Penguin launches partnership with Speakers for Schools to livestream authors direct to students nationwide, and new resources hub for teachers

A collage of images from some of the previous Penguin Talks events

Penguin has launched a new partnership with charity Speakers for Schools to deliver a series of Virtual Penguin Talks, with authors streamed live to thousands of students at school and at home across the UK and Ireland.

In these unusual and challenging circumstances, the Talks will address the most pressing and prominent issues facing 14- to 18-year-olds as a result of COVID-19, including how to manage your mental health and anxiety and how to prepare for a challenging future jobs market. Anyone can tune into the events, which will be live streamed on the Penguin Platform Youtube Channel, and all students watching will receive a free copy of the author’s audiobook.

Penguin Talks launched in 2018, taking authors from across the Penguin Random House family of authors into secondary schools to talk to young people about issues they care about – from the future of the world of work, to what it means to be successful – with authors including Michelle Obama, Stormzy, Scarlett Curtis, Margaret Atwood and Yuval Noah Harari. 

We have also created a new Penguin Talks teaching resource hub for secondary school teachers. It includes a range of free teaching resources based on previous Talks events, which are linked to the PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) curriculum.

Our Virtual Penguin Talks join Speakers for Schools’ schedule of daily Virtual Talks for 11 to 18-year-old students. The Virtual Penguin Talks series kicks off with How to boss your mood with Chloe Brotheridge, author of The Anxiety Solution, and Sara Milne Rowe, author of The SHED Method on Thursday 30 April at 10:00am.

Virtual Penguin Talks

Chloe Brotheridge & Sara Milne Rowe

How to boss your mood

Chloe Brotheridge, author of The Anxiety Solution, joins Sara Milne Rowe, author of The SHED Method, in sharing their expertise and practical tips for managing anxiety and taking control of your mood during these unusual times. 

Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis

How to prepare for the squiggly world of work

Authors of The Squiggly Career, Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, share practical tools, exercises and actions to help you grow in confidence, stay curious and ultimately prepare for, and enjoy, the squiggly world of work. 

Malcolm Gladwell & Emma Dabiri

How to talk to strangers

Malcolm Gladwell, author of five international bestsellers including Talking to Strangers, joins academic and author of Don’t Touch My Hair, Emma Dabiri, to discuss the consequences of mis-communication, how to interview others and the art of storytelling.  

Elif Shafak & Afua Hirsch who will be discussing how to challenge inequality

How to challenge inequality

Award-winning British-Turkish novelist, Elif Shafak, joins writer, journalist and broadcaster, Afua Hirsch, to discuss the widening inequalities across the world how we can challenge them. 

Maya Jama and Dom&Ink who will be discussing how to build confidence

How to build confidence

British television and radio presenter Maya Jama joins freelance illustrator and author of Free to Be Me, DOM&INK, to discuss what confidence means to them and the barriers they've faced in developing confidence. 

Mohsin Zaidi and Jessica Kellgreen-Fozard, who discuss their intersectionality and how we can embrace our identity

How to embrace your intersectionality

Criminal barrister and author of A Dutiful Boy, Mohsin Zaidi, joins Youtuber and disability & LGBTQ activist, Jessica Kellgreen-Fozard, to discuss their intersectionality and how we can embrace our identity. 

Big Narstie & Ciaran Thapar who will be discussing how to believe in yourself

How to believe in yourself

British MC, rapper, TV presenter and author of How to Be Narstie, Big Narstie, joins youth worker and freelance writer, Ciaran Thapar, to discuss the importance of living your own life and believing in yourself. 

Marlon James & Ekow Eshun who will be discussing how to be creative

How to be creative

Multi-award winning author, Marlon James, joins British writer, journalist, broadcaster and curator, Ekow Eshun, to discuss what creativity means to them and we can be more creative in our lives.

How to get into publishing graphic with drawn illustrations

How to get into publishing

Penguin employees Simon Armstrong and Hannah Chukwu share how the industry works, how books are made and how to get into publishing.

Watch previous Penguin Talks online

Russell Brand & Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari and Russell Brand on the future of work

In the inaugural Penguin Talk, in September 2018, Professor Yuval Noah Harari joined comedian Russell Brand to discuss the changes and decisions which will impact young people in the not-so-distant future.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama on the power of education and self-belief

In December 2018 and to mark the publication of her memoir, BecomingMichelle Obama paid a special visit to students in Islington, London, to about empowerment through education and the importance of self-belief.

Saoirse Ronan & Scarlett Curtis

Scarlett Curtis and Saoirse Ronan on what feminism means today

In May 2019, Scarlett Curtis, author of Feminists Don't Wear Pink, and actress Saoirse Ronan visited a Dublin school to discuss what being a feminist means and the power that young people have in the fight for gender equality.

Ash Sarkar & Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood and Ash Sarkar on activism and resistance

Fresh from her joint Booker win, in October 2019, Margaret Atwood and Ash Sarkar visited a college in Salford to discuss resistance, activism, and the literary legacy of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments.


Stormzy and #Merky Books authors on finding your voice and using it

Fresh from her joint Booker win, in October 2019, Margaret Atwood and Ash Sarkar visited a college in Salford to discuss resistance, activism, and the literary legacy of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments.

Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo and Cash Carraway on being successful

In February 2020, Marie Forleo, entrepreneur and author of Everything is Figureoutable, and Cash Carraway, author of Skint Estate, visited a school in Oval, London to talk about success and failure, while trying to answer the question: can anyone be successful?

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