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A celebration of writing by hand and why we must retain this ancient artform

Did you know that Saturday 23 January is National Handwriting Day in the US? Spurred on by Danny Gregory's ridiculously inspiring blog, I decided that this week was the week to pen (or, ironically, type?) a celebration of writing by hand. John…
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How to be a writer when you're not writing

Illustration by Kris Di Giacomo for Matthew Burgess's book 'enormous SMALLNESS' Recently, my laptop died. Let's just say it had a little accident involving water and has, in two words, had it. (I am currently borrowing from various people and…
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Lessons learned about Reading & Writing in 2015

READING Read outside your comfort zone. There is, I can't deny, something so wonderful and luxuriant about snuggling down with a book you just know you will enjoy. But taking a few risks with reading can yield surprising, exciting responses.…
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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…
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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…
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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’…
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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…
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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:…
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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…
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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…