Award-winning poet joins Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

Joseph Coelho, award-winning performance poet and writer, will visit West Lothian, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire primary schools as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. From 13 – 17 May, Joseph will visit over 1,500 pupils from nine schools including Peel Primary School, Braidbar Primary School and Kilbarchan Primary School.

The Children’s Book Tour is supported by Scottish Friendly and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tours visit both primary and secondary schools, and have enthralled more than 100,000 children with visits from over 100 individual authors since they began in 1998.

Born and raised in London, it never occurred to Joseph growing up, that one day he would become a writer. But no matter where his career took him, he was always writing in the background. After discovering a performance poetry course at Battersea Arts Centre, Joseph began to write poems and share them on stage before being asked to take his work into schools. 

In 2015, Joseph won the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA) for his poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules. Joseph’s poetry explores areas from family life and childhood experiences to loneliness and bullying, using his work to prove that poetry is not “boring”. Luna Loves Library Day, illustrated by Fiona Lumbers, was chosen as one of the Top 25 Books to Share for World Book Day. It was also longlisted for the 2019 UKLA Book Awards and nominated for the Kate Greenway Medal.

During the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, Joseph will work with both lower and upper primary school classes, focusing on Overheard in a Tower Block, poems which explore how he grew up. He will also discuss Luna Loves Library Day and his latest picture book, If All the World Were (illustrated by Allison Colpoys), which deals with the loss of a family member.

Joseph will perform dramatic readings of his work, along with crafting sessions and opportunities for the pupils to create poems drawing on poetic devices. He will also discuss where his inspiration comes from, as well as inspiring the students to create poems through call and response activities.

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour will also hold a special Bookbug Week event with the poet on Wednesday, 15 May. Hosted by the Hidden Gardens in Glasgow, Joseph will read picnic-related poetry to parents and their children. Scottish Friendly will also gift free books to those attending the Bookbug session.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“It’s a pleasure to host Joseph Coelho on the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour for the very first time. As a performance poet, Joseph is skilled at captivating his audience, and he is sure to inspire young people with the power of spoken word.”


Joseph Coelho said:

“I am delighted to be touring Scotland and I am hugely excited to see what fantastic poetic ideas will be formed as we explore poetry, different worlds, thoughts and feelings. I'm always left awed by the imaginations demonstrated in schools by both pupils and teachers and can't wait to discover what poetic delights Scotland has in store for me.”


Touring Dates

Monday 13 May

09:30 AM – Eastertoun Primary School, West Lothian

13:30 PM – Peel Primary School, West Lothian


Tuesday 14 May

09:30 AM – Eaglesham Primary School, East Renfrewshire

13:30 PM – St Thomas’ Primary School, East Renfrewshire


Wednesday 15 May

13:30 PM – Braidbar Primary School, East Renfrewshire


Thursday 16 May

09:30 AM – Lochwinnoch Primary School, Renfrewshire

13:30 PM – Brediland Primary School, Renfrewshire


Friday 17 May

09:30 AM – Williamsburgh Primary School, Renfrewshire

13:30 PM – Kilbarchan Primary School, Renfrewshire



Notes to Editors

For all press queries, please contact PR and Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie: or call 0131 524 0160.


About Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s largest mutual life offices. At Scottish Friendly we believe saving and investing should be for everyone, which is why we offer a range of affordable investment and savings products to help individuals and their families achieve their financial goals.

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 20 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.


Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:


  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.


In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.     @scottishbktrust