Historical women's fiction author


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How to get kids writing with jazz

I’m a firm believer in the power of music as a creative force. I’ve written before about using music alongside creative writing in order to see where this takes children on the page, as well as the importance of playlists for my novels. Rhythm and music / Poetry…They’re two sides of the same coin really […]


Where to find some fabulous poetry activities for kids

One of the best websites I have ever found for inspirational kids’ poetry workshops ideas comes from the Poetry Society. I have used countless exercises via their downloadable lesson plans, adapting them as necessary to suit my needs. Recently, I used poet Roger Stevens’ Animal Menagerie activity as a springboard for children producing their own work. Now animals, […]


Fighting back against Kenya’s alleged ‘non-reading’ culture

A couple of weeks ago, I ran a creative writing session in a school with about twenty 10 and 11 year old’s. This is the place where I do voluntary work about once a fortnight and the kinds of writing exercises I get the kids to do is received with anything ranging from incredulity to […]


Having fun with Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets

  Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets is an infectiously fun story book written and illustrated by previous children’s laureate Quentin Blake. The wild-haired, eccentric Angelica Sprocket continually pulls one surprising item after another, Mary-Poppins-like, from one of the pockets of her overcoat, much to the delight of the crowd of children gathered around her. I decided to use this […]


Phantom Tollbooth Word Market

Imagine you go to a marketplace and instead of buying fruit and vegetables you buy words. Well, this is what Milo, hero of The Phantom Tollbooth does on one of his adventures in the land of Dictionopolis. “Get your fresh-picked ifs, ands and buts.” “Hey-yaa, hey-yaa, hey-yaa, nice ripe wheres and whens.” “Juicy, tempting words for […]


Pippi Longstocking

Ah, Pippi Longstocking. It is impossible not to love this girl. Gutsy, fierce and the ultimate powerful feminist, I think I’d secretly like to be Pippi. Anyway, something interesting happened yesterday whilst doing a Pippi Longstocking workshop for my Magic Pencil after-school club. One of the girls who has been coming along for some time, […]

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