Celebrations!

Goodness, where to start? An awful lot of my time as a writer is spent helping other people, in libraries, in schools, in the community, even the BBC a few times and, without being cliché, it’s utterly rewarding seeing someone improve or achieve something you know they can. And I love collaborating and making some sort of magic with other people.

I’m absolutely over the moon to be able to share Georgie Woodhead’s news – she’s part of the Hive South Yorkshire community and, as well as being a tenacious and supremely talented writer, she’s a great human too. And now she’s up for the BBC Young Writer of the Year Award – she’s in brilliant company and you can read the finalists’ stories right here.

And you can hear her talking to Paulette Edwards on BBC Radio Sheffield here (15 minutes in).

Sticking with Sheffield… As I mentioned the other day I was a part of a brilliant comic book writing workshop. Now, while Freaks! is a collection of comic book inspired stories and bursting with super powers, and despite writing script for pictures and illustrations, I’m no illustrator. So it was amazing to have BookMonsterAlly’s enthusiasm and talent in the room to show the young writers and illustrators how it’s done. And, it’s a little know fact that Ally is perhaps the absolute Queen of the Display – here’s her latest (above).

And, still sticking with brilliant art…

Last week I hopped on a train to St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School, in South Ribble for Never Such Innocence. I was joined by playwright, Andy Bennison, who’s latest work was a dramatised piece about the search for a soldier’s grave from the First World War. What made it brilliant was that the true story was from the actual village where the school was.

We wrote protest poetry on postcards, just like Lizzie had done almost 100 years before and I have it on very good authority that, when the poems were read out at Friday’s event, founder of NSI, Lady Lucy French was brought to tears and that made me especially happy because that’s what good art should do – it should move people!

Here are the poems – huge thanks to Mr Hughes for spending extra time decorating them and making them even cooler.

There’s still absolutely tons to talk about, and I’ll get to it all in good time. More very soon…

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