Step inside your story: free online CPD with the British Library

, 16:00 - 17:00 FREE
This is a drawing of children on a stage performing like in a circus. There is a ballerina, a trapeze artist, a Sonic character, a child dressed as a rabbit etc...
Book now

Can you think of a time you recognised yourself in a book?

Whether they look like you, sound like you or reflect some of your own experiences, seeing a character that you identify with can have a profound impact on your self-confidence and your relationship with books.

The 2021 Reflecting Realities report from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education emphasises the importance of representation in fostering children’s reading skills, as well as their self-image and their empathy.

In this event, we will explore different approaches to creating an inclusive reading environment and will provide accessible, ready-to-teach activities from children’s authors and inclusion experts.

You’ll hear about the impact of our Step inside your story campaign, and discover how to take part.

Event host: Joanna Brown, children's author and researcher

Joanna Brown is a PhD researcher in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, and an Eccles Centre Fellow at the British Library. Previously a primary school teacher, she facilitates writing workshops and develops teaching resources with a focus on the Black British past. Passionate about the power of storytelling to shine a light on hidden histories, she writes for children as J.T. Williams and is author of The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger (Farshore Books).

Featured guests

Joseph Coelho, Waterstones Children’s Laureate

Joseph Coelhois an award-winning poet, playwright and children’s author. Earlier this year, he was named the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate (2022-24). His work includes My Beautiful Voice, Zombierella: Fairytales Gone Bad and the poetry anthology Poems Aloud. 

Joanna Sholem, Ambassador for Inclusive Minds

As well as being an ambassador for children’s literature collective Inclusive Minds, Joanna Sholem is an advocate for disability representation in books and has been a Reading Helper for Coram Beanstalk. Inclusive Minds offers training and consultancy to promote inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children's literature, and they are committed to changing the face of children's books.

Karen Stringer, Deputy Head and Year 4 Teacher, St George’s C of E Primary School, Barrow-in-Furness

For more ideas and activities relating to representation in children's books, visit our Discovering Children's Books website and take part in our Step inside your story campaign.

To hear the latest about all our free events and resources for schools, join our mailing list here.

Image © See What I Can Do! by Jon Roberts, illustrations Hannah Rounding. Published by Graffeg 2021, all rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by your national copyright laws, this material may not be copied or distributed further.


The British Library will use your personal data in an anonymous format to improve the services we offer and ensure we are reaching a diverse range of customers to perform the tasks which we carry out in the public interest, and to provide the details you need to access this online event. If you opt in to receive marketing from us, we will use your contact information for this purpose. For information about how the Library will use your personal data, you can view our Privacy Policy at


Age group: Primary
When: , 16:00 - 17:00
Price: Admission: Free entry
Where: Online
Book now