Hurrah for the Patron of Reading Denyse Kirkby

Congratulations and Hip Hip Hooray for Denyse Kirkby, who has been newly appointed as the Patron of Reading for Beacon View Primary Academy. She is the school's special author and will work closely with them to make reading exciting. Denyse aka Dee Kirkby, writes the Portal series of adventure fantasy stories for ages 7 plus.

"I'm superexcited about becoming a Patron of Reading!"

Denyse with school staff
The Patron of Reading (PoR) role is a new initiative being rolled out across the UK and is designed to raise the profile of reading. Denyse will work with the school's reluctant readers from Y2 up to show them how much fun reading can be, and the opportunities it can give them. 

Denyse says: "I have designed a couple of different types of 'workshops' for this purpose and will also be training up peer reading champions. Off site I will be doing other things with the rest of the pupils and their families such as a regular newsletter, allowing them to suggest 'next steps' in a novel that I will write at some point during my PoR post (3 years), writing a letter to a pupil whenever they do something remarkable and more. In accordance with the PoR role the academy will pay me for my time when I am on site and the off site work I will do for free. I am super excited about becoming a PoR."

Reading is fascinating!
Dee lives in the South of England in a home otherwise filled with males – husband, boys and pets – she writes to escape the testosterone. She was the 2012 Writer in Residence for Portsmouth Libraries and writes using the name D.J. Kirkby and Dee Kirkby. Dee is the author of Without Alice, My Dream of You, My Mini Midwife, Realand and Raffie Island (book 1 & 2 of The Portal Series for children) and Special Deliveries. Dee is a registered midwifery lecturer, teaching midwifery two days per week, and a registered public health practitioner, working two days per week for her local Public Health Department. At the age of 40, she was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger syndrome, in addition to dyslexia and dyspraxia (which definitely explains a lot of things including why she can’t read a tube map). When not otherwise occupied, Dee can be found chatting to people on Twitter and Facebook:  Dee’s website can be found at:

Join me in wishing Denyse good luck with her wonderful job of inspiring children and send her a big Hurrah!

Tania Tay is an ex-advertising copywriter and has been published in Sable LitMag. She is writing MG and YA fiction, and is on the editorial team at Words & Pictures.


  1. What a great idea. I can see quite a few SCBWI members on the author list. Congratulations and thanks for sharing this, Dee.

  2. Congratulations Dee! I hope that you will keep us all updated on how you get on.

    1. Thanks Amanda, I'll be sure to keep you all updated!


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