you will see on
other pages of my website, my career as a
professional writer has been an extremely varied one. I’ve written
non-fiction, scripts and prose, for adults and children, and my work
from journalism and television to books
and corporate writing. I
don’t find anything unusual in that – as far as I’m concerned, if
writer you should be able to adapt your style and approach to suit all
different media and genres.
wide experience in
many different areas of writing has been the bedrock of the writing
have been devising and running in schools, libraries and at literary
festivals for over 20
cover fiction, non-fiction and scriptwriting, and I have workshops
suitable for all ages - from primary school children, through
GCSE pupils, to 6th Form students.
Through talking to teachers at the schools I visit - and also as a result of the need to develop new material for my book Tricks of
Writer's Trade (see my home pageĽ) - I
have assembled a whole host of new and entertaining ways of
teaching young people the principles of good writing. And it seems to
have paid off ...
"Thank you so
much for a fantastic day yesterday. Every time I popped in, the
children were engaged,
And it's not just the pupils who benefit ...
enthused and excited about their writing. You made writing accessible
for all. The children loved
and feedback from the teachers was really positive." - Spalding
headteacher, January 2014
"The teachers who sat in on the workshop gained, too. By the end of the day I had four A4 sheets of notes ...
ideas, techniques that I'll certainly be using in my own teaching ...
and after 20+ years in the classroom it's wonderful to gain so many new
ideas in one day! So thanks again - great day - worth every penny. We hope to be in touch very soon to book another workshop for the spring term."
- Scunthorpe teacher, November 2014
I can put together workshops and courses to suit any
need. For example,
in Spring 2006 I was asked to create a 10-day programme of lessons and workshops
for Fulford High School in York, as part of the Booktrust Writing Together project – and you can read all about it hereĽ.
And in 2007, at the invitation of the National Association of Writers in Education,
I undertook a residency at Husthwaite Primary School in Yorkshire, as part of a
NAWE research project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
2010 I devised and ran a series of four workshops at Witham St Hughs Primary in Lincoln,
working with a group of Gifted &
Talented children from five different primary schools to produce
material for a
book of stories and essays. The success of these workshops can be
judged from the fact that I was asked to host further multiple
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Find out more about the
project by clicking hereĽ.
from specific projects such as these,
I also have a whole range of standard workshops, any of which can be
customised in order to meet a school's individual requirements:
"I had some
instant feedback from some of the children as they left school - they
said it was the best day ever!
You can't get better than that." - Castleford
headteacher, December 2013
FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP
full-day workshop for Year 5 or Year 6, which equips them with
wide range of fiction-writing skills. Alternatively, I can deliver a
shortened version, working with one year group in the morning and the
other in the afternoon.
KS2 NON-FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP
with the essential skills of non-fiction writing, this can again be
either a full-day workshop for Year 5 or Year 6, or a half-day
workshop for both year groups.
COMBINED WRITING WORKSHOP
fiction writing in the morning and non-fiction in the afternoon, this
workshop is a popular way of boosting the all-round writing abilities
of pupils from Year 5 or 6.
GIFTED & TALENTED WRITING WORKSHOP
content designed to challenge and stretch particularly able pupils,
this workshop covers either fiction writing - with an optional module
on scriptwriting - non-fiction writing or a combination of both.
Often requested during Book Week, this workshop caters for all the
pupils in the school. Beginning
with a whole-school assembly, if required, it aims to inspire children
to read and write and to show them that professional writers come from
backgrounds just like theirs. Younger children are catered for in
shorter interactive sessions in which I show them how I set about
writing episodes for
the CBeebies series
while the older ones take part in fun activities which teach them how
to write engaging and exciting stories.
have learned so much today. Some of my friends came up to me
and said 'Ha, you’ve done
English all day.' And I said 'Yeah, it was great.'” –
Catriona, Wakefield Year
8 pupil, December 2012
FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP
to the KS2 workshop, but with more advanced content and additional
modules to choose from, this can be a full-day workshop for one year
group or half-day workshops for two.
NON-FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP
workshop addresses the various types of non-fiction writing that pupils
will need to master as they work towards GCSEs, teaching them
underlying principles and specific skills - again, either a full-day
workshop or two half-day ones.
COMBINED WRITING WORKSHOP
A whole day split between fiction and non-fiction writing for one year
group. This was the one Catriona (above)
enjoyed so much!
ENGLISH LANGUAGE WORKSHOP
This workshop was created at the request of
teachers dismayed by the draconian re-drawing of GCSE English Language grade boundaries
in 2012, and has proved to be extremely popular. It addresses all the
key non-fiction writing skills that KS4 students will need in order to
get a good grade at GCSE. and can be tailored to focus more
strongly on specific areas in which students may be struggling.
Different versions of this workshop are available, in order to meet the
requirements of the various
content of my standard workshops can be adapted and expanded to create
a full writing course if required, and I am always willing to
devise customised workshops to suit individual requirements. Whatever
you need, just contact me and let’s see what we can put