thanks again for a brilliant day!"

Carol Hoey

Cefn Primary School, Glyncoch

"The children of Christ the King were inspired by Mark visiting our school. It was a wonderful experience which I would thoroughly recommend to any other school. The pupils really enjoyed the storytime session and their follow up work, creating storyboards were wonderful. Since Mark's visit, Christ the King has been full of young enthusiastic authors!" 

Helen Keegan, Dosbarth 2, 

Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff

"Thank you Mark for an invaluable insight into being a real author. As a teacher, I was already planning what to do next with the children. The different ideas for inspiring young writers was most useful. So much so, it will now be my next working wall for display. I and the children loved the 'Spot the Difference'. It was a really useful way of seeing how a basic text could be improved."

Tracey Wild, Didsbury Road Primary School, Stockport

and here's some children's comments too...


"Thank you for inspiring me in writing. Your books are incredible." Ethan, age 8.

"Dear Mr Dorey, I really enjoyed you talking to us about being an author and about Polly's Magic Bubbles. I really appreciated it. P.S. You are a jolly man! :-)" Scarlett, age 8.

"Thank you Mr Dorey for telling me things I never knew, you made me more inspired to write." Nathan.

"Thank you Mr Dorey, I really loved your visit to our school. I liked the story of Polly and the Magic Bubbles, it was amazing! You also inspired me to read Polly books." Amelia, age 8.

"Dear Mark, thank you for your book and also your inspiration. One day hopefully I'll be as successful as you. I appreciate your visit. Also because spookily you made a cartoon character of me." Yours sincerely Madeleine x x.

"To Mr Dorey, thank you for everything and telling lovely stories." Best wishes, Sienna.

"To Mr Dorey, thank you for your inspiring ideas and tips. You've inspired me sooo much, I feel like becoming an author! I really appreciate your hard work!" Evie, age 8.

"Thank you for the assembly, it was inspiring. I appreciate what you said because I'm going to write a book as well." Royeh, age 8.

"Thank you for all the expression reading and funny voice." Samuel, age 8.

"I really enjoyed the assembly. I forgot to bring money to buy the book so I was annoyed because the way you described the book made it sound very interesting." Angus.

"Thank you Mr Dorey for your wonderful visit to our school. I appreciate all your tips. I know your book is going to be incredible when I read it." Izzy, age 8.

"Thank you Mr Dorey for inspiring me to write more and helping me on how to correct my work." Daniel, age 7.

"Thank you for inspiring me. Since then I've thought of a lot of ideas for books. I really appreciate you losing your free time to come and talk about your books & yourself. Thanks! :-)" Katie, age 8.

"I really enjoyed learning about writing books, so thank you because you've really inspired me to write more often and also to become an author. I loved the session with you so please come back soon with more great books."

"Dear Mark Dorey

Thank you so much for coming to our class. We loved your story telling and how you thought up your stories. Our favourite part was when you read the first part of Polly's Magic Bubbles. Our favourite character is Marcia and you do a great voice for her.

We loved your other books: Polly's Magic Bubbles, How High Do Trees Grow? and Can We Walk To The Moon? In our class we always read your books - they are amazing and awesome.

We loved to design the new cover of your new book. We can't wait to read Polly's Magic Bubbles - The Revenge of the Spiders and we hope you can come back to our school to read it to us."

Class 3C, Llwyncrwn Primary School, Beddau

"Thank you Mark Dorey for coming in. We all appreciate it. It is a pleasure to come in to school. I love it when you read Polly's Magic Bubbles."

Cerys, age 10, Cefn Primary School, Glyncoch 

"To Mark, I enjoyed your book reading at school it inspired me in a lot of ways. The most inspiring thing was all of the features they were great and amazing. I really want those in a story I write. You're the best author I've seen and met."

Connor, age 9 and 10 days, Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff

"I really enjoyed it because it was a fun book and I liked it when you were dancing around the silver tree with Tom."

Lara, age 7, Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff