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About Me

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Why listen?

I’ve spent 25 years studying the subjects I now write and talk about. I know the science, have analysed the evidence and can make highly perceptive connections between neuroscience, psychology, observation and lived experience. When I write or talk, I use an engaging, warm voice that works for all ages. You’ll never find me patronising or confusing.

I might be talking to teenagers or to parents, teaching professionals or pastoral staff, education or literacy experts, fostering or adoptive parents, humans who find life a challenge and those who sail through but want to understand more. Whoever I’m writing or talking for, I do it because I care, 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

My qualifications

  • 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

What people say about my talks

See here for some testimonials.

My story in very brief

Born in a boys’ school; taught (often by my parents) in boys’ schools till I was nearly 12. Then to a girls’ school, where I was two years younger than my peers, who were not interested in my tree-climbing and weapon-making excellence. Survived. Went to Cambridge University; studied Classics with Philosophy. Spent a year as a cook before becoming an English teacher. Did Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties; became hooked on brains. Really wanted to be a novelist; failed for 21 years; succeeded eventually; had exciting career writing teenage novels, winning and shortlisted for many awards. In 2005, Blame My Brain published; changed my life. Since then, have focused on teenagers, learning brains, stressed brains, reading brains and online brains. Any brains will do!

Lived in Edinburgh for 28 years; now live near Rutland border, in North Northants. Husband, daughters and grandchildren. Love cooking, reading and gardening. Hate running but do it anyway because I like how it makes me feel (afterwards).

For the personal story of why I chose to focus on teenage wellbeing: Why Me? Why Wellbeing?

Potted biographies for event organisers:

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 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. She followed this with the Teenage Guide to Stress, Teenage Guide to Friends, Positively Teenage, Life Online, Body Brilliant, Exam Attack, The Awesome Guide to Sleep and Be Resilient, and a range of popular teaching materials. In 2018, she was awarded the SLA’s prestigious award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books. Her next title is 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 many 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 continues to inspire and enthral. 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.

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.

Some videos

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

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!

 

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