Feel free to use this photo
Why listen to me?
I’ve spent more than 20 years studying the subjects I now write and talk about. I know the science, have read the evidence (and discarded plenty as being unreliable) and can make highly intelligent and perceptive connections between neuroscience, psychology, observation and the lived experience of the thousands of teenagers, parents and professionals I’ve engaged with. When I write, I use an engaging, warm voice that works for people of all ages. You’ll never find me patronising or confusing. When I talk, you’ll find the same.
I might be talking to teenagers or to parents, to teaching professionals or pastoral staff, to education or literacy experts, to fostering or adoptive parents, to humans who find life a challenge and those who sail through but just want to understand more. Whoever I’m writing or talking for, I do it because I care and because I understand. And because I want things to be better.
“Nicola Morgan has that rare gift of being able to communicate science and make it fun.” Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge
- MA (Hons) in Classics and Philosophy from Cambridge University 1982
- RSA Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties
- Diploma in Youth Counselling (with a Counselling Certificate)
- Author of over 100 books; many awards including the School Library Association’s Outstanding Contribution to Information Books
- An enquiring mind
Thinking about a Live Online Q&A?
A short intro to resilience – from my Be Resilient launch
Anxiety, Tough Times and Resilience
Well-being – what do I think it is?
I’m interviewed by my niece. A great video to play to students in a tutor group or year group.
Here is an interview for Cambridge University Press – lots of detail about teenage brains etc
My story in very brief
I was born in a boys’ school and taught (often by my parents) in boys’ schools till I was nearly 12. Then I went to a girls’ school, where I was about two years younger than my peers, who were not at all interested in my tree-climbing expertise and weapon-making excellence. I survived. From Cambridge University, I spent a year as a cook before going into English teaching. It was while I was doing a Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties that my interest in the learning brain developed, and I greedily read everything I could about brains, learning and what reading does to us. Eventually, I became an author, which had been my real and secret ambition, and had a successful career writing teenage novels, winning and being shortlisted for many awards and being nominated for the Carnegie. Then, in 2005, Blame My Brain was published, which changed my life. Since then, I’ve focused on continuing to understand and work with teenagers, learning brains, stressed brains, reading brains and online brains. Basically, any brains will do!
I lived in Edinburgh for 28 years but in 2016 I moved to Northamptonshire, near the Rutland border. I do a lot of travelling around the world and have easy access to London. I have a husband, two grown-up daughters and a grandson. I love cooking, reading and gardening. And a few years ago I became a runner, which was not something I ever predicted.
For the personal story of why I chose to focus on teenage wellbeing:
Potted biographies for event organisers:
(Feel free to use the photo at the top of this page)
For adult audiences
Nicola Morgan, often known as The Teenage Brain Woman, is an internationally-acclaimed author and authority on teenage wellbeing, how stress impacts performance, effects of screens, social media and reading for pleasure. She was originally an English teacher whose work with dyslexic students led her to train in Specific Learning Difficulties, which in turn led to her lasting interest and expertise in the learning brain. She was a multi-award-winning teenage novelist before writing the best-selling Blame My Brain, which was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. Following this with the Teenage Guide to Stress, Teenage Guide to Friends, Positively Teenage, Life Online, Body Brilliant, Exam Attack and her most recent, The Awesome Guide to Sleep, as well as her popular teaching materials, underlined Nicola’s expertise. In 2018, she was awarded the SLA’s prestigious award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books. Her next titles are Be Resilient and Ten Ways to Build a Brilliant Brain.
For student audiences
Nicola Morgan is one of our leading writers for teenagers: an award-winning novelist and expert in the teenage brain and mental health, who is invited all over the world to talk on a huge variety of fascinating topics.
Nicola has won several awards, including Scottish Children’s Book of the Year twice. Her novel, Wasted, was on lots of award lists and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Fleshmarket is popular in schools and Mondays are Red has been optioned for a film deal: this doesn’t mean it will definitely become a film but watch this space! In 2018, she was awarded the School Library Association’s prestigious award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books. She has written about teenage brains, stress, peer pressure and friendships, human behaviour, life online, body image and sleep.
Most importantly, Nicola cares about your wellbeing and has masses of science-based advice to help you be healthier, stronger, happier and more successful.
An actual song for me
I was once lucky enough to have a song about me created by John Dougherty. Thanks to John and everyone who took part!
Some random facts:
- I used to go to an all boys’ school.
- I have one leg longer than the other.
- I have had one jaw-joint removed.
- I do press-ups every day. Well, nearly every day.
- I was a professional cook.
- Each time I have a new book contract, I buy new boots. I am a bit obsessed by boots.
- I am useless with left and right. In fact, I come out as dyslexic on tests.
- I hate slugs and frogs.
- I like change.
- Somebody once tried to abduct me and my dog…
- I can gut fish, use an electric drill, tile a bathroom, put up shelves, and once made a mosaic table.
- I cannot use my hands at the same time as talking, so I can’t drive, make tea, type or put make-up on unless I stop talking. Seriously.