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How to stay connected in a time of disconnection

Here in the UK, we are in our third lockdown in the past year. Physically, we are more removed from one another than we have been as a species since the Spanish Flu over one hundred years ago. I find myself thinking of another time of great…
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Poems of a Teenage Girl

Last year, I spied a book in the window of my local bookshop, How to Grown your own Poem by Kate Clanchy. I loved the cover and the title and often use poetry to help my students with creative literacy, so decided to treat myself to…
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Second Prize in Trip Fiction Sense of Place Competition

I was delighted to discover last week that I had come second in a writing competition which 400 people from 35 countries entered. The remit was to write a piece of fiction or non-fiction under 3000 words that had a strong sense of place. I…

📚Top Ten Books of 2020📚

I read quite a lot of books, so it wasn't at all easy to narrow this list down to ten. I have also discovered the joys of audiobooks this year which has significantly bumped up my book intake. I spent some time writing out my long list, crossing…

Creative Writing in Prison

Tilda Bowden is a friend from my Nairobi days who was in my writing group over there, The Turaco Tree Writers. In recent years, Tilda has been going into a women's prison to run creative writing and poetry workshops. I invited her onto the…

♡ Love Letters ♡

I wanted to write a quick post about this amazing initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters. The concept is simple: each month people from around the globe can nominate somebody they know who is suffering in some way (eg illness, bereavement,…
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'Turning': Publication of my Poetry ebook

Each and every person have strategies to help them cope with challenging times. For me, you won't be surprised to hear that it's always been writing, for as long as I can remember: journalling, short stories, poems, haiku, fragments of words,…

How books behind bars are changing lives

Lockdown takes on an entirely different meaning for those behind bars. Reliant upon family members and friends visiting, as well as services such as the gym or library, over the past months of the pandemic these vital lifelines have all but…

Books & Memories: How a book is not just about the story but where it's read

I started thinking about the title of this blog recently when I was looking through my bookshelf and pulling books out and I realised something: as I held the book in my hand, not only was I reading the title of the book and the author but…
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How to set up a virtual book club for young people

Several weeks ago, I did something I said I'd never do: I joined my first book club. Why was I so against it? I imagine it has something to do with the piles of un-read books lying around my house that I really want to get to. If I desperately…