John Farndon

writing teacher

Based in
Islington, London Borough of Islington, United Kingdom
Also teaches in London Area
John Farndon | writing teacher

Rates: £25 - £40 p/h

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I’m the author of well over 300 reference and general interest books for children and adults, including best-sellers such as How Science Works (Dorling Kindersley/Readers Digest), How the Earth Works (Dorling Kindersley/Readers Digest), the Harper Collins Children's Encyclopedia and Do Not Open (Dorling Kindersley), which was widely acclaimed in everything from the Washington Post and the Times Educational Supplement to ‘cool’ websites such as Boing Boing and Last Broadcast. My latest book, Do You Think You’re Clever:The Oxbridge Questions (Icon) has just reached the top 150 sellers on Amazon.

My books have been translated into most major languages. I write for both adults on contemporary issues in books such as China Rises (Virgin Books) and 101 Facts you should know about Food (Icon Books), and for children on a wide range of subjects, from nature and environment to the frontiers of science. I’ve been shortlisted for four times for the Science Book Junior Prize and I’ve also been interviewed on radio in the UK, USA and Australia many times and appeared on TV in the UK to do science demonstrations for children. I taught English and Drama at secondary level in Sheffield and the history of drama at the London Centre for Theatre Studies.

One-to-one lessons



Author of hundreds of books on a wide range of topics for major publishers, including Penguin, Harper Collins, Heinemann, Oxford University Press, Dorling Kindersley, Virgin, Scholastic, and Icon.

Writer on contemporary and international issues
I’ve written widely on contemporary issues, from what really goes into food to the progress of modern China. My specialities include science-based topics and geopolitics.

“John Farndon's Iran: Everything You Need to Know is an excellent and corrective primer on the culture and politics of this fascinating and complex country...a valuable overview.” Peter Whittaker, New Internationalist
Farndon’s exploration of modern India [in ‘India Booms’] is informative and enlightening." Carla Mckay, Daily Mail

Science writer
I write exciting and accessible science books for children and adults and, uniquely, four of my books have been shortlisted for the Science Books Junior Prize: How the Earth Works, What Happens When?, 'The Complete Book of the Brain' and Investigations: Electricity.

In connection with these, I have done demonstrations on Blue Peter (BBC) , with Alan Titchmarsh and others.

Writer on natural history
I have written scores of successful books on natural history and the environment, including “The Wildlife Atlas” and “The Practical Encyclopedia of Rocks and Minerals” and was a major contributor to Dorling Kindersley’s widely acclaimed “Earth”

"an encyclopedic, picture-rich, beautifully designed compendium that draws on up-to-date research in numerous fields to tell the incredible story of our planet's birth, place in the cosmos, and evolution...The writing is clear, animated, and engrossing...superb and stunning"
Donna Seaman, Booklist

Writer of Creative Information Books
I specialize in off-the-wall, creative approaches to presenting information, and my books include the widely acclaimed “What Happens When”, “Do Not Open” and “Do You Think You’re Clever?”

"[John Farndon’s] 'Do Not Open' is a treasure trove of hidden, ‘naughty’ tidbits that will surely give any kid a feeling of mischief while they’re actually learning to love knowledge...Are you telling me that doesn’t sound like the best kid’s book ever?"
Kyle Olson, Hipster Book Club
“The title says "Do Not Open," but once you do, you won't want to close it again. The art is bold, the pages are eye-popping and the stories range from odd to awesome.”
Washington Post

Oct 1985 - Nov 2009

playwright and songwriter

I have written many plays and musicals, dramatic adaptations and translations, and songs. Songs of his have, uniquely, been selected for all three years for the Sondheim Prize.

Plays include: High Risk Zone (Almeida), The Naked Guest (Pleasance) and Numismata (Bridewell)
“[The Naked Guest is] absolutely brilliant” Bob McLennan, Scots FM

Musicals include: In love and War (Wyllyots), Dreamweaver and Anya (both showcased at the Donmar

Translations and adaptiations include Lope de Vega’s Dog in a Manger (Soho) and Mad for Love (Riverside), Mozart’s Il Seraglio (Plymouth Theatre Royal, Salisbury Playhouse

“Another superb work...The thrill of Lope’s {Dog in a Manger] lies in its tragicomic shifts of tone...the translation by John Farndon is...fresh and fluent...capturing the vigour, surprises and range of this exhilirating play.” Alistair Macaulay, Financial TimesAlistair Macaulay, Financial Times
“Farndon’s translation is wittily direct, as colloquially scatological as Nick Dear’s translation of Tirso (the RSC’s Don Juan)” Kate Bassett, The Guardian

Oct 1984 - Nov 2009

Educational history

English, Drama

October, 2009
• The Actors Company, London Centre for Theatre Studies • Advanced Diploma in Creative Writing, Central School of Speech and Drama • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Sheffield University • MA (Cantab), Jesus College, Cambridge


Aimed at: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Last login: 11 years 30 weeks ago

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