Where does a story start?
How many characters do you need?
What makes dialogue sound like real speech?
These are just some of the questions young writers ask.
I’ve been writing professionally for more than 15 years, mainly for 8 – 12 year-olds but for very young children and teenagers too. I love taking my writing into schools and libraries, giving readings and workshops. I charge a fee (the Society of Authors’ recommended rate) and can adapt my workshops for a variety of age-ranges and to fit with the curriculum.
I offer two kinds of visit:
A reading plus a talk about how I write, where I get my ideas from, how I create characters, dialogue and setting, and the difference between writing picture books, novels and information books
A workshop-based visit where we explore elements of story – then share our own writing. There are always plenty of ideas to take away for further writing.
I work with adults too.
I have an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University, where I teach Creative Writing. I’m Tutor in Contemporary Publishing on the MA for Writing for Young People, too. This means I know what’s ‘hot’ in terms of children’s publishing, what children are reading – and have a good idea why they’re reading it!
I am a qualified Literacy Specialist. Between 2000 and 2006 I worked with Sure Start, helping hundreds of parents and children to bring books to life, through story sacks, voice and role play.