The Spy School Story

Hi Everyone, thanks for visiting Spy School’s website. My name is Stephanie Cotela. I started Spy School in 2019 because I wanted to create a book club just for kids to encourage them to read and show them that everyone has a story to tell.

At Spy School children will learn the basic components of storytelling in a fun, relaxed environment. Children at Spy School become “Story Spies” and will go on “treasure hunts” to find clues and ideas to create their own stories.

Sessions are a hour and a half and include:

An age appropriate story is read aloud to the group based on a specific theme.
Story Chat
We chat briefly about the story is an open and casual way
Treasure Hunt
Story Spies go on a treasure hunt to find, clues and tools to help them create their own stories
Arts & Crafts
Story spies choose a creative way to present their stories. For example, writing/reading, drawing/colouring and dramatisation
Drinks and snacks provided (please advise any dietary requirements)
Story Sharing
Children are welcome to share their stories and/or artistic creations with the group. This is not mandatory, if someone is feeling a bit shy, they do not have to present to the group.

A bit about me…

I’m a mother of two boys, ages 6 & 9 and there’s nothing I love more than sharing my passion for storytelling with them.

I’m DBS checked and I often volunteer at my sons’ primary school, mostly to help with reading but I’ve also judged the Christmas Art Competition for the past five years, which has become my favourite festive activity!

I have a BA in in Art History from San Diego State University and a MA from the University of London, Birkbeck College in the History of Art. I’ve had loads articles published in arts/lifestyle magazines and books. I wrote the book Vincent Van Gogh Masterpieces of Art (2nd edition published by Flametree Publishing 2014).

For the past few years, I’ve tried my hand at writing for children. I’ve got a few picture book and middle grade manuscripts out on submission and I’m currently editing my first young adult novel.