Lots of Writing Stuff

I have been very busy recently with a whole bunch of stuff, mostly writing stuff – and lots of it –  which is great. I’m sitting at my laptop now, at twenty past ten on a Tuesday evening, after having spent the morning editing short stories as well as a travel memoire (the page is here in case anyone would like my help with any of their stuff) and the afternoon was spent teaching at the brilliant Bollington library.

First, before the adult group, it was the last session of the junior writers’ group I’ve been running for the past eight weeks. And it was, as things like this always are, both a very happy and very sad time. I was happy –  thrilled, in fact – to see the members finishing their stories, and covers, and illustrations. We’ve had a lot of fun along the way, but we’ve worked very hard too, and to see the results of that is a brilliant thing. I think one of the best things about teaching, in my book at least, is seeing how great ideas have been turned (with fun and hard work) into brilliant stories. And today’s certainly were that. And a whole lot more. Next step is to turn the stories into books. There will even be a launch. This is exciting.

But, as I said, it’s a little sad too. I’ve enjoyed working with all of the writers and it’s a sad thing to be waving them goodbye. I just hope they all keep writing. They’re all very, very good.

We’ll be starting the course again on April 21st (as far as I know). If you’d like your child to enrol then either drop me a line (pop it in the box here) or give the library a shout. Places are limited (as far as I know there are only two left) so you’re probably best off acting quickly to avoid disappointment, as they say.


Tomorrow I’ll be, courtesy of the brilliant Writing Yorkshire (who do all sorts of brilliant things, including free groups like this), be at Sheffield Children’s Central Library, 5:30-7:30 (still covering for the usual group leader, the very wonderful Vicky Morris, and loving it very much). If you’re a 14 – 19 year old writer, do pop along. We’re very welcoming and supportive and it’s a really top group. There are even snacks. And if you know of anyone who might be interested, do send them that way. I’ll be at Rotherham Young Writers next Monday – if you’ve any questions or would like any further details, do let me know (just pop your question inside the box here).


And that’s about it for now, I think. I’ve still stacks of work to finish and tabs to close and everything so it’s back to that for me. And writing. I really should do some writing soon.

More soon.

14-19 Year Old Writers

For the next few weeks I’ll be running some workshops for young writers in Yorkshire. I’ve been helping out with them already for the past few weeks and it’s been something I’ve enjoyed an awful lot – I’ve been working with some brilliant writers and we’ve produced some excellent work.

So, if you’re a young writer who’s close to either Rotherham or Sheffield, or you know anyone who might be interested, you can get in touch with me here (just pop your email inside the box) for the details of when and where, or if you have any questions. Everyone’s welcome – it doesn’t matter if you’ve been writing for ages or whether you’re only just starting. Do spread the word. It’s a good thing. And it’s free, which is a good thing too, in my book.

Interviews and Biscuits

Yesterday the great Steve Murphy dropped by (with his glamorous assistant, Mark). Steve’s a great photographer and also the founder of the exciting new publication Downtown & Driftwood – a delightful mixture of short fictions, poems, and photography, whose last issue featured my short story Cupid and Me. Steve and I chatted for an interview, which was lovely, we ate biscuits and drank tea, which was also lovely, and Steve took a few pictures. It was fun. Of course, I’ll post the results once I have them.

And that capped off a pretty long and hectic week. There’s been much editing and writing work, as ever. On Monday I got on a train and taught. And on Tuesday I ran two further workshops locally. It’s fun, but I am definitely being kept busy.

And all that’s been amongst some not so great news. Nothing I’m really going to go into here (and don’t worry, I’m okay) but I do think it’s important to say that it’s at times like these that the good people make themselves known, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to those people who, very much should, know who they are.

Next week’s going to be similar to this so, really, I should go and prep. Ta ta.

Cupid And Me

Very happy indeed to have my brand new, never seen before, short story ‘Cupid and Me’ in this beautiful new publication. It’s a story about someone meeting Cupid, which is rather fitting given what day it is on Saturday. There are arrows and there is a fight, and it’s a story I’m really proud of.

Downtown and Driftwood is available as both a PDF (click here) and a beautiful coffee table edition (click here). I’ve looked through it and it’s lovely – some wonderful photography, poems, and stories. It’s the kind of thing I’d like to have on my own coffee table (once I’d cleared everything else off it, of course).

And that’s it for now. I’m  busy, being here, there, and everywhere, and teaching and writing and generally doing what I do. More soon…

It Has Been a Long Week

A long week but, mostly, a good one. I ran four workshops in three days, two locally, two not so locally and I enjoyed them all very much. And I had a really wide range of ages, which keeps things interesting and fun. I taught children (7 to 11 years old), I taught young adults at college, and I taught retired people. And it was fun.

And speaking of children, here’s the display that the library have put up showing the work from last year’s junior writers.

juniordisplay1 Juniordisplay2


And this just popped into my google alerts. A nice mention and an excellent collection. Definitely worth a look. Go, see, folks.

Another Busy One

Another busy week for me, mostly dealing with things that only proper grown-ups should have to deal with. But we plod on, don’t we?

I had my first session with the next group of junior writers yesterday and it was brilliant. I’m lucky that I’ve got another great bunch of children with such brilliantj1 ideas. And, I think, one of the best things about it all is seeing how willing they all are to help each other. I’ve often said that writing’s often a collaboration (be it between writer and reader, or editor or illustrator) so seeing it in action, and so naturally, left me feeling happy.

After that I toddled over to my local radio station where my adult writing group recorded some of their stories. They’ll be broadcast soon and I’ll let you have the details and times as soon as I know what they are.

And I think that’s about it for now. I have edits to get back to. And ironing.

One Week In

So we’re one working week into the new year and last week was definitely a work-heavy one. Writing happened and stories were worked on. I wrapped up a big project with someone I’ve been mentoring and I’ve been assembling stories from my writing group for them to read on local radio here (more on that and how to listen, if you’d like to, nearer the time). I even got my hair cut and made soup.

Tomorrow, as long as books arrive, I’ll be finishing off a display in my local library of what my junior writing group produced and getting organised for the next group which,  I think, will start the following week.

And a story of mine – a brand new one that’s never been seen before, will published in March. Again, more on that nearer the time.

All in all, it’s not been a bad start to the year. Hope it’s been kind to you too.

And here’s a song



So it’s here, is 2015. Hello there! And it already feels a little different to last year, which is probably a good thing. For starters, it started, for me somewhere other than where I live. I took a holiday of sorts – my first in years – and it was wonderful and I feel so much better for it. I think it’s easy to get into a rut when you do what I do for a living (I’m guessing most self-employed people will share this) and breaking that rut, putting work to one side for a little while in favour of other important things, is important. So I did and I’m glad I did. I wandered and I ate great food and helped to cook. I read to people and I listened to other people read, I watched fireworks over a city skyline, watched films, and found happiness and it was good.

And now I’m back at my desk, and I’m missing that but feeling positive, and still happy, and feeling like this year could be a good one if I get the balance right. I’ve come back to a couple of new stories that need working on too, which is good. I’m working on those now.

Wishing everyone here all the best over the coming months. Let’s do good good stuff.


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