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,Continue reading “I’m a writer. Do I feel inspired?”

‘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).Continue reading “‘those so-called/ exams’”

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.Continue reading “Ask a Creative”

#LetsDoThisKids 11: Proof

I can’t believe I’m nearly at the end of my 20 week mentoring journey with the wonderful young writers at Didcot Girls’ School! But it ain’t over till it’s over, and today’s session may be one of our best …why? …because today the writers will hold in their hands and feast their eyes on theirContinue reading “#LetsDoThisKids 11: Proof”

“So, let’s start with your name. And why you are here.” #LetsDoThisKids – 3

No. This is not an AA meeting. This was how we kicked off the Writers’ Mentoring Programme at Didcot Girls’ School this week – an initiative that has grown out of the poetry workshops I led last term with around 250 year 9 and 10 students. As it’s a New Year (and all that) pleaseContinue reading ““So, let’s start with your name. And why you are here.” #LetsDoThisKids – 3”

#LetsDoThisKids – 2 (Or: what I’d like to show you after one week of student workshops)

So, what does happen when we give young people a few simple writing tools and FREEDOM ? I’m excited to be able to share snippets of work that some brilliant 13 and 14 year old writers at Didcot Girls’ School have created this week. (And I should add that these are drafts produced in aContinue reading “#LetsDoThisKids – 2 (Or: what I’d like to show you after one week of student workshops)”

An emerald forest of a book: A Review of Pascale Petit’s poetry collection, ‘Mama Amazonica’

If you’ve been bewitched by ‘Blue Planet 2’, incredulous at its scale of underwater life, shocked by its prey and predators, then be prepared to be equally transported by the poetry in ‘Mama Amazonica’. Petit’s collection is an emerald forest of a book. The power of Petit’s poetry here, I think, lies in her graftingContinue reading “An emerald forest of a book: A Review of Pascale Petit’s poetry collection, ‘Mama Amazonica’”

#Letsdothiskids – Discoveries of a school Patron of Writing

I’m reeling. I’ve just been reading the creative writing of a bunch of 11 and 12 year olds. Original, compelling, artistically adventurous writing. Here’s a flavour: I’m summer, I’m winter, I’m everything it seems. Emily W Year 7 She is a record player, playing softly as everyone dances. She smells like warm leather but onContinue reading “#Letsdothiskids – Discoveries of a school Patron of Writing”

A Happy Clearing

There has been some movement in my head. One way to describe this might be to say that, for months, I’ve been a bit like someone trying to take a stroll through a deep jungle, as if it were my local High Street. Which is, of course, impossible and ridiculous. I’ve been hacking away atContinue reading “A Happy Clearing”

Wishing I could have lingered longer

I know better these days than to pack in more than two events in one day at Ledbury Poetry Festival. I need time to bask in this chocolate-box town’s poetic tradition. Time to think. Drink coffee. And ultimately (hopefully): write. But I was entirely satisfied by my two carefully chosen events (when the brochure arrives,Continue reading “Wishing I could have lingered longer”