‘under the sun’s rare brilliance’ – a final Patron of Writing update for 2018/19

I’ve genuinely loved every moment of being DGS Patron of Writing for 2018/19. It remains an awesome privilege for me to crack open some space in the school day for creativity and writing. And I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning next year – so watch out, next year’s Year 9, poetry is coming for you […]

“I Give You Permission” – latest update from my Young Writers’ Mentoring at Didcot Girls’ School

Within 3 minutes of settling down they are writing. 2 minutes later, I have a plethora of raised hands to choose from – all keen to share aloud the words they’ve just written. An observer would be impressed. And that’s just the warm up. At this halfway stage (week 10) in the mentoring programme, looking […]

‘Empowerment’ – by our Poets Laureate

  (Photo by Chelsi Peter from Pexels) I’m proud to be able to publish today the Didcot Girls’ Poets Laureate new commissioned poems. Nina, Kat and I met 6 weeks or so ago to look over their final drafts of these recent poems. Out lunchtime sessions are brief but wonderfully rich times when we chat about many things, […]

Showcase of the Short

My young writers at Didcot Girls’ School have made it to the half term breather, which seems like a good opportunity for me to take stock. We are six weeks in to the mentoring programme, and the poets have responded to my first call for submissions of work for this blog. So here they are, […]

The Universe and Us

(Photo by icon0.com from Pexels) What is it to be free? What does it look like, for you? This week with my young writers, we had freedom in mind. We talked about personal freedoms. We discussed free verse and poetic form. We read a poem that’s overflowing with freedom in its use of language, music and powerful self-expression. […]

I’m a writer. Do I feel inspired?

We’re now on week 3 of our Young Writers’ Mentoring programme 2018/19, which I run as part of my Patron of Writing role at Didcot Girls’ School, so it’s high time I posted an update, methinks! I guess what impressed me most at first about my new cohort of 23 year 9 and 10 students, […]

Patron of Writing: Looking forwards. Looking back.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels I have the best job in the world. I spent three weeks in November feeling right at home at DGS – huge thanks to the English team, who made me feel so welcome, and a special INCREDIBLY BIG thank you to the Year 9 students (all 270 of them), […]

‘those so-called/ exams’

This blog is a platform for sharing many things, one of the most vital of these things being: excellent writing created by some of the talented students I work with in my role as Patron of Writing at Didcot Girls’ School. And here’s a poem by one of those talented students, Seth Gay (Year 9). […]

Ask a Creative

I’ve reached the end of my poetry writing workshops with Year 9 students at Didcot Girls’ School. It looked a bit like this: 3 weeks 270 teenagers a storm of unique voices dozens of mind-freeing doodles a symphonic display of ideas & imagery hundreds of doors opened AND a flurry of post-it note questions posed. […]

Poems to remember, by the DGS Poets Laureate

I’m delighted to be able to publish two poems, specially commissioned for the 100 years of Remembrance, written by the Didcot Girls’ Poets Laureate: Kat Richards and Nina Winstone. Please take a moment to read. Reflect. Remember.  *** Poems are copyright of Nina Winstone & Kat Richards ©