, ,

9 Tips for putting the 'child' back into childhood

In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday 13th November, what I wanted to blog about pales into insignificance. Sometimes I truly feel that the world is so environmentally, morally and ideologically broken that all I would like to…
, ,

Guest Post by Louise Beech, Author of How to be Brave

During Remembrance Week we do just that – we remember. We honour the bravery of serviceman and women during the two World Wars, and later conflicts, by wearing our poppies, holding ceremonies across the UK, ringing half-muffled church bells…
,

Guest post: Debbie Rix, Author of Secrets of the Tower

I was recently invited to be the guest speaker at a week-long conference on ‘creativity’ at a very trendy advertising agency in London. In the course of their week of activities on subjects as diverse as ‘the importance of curiosity’…
,

5 Top Tips for Journalling with Kids

'I'm tired of glossy, re-touched, plastic, overdubbed, laughtracked, advertised experience. I want crude - straight from the soul.' Hannah Hichman What is journalling, if not straight from the soul? That experience of one person and a blank…
,

How to find inspiration for a new novel

My working title for The Poet's Wife was something entirely different, a title that I see now had to change for various reasons. Originally, it was 'In the shade of the orange tree' and I still think of my first novel in terms of two titles:…
,

What is the one thing that we all owe to ourselves and to humanity?

This is not a blog about writing. It is not a children's book review and it is not offering up tips about how to engage kids with creative writing and poetry. It is a blog about what we can possibly do, how we as humans can feel any less impotent…
,

How can you be a writer during the kids' school holidays?

‘Mummy, you’ve been working forever. Stop it, now.’ This is my little boy, recently turned five, tugging at my sleeve and trying to force my laptop shut.  I explain to him that I really need to do a little more, then I promise I’ll…
, ,

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…
, ,

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,…
, ,

Shel Silverstein's 'Whatif'

I think that for anyone who writes, its therapeutic properties must have come to mind at some point. We've all been there, I'm sure, that moment when we finish writing something - whether it's a letter, a diary entry, a chapter of a novel or…