Open accessibilty tools

Holly Sterling

Holly lives in Sunderland. She graduated from the University of Sunderland in 2009 with a degree in Illustration and Design and is now a writer and illustrator of children’s picture books. Holly was the UK’s National Women’s Karate Champion, British Universities Karate Champion and a karate instructor. It’s no surprise then that Holly’s latest book is called Karate Kids.

Writing, storymaking or published books

I both write and illustrate picture books. These include:

Ballet Kids (publishing 2021)
Karate Kids
15 Things not to do with a Baby
15 Things not to do with a Granny
15 Things not to do with a Puppy
Pop-out and Play nativity Story
Everybody Feels… Happy
Everybody Feels… Sad
Everybody Feels… Scared
Everybody Feels… Angry
Everybody Feels… Lonely
Everybody Feels… Jealous
Everybody Feels… Shy

Approach to writing

As an author and illustrator, I believe that it is important to be inspired by the world around us, and the people within it. The characters for my books are inspired by real people; sometimes entirely, and sometimes in part. This helps me when I am getting to ‘know’ my characters, at the beginning of a new project. However, it is important to never ‘force’ a character. You might use a variety of inspirations for a starting point, but as a creative, you have to allow projects to develop, organically. If a project moves away from your initial intentions, it is probably for the right reasons. This is how the best-work is created by authors, illustrators and publishers around the world.

Key Stages worked with

Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3

Useful links

Booking and practical information

All writers can be booked through the Education Officer with whom you have booked an object. They will help you sort out dates for a planning meeting and the practicalities of all the sessions with students. Schools taking part in Literacy Loans will need to be happy to use zoom, teams, google classrooms or another equivalent secure online platform.

The standard fee for one class to have three 40 minute sessions with our writers is £200. We may be able to help with the costs for schools with high levels of Pupil Premium funding or seeking to address specific issues with writing.

Holly is often not available on Mondays or Fridays.

Amazing writing

Take a look at these fantastic stories that Year 1 students from St John’s C of E Academy, in Darlington, created with Holly in response to a Literacy Loans object.