Friday, 31 July 2015

Shhh! Take a peek!

I've had one of those days that all authors and illustrators look forward to: holding their new book in their paws for the first time.  Yes, I've seen the front cover and the vibrant illustrations by Evgenia Golubeva before.  But that was on my computer screen.  This was printed on paper, bound by hand.

I was able to share it with fellow Maverick authors because we were meeting at the publisher's studio to chat about our experiences sharing stories with readers.  There were plenty of exciting ideas discussed and there's a new venture on the way.

As Quiet As A Mouse is published on September 28th, 2015. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

ShoutSouth 2015 Festival - Be Inspired!

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water but Jack fell down a crater caused by a volcano and tumbled into upside-down land, along with a fire-eating dragon. It's a nursery rhyme but not as we know it...

Taking a well-known story and adding an imaginative new twist was just one of the exercises at ShoutSouth for 9 to 12 year olds from primary and secondary schools in South London last week. ShoutSouth is a story-making festival run by published authors and illustrators from CWISL.  It celebrates all forms of storytelling, with writing, drawing, and drama all fired by the power of imagination.

Lots of ideas - now go forth and spark! 

I was one of the authors leading a workshop and mentoring the kids as they created their own stories. My workshop focused on finding a spark for a story.  It involved lots of props - a random word game, music, pictures, and objects.

Jack and Jill having a different sort of adventure under the watchful eyes of author Cate Sampson and yours truly 

Other workshops included illustrations and storyboarding, spotting the plot, and Mad, Moody and Murky - adding that extra layer of description and emotion to show how characters are feeling.

It was SO much fun and I got some new ideas for my own writing too.  Now all I need is the time to write them...

A taster of the books written and illustrated by CWISL.  

Well done to all the pupils attending from Granton Primary, English Martyrs Primary, Lilian Baylis Technology School, St Mary's Primary, Bolingbroke Academy, Sacred Heart Primary, London Nautical, Christ Church Primary, Isleworth & Syon School, and Jessops Primary.

* All the authors and illustrators of CWISL put on the festival unpaid because we believe it's so important to bring our imaginative worlds to children.  After all, they're all readers and writers themselves but don't often have the chance to meet Real Live authors and illustrators.  The good news - we learn from them as much as they do from us. We're also grateful to Derwent for their generous donation of art materials.