It’s been a long time since I’ve had any chance to do much around there – these past three or four months have just slipped by. And I’ve been busy. There has been lots of teaching and workshop running.
We wrote about aliens landing in Sheffield in a bunch of libraries there and it was a wonderful thing. And not only did we produce some genuinely brilliant work, I also got the chance to see a few familiar faces from things I’d done around there a couple of years before. And the best bit – they remembered what they’d learned and they’d been sharing it, teaching their friends and their siblings and relatives all about good writing. It made me very proud because it was one of the few times I actually got to see how doing this sort of work in communities actually changes things. And it really does.
Since Hive’s festival (which was the last thing I mentioned here, I think) ‘halfway smile‘ has launched. It’s a marvellous, brilliant, stunning collection of short fiction and poetry from the talented young of South Yorkshire. Check out what Ian McMillan and Kate Long (who judged the prose competition) had to say about it…
There have been other things, of course – I’m nearing the end of a big old project in Doncaster (more on that soon) and I’m currently compiling and editing an anthology of work from a school Leeds, where I’m writer in residence for the wonderful First Story.
So I have been busy. I have been on trains. A lot. And I’ve been writing as well. A lot. It’s a strange situation to be in – being a writer who’s usually too busy to do things with the work he’s written but there’ll be a gap soon which I’m going to fill with rest and sleep and getting a bit fitter (the train diet isn’t a flattering one) and more of my own writing bits, and I’m looking forward to it.
Apologies to regular readers here for my silence. I never forgot you. More, hopefully, soon.