I’ve been all over the country since I last blogged – doing good things with brilliant people. Oxford, London, Leeds, Sheffield, Barnsley, Bradford; teaching, meetings, a festival with First Story; workshops, a residency. And I’ve loved all of it.
There hasn’t been a highlight as such, because they’ve all been brilliant in their own way, but I think the Chatterbooks Celebration might just pip all the others because it was just so, so much fun. Members of Sheffield Libraries’ Chatterbooks groups (reading groups for young people – I think there are six in Sheffield alone) were all sent chocolate bars. Some of the those chocolate bars contained Golden Tickets. Finding a Golden Ticket in your bar meant an invite to an event at the Children’s Central Library where we celebrated books, writing, and came up with our own, very brilliant, stories and poems. Everything worked brilliantly and, like I said, we had so, so much fun.
(added: you can read what Sheffield Libraries had to say about it here.)
A selection of Chatterbookers
Another brilliant, brilliant event was the First Story young writers’ festival at Oxford University. Hundreds of writers from schools from all over the country gathered there to immerse themselves in stories and poems, listen to panels, each other, and, most importantly, to WRITE under the guidance of a whole bunch of brilliant authors. I saw, and heard, some absolutely wonderful pieces of writing, met some amazing people, and even got to hear someone play a piano like it was meant to be played. It was ace.
It was a very early start.
…and there really are lots of bikes
And, amongst it all, I ran a three day workshop where there is an actual CASTLE in a library.
And, after it all (or amongst it all) there was time for a (secretly filmed) two-man piano jam (that’s me on the left).