“Thank you for coming to our school today. The children had a fabulous time and the teachers too!” Laura Holt, Brambleside Primary
I do a lot of work in primary and secondary schools throughout the UK and abroad (including schools in Jakarta, Cairo, Bucharest, Budapest, Johannesburg, Doha, Manila and Lagos). I am unusual in that I write across the age-ranges and on all kinds of subjects from fairies to football, so I can work with children at any stage in their school life, from nursery to GCSE. My sessions are usually a mixture of a talk about reading and writing, readings from my work and question-and answers. I also run writing workshops for children and adults. I have public liability insurance and an up-to-date DBS, and am a member of NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education).
My main focus is on writing from real life experiences and interests – whatever the genre explored – and I believe passionately in the importance of writing as self-expression. My Wonder of Writing Workshops reflect the way writing shaped and transformed my own life as a young person and are suitable for any age child from toddlers to teens. In recent years I’ve created rhyming stories with reception children, garden poems with Years 1 and 2, modern fairy-tales with a mixed age group, metaphor poems with able writers, horror stories with secondary school students, tales in different genres, and lots more. I have a variety of story prompts, games and stimuli, including my own Jibber Jabber Storyteller writing device, based on the popular “chatterbox” or “fortune teller” origami device, that has a range of applications and has proved very successful. I’m very flexible about the projects I undertake. I’m not a teacher. I try to help and enthuse children in their writing through sharing with them some of the strategies and techniques that I use in my own writing
“Thank you so much. The children were talking about you all week and their writing the next day was brilliant!” Leanne Hale, Mere Green School
Over the past few years I have gained a particular reputation, I suppose, as a motivator of reluctant boy readers and writers and I do like working with boys – but my stories have plenty of elements that appeal to girls too and I am equally happy working in a mixed environment. The most important thing, it seems to me, with any writing project is that it should be fun and inspirational for everyone involved.
Starting at 9.30, I am willing to do as many sessions as can be fitted into the day’s timetable. Writing workshops require at least an hour, and, for Year 5 plus, an hour and a half. I am happy to work for a single day or a whole week or over a number of phased visits. Basically, I’m open to any suggestion!