Inspirational author talks for teenagers you can watch at home

From challenging inequality to building confidence, Penguin Talks offer fresh ways of thinking to enhance home schooling.

An illustration of a desk, with a video on the computer screen
Image: iStock


Penguin Talks is our free series of live events which ordinarily takes authors into secondary schools across the UK and Ireland to talk to young people about issues they care about.

More recently, we’ve been live-streaming authors from their homes to thousands of students, in partnership with the charity Speakers for Schools

If you’re home schooling – or have young people at home who are looking for something inspiring to watch – here are a few Penguin Talks to build on their learning.

How to challenge inequality with Afua Hirsch and Elif Shafak

Broadcaster and Brit(ish) author Afua Hirsch speaks to Elif Shafak, author of books including The Bastard of Istanbul, about the Black Lives Matter protests, the impact of the pandemic on existing inequalities and what we can do to challenge them. This is an invigorating conversation, which happened in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, on activism, race and the importance of questioning narratives.

How to Boss Your Mood

An increasingly crucial reminder at a time when looking after our mental wellbeing has never been more important – or challenging. Experts Sara Milne Rowe, a leading performance coach and author of the SHED Method, and author of The Anxiety Solution, Chloe Brotheridge, offer clear and helpful tips to manage anxiety and take control of your mood – whatever the situation.

How to Build confidence with Maya Jama and DOM&INK

The broadcaster and Radio One DJ discusses confidence and crises of it with the Instagram-fabulous illustrator behind Free to Be Me. This spirited 50-minute-long conversation is frank and funny as the pair discuss what confidence means to them, what challenges they’ve faced in building it and what they’ve learned from existing in the public eye.

How to Prepare for the Squiggly World of Work:

The world of work may seem a long way off to some teenagers, but it’s never too soon to learn about the best ways to manage your time and skills, especially in an increasingly changing world. Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis are the founders of Amazing If, a development company that strives to make work better for everyone. The authors of The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career, Tupper and Ellis are experts in encouraging people to establish the best way to make the careers work for them – whatever stage they are at.

Find out more

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more