World Book Day in Oxford Spires Academy talking to Lower School about my 'Children of Plynlimon' trilogy of novels, and to 6th Formers about 'The Mrs Marridge Project' and 'In the Trees'. To take a gap year or not? That was what the discussion was about.
GETTING OUT AND ABOUT
My author events come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re all about encouraging people to treat and nurture their imaginations with respect, to develop their talents, to take themselves seriously and to make that process FUN. Whether I’m talking to young people or old, I hope they’ll love books more as a result - and not just reading them but writing them too.
Looking back over twenty years or more, I’ve led writing workshops in lead mines, haunted houses and on a battlefield along with knights in armour armed with foam rubber weapons. This year, schools I’ve visited include St Peter’s, Wem, Whixall Primary, Lower Heath Primary, Abraham Darby Academy and Rydal Penrhos School, Colwyn Bay [thank you for the photograph of me with book]. Sometimes I’ve talked about the author’s life, and given writing tips in workshops, and sometimes I’ve talked about my amazing Arts Council funded trip to Belize to do research for my gap year novel, ‘In the Trees’.
In addition, a year ago I became Chancellor of the Children's University of Shropshire, [see photograph below taken at St Peter's Wem] and have since presided over graduations, including one at Keele University. Also last year I masterminded and hosted Flash Fiction Eve at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse – the inaugural event for the first ever National Flash Fiction Day.
This was certainly fun, and saw people writing who’d never done so before, sharing their stories with, in some cases, total strangers and even ending up writing stories with them. The power of story was what drew people together. An extraordinary and memorable evening was had by all.
As well as continuing to write novels, and visit schools, festivals and libraries, I am a member of Authors Electric, for whom I write monthly posts. I'm also writing a blog, My Tonight From Shrewsbury, which is a one year project on the life and times of my home town.
If you’re interested in my running a writing workshop or taking part in an event for your school, group or festival do get in touch. I can be contacted through my agent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HERE ARE A FEW OF THE EVENTS I'VE ATTENDED OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS: