Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Feasting on Imagination

I had lots of fun clowning around with kids who came to my story-telling session at West Norwood Library in South London.  The hall was full, which was great for me and my fellow writers and illustrators from CWISL. Between us, we were hosting a day of story-telling, singing, mask-making and driving paper cars around a road track on the floor.

Our event was part of FEAST, which is a community project largely supported by volunteers.  It includes a regular street market and aims to bring the diverse sections of the local community together.

Thanks to West Norwood Library for their support.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Chelsea Young Writers

I'm very excited to announce that I'm joining the Chelsea Young Writers' team of tutors. 

Chelsea Young Writers is a fun after-school club for children who want to develop their creativity and writing skills.  It's about having fun with imagination and ideas and story-telling as well as creative writing. Find out more at www.chelseayoungwriters.co.uk

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Shouting about ShoutSouth!

Question: What do you get when you gather together over ninety 8 to 13-year-olds, 17 published children's writers and illustrators for a three days? 

Answer: Something unique.  Amazing.  Inspiring.  Stunning.

Shoutsouth was the most inspiring festival to be part of.  It was a celebration of story-making organised by  CWISL.  We're a group of published writers and illustrators promoting our love of reading, writing, and illustration with children from all backgrounds. 

Because of government cuts, we didn't get the public grant we requested, so all the preparation work and workshops were done entirely voluntarily.  London South Bank University offered us excellent work areas and an auditorium (perfect for storytelling).  Rymans donated stationery materials.  Others - too many to mention but you know who you are - gave their time not only freely but expertly. 

The children were from a range of South London primary and secondary schools.  Boy, do they have imaginations!  I hosted the opening workshop for my group, which was called The Spark.  The idea was to spark their imaginations with ideas from different sources - life experience, everyday objects, lists.  Even a simple game to break the ice was inspiring.  All the time we asked the question What if...?  The teenagers in my group were obsessed with horror stories and The End of the World but it was noticeable that all the children wanted action and drama.

Other workshops included Spot the Plot, Mad Moody & Murky, and Picture This. 
The children's work will be published on CWISL's  Shoutsouth website. 



Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A swimmer, a cat, or an alien?

Creative five and six-year-old pupils from Reay Primary School in Kennington, South London, wrote these fantastic rhymes - and drew some wonderful pictures to go with them. 

They were taking part in a Gifted & Talented workshop with seven other primary schools in the Kennington area.  We pretended to be characters from my book I Could Be, You Could Be - after all, everyone should be an alien at least once in their lives! 

Then they used the structure in my book to understand how rhymes work and then to write their own.  No-one cared if it didn't make sense.  That was part of the fun.

Monday, 11 March 2013

FEAST 2013!

Gorgeously engaged kids joined me for a free story time at community festival FEAST's 2nd birthday celebration today in West Norwood, South London. Thankfully, no-one remembered to take any photos of me in a sunshine-yellow clown's wig.  http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2816549