And the same words, weaving through each thought and binding them together: It only takes a spark.
“An exploding soda geyser of a book - an adventure story that will make you laugh, make you angry and make you want to do something to fix this crazy, messed up world.”
- Charlie Higson, author of The Enemy and Young Bond series
“A bonkers Willy Wonka nightmare.”
- Ross Montgomery, author of The Midnight Guardians
“A zany adventure that will make you bubble with laughter and fizz with indignation on behalf of our planet.”
- Maria Kuzniar, author of The Ship of Shadows
“I read it all in one gulp!”
- Ross Welford, author of Time Travelling with a Hamster
“Pop! is an explosive and unforgettable adventure with defiant heroes, devious villains, deadly corporate secrets all told with Johnson's brilliant humour. I loved it.”
- Tamsin Winter, author of Being Miss Nobody
“A compulsive, addictive read, with a hugely important message.”
- Stewart Foster, author of The Bubble Boy
“Kick is a brilliant debut. Mitch Johnson writes of ambition, poverty and friendship with great skill and wit. I was cheering on Budi to the final whistle.”
- John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
“A dazzling story of family, fate and football and one game-changing friendship.”
- Peter Bunzl, author of Cogheart
“To grow up with stories like these is the beginning of finding another world, lying at our feet.”
- Khalid Abdalla, star of The Kite Runner
“It's a book that shows you how universal football is, but how the wealth and glamour of the game is definitely not universal. A must read for fans of Mal Peet.”
- Tom Palmer, author of Football Academy
“Fast-paced, funny and involving. Mitch Johnson is a brilliant writer.”
- Anjali Joseph, author of Saraswati Park
“Tackling big, timely issues with a message of hope and the inspirational power of sport, I loved the voice in this impressive début.”
- Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
I am currently offering assembly events (up to 300 students) and creative writing workshops (up to 30 students) for Years 5-7, although I can tailor workshops for older students as well. The standard format for an assembly comprises:
A 45 minute interactive presentation, which includes games, a reading, and a quiz.
A 10-15 minute Q&A.
A book signing.
During my talks, I focus on the humanitarian and environmental aspects of my books, the research that goes into them, and what inspires me to write. I try to make my talks as fun and accessible as possible by including interactive games and challenges that bring my stories to life. At the end of the session, students are free to ask me anything during the Q&A!
I am also offering virtual school visits via Zoom while social distancing guidelines are in place. These sessions usually comprise a short talk followed by an extended Q&A, but can be tweaked to fit your school's requirements.
If you would like more information, or to discuss the possibility of arranging an event, please use the form in the contact section below. To download teaching resources for Kick or Pop!, just click on the corresponding miniature cover.
Photo credit: Marzia Borracci/Hay Festival
Photo credit: Falkirk Council
I have always been captivated by storytelling, whether the stories are told through books, films, songs or video games. Growing up, my favourite children's book was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, but I am also a big fan of Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness, Mal Peet, Katherine Rundell, and Kurt Vonnegut.
My early interest in storytelling eventually led me to study English Literatutre with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, after which I wrote my debut novel, Kick. For me, books are a means of activism as well as entertainment, which is why I tend to write stories of social injustice infused with warmth and humour. I believe books should not just create new worlds, but help us to dream up new ways of looking at the one in which we live.
I now live in Norfolk with my wife and daughters, where I spend most of my time writing, reading or selling books!
I am currently offering manuscript assessments for unpublished writers of children’s fiction. The assessment will look at all aspects of your work and help to identify areas that could be improved, as well as offering feedback on your idea’s place in the market.
As someone who wrote for years and received countless rejections before securing a publishing deal, I know how difficult it can be to break through. I also know how difficult it can be to judge the merit of what you’ve written. Having an external reader is a great way of gaining some perspective on your work and targeting the key issues in a manuscript, and I love the idea of using what I know to help someone on their way to publication.
The fee for a full manuscript assessment (up to 60,000 words) is £500. For every 1,000 words above that limit, an additional £5 will be charged. I aim to supply a report within a month of receiving your manuscript. Reports vary in length depending on the manuscript, but you can expect a report of around 3,000 words. You will also be able to send a follow-up email with any questions you might have.
Things to consider:
This assessment is not a line edit. Rather, I will give feedback on the overall manuscript.
Please do not submit an incomplete manuscript, and make sure you’ve read through your novel at least once.
Your manuscript should be formatted correctly (i.e. a double-spaced Word document in a sane 12-pt font.)
My area of expertise is middle grade fiction, but I am happy to offer feedback on books for younger/older readers as well.
My report will be a critical opinion of your novel. I am not a mean person, and I understand how precious a writer’s work is, but the purpose of an assessment is to identify what’s not working, as well as what is.
If you are interested in securing an assessment please use the contact form below. Please include the length of your manuscript and a three-line summary of your work in the initial enquiry. If I have availability and like your idea, I will request a full synopsis and a sample of your work. If I think I could help, I will request the full manuscript. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t request the full manuscript after reading your synopsis – it’s important that I’m enthusiastic about your idea before taking it on.
I look forward to reading your novel soon!
If you're just setting out on your storytelling adventure, click this link to enrol on my 'Writing Characters for Middle-Grade Fiction' course:
For rights enquiries please contact Felicity Trew at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency
For publicity enquiries relating to Pop! or Spark please contact: Lucy.Clayton@hachettechildrens.co.uk
For all other enquiries, including to arrange an event, please use the form below. I would love to hear from you!