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Music as a creative force in writing

Katie Basil Screenprint I come from a family in which music is very important. Last week I wrote about the healing power of music as written about and illustrated in Quentin Blake's gorgeous children's book Patrick. As I was growing up, everyone…
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Natalie Smithson: Unlocking our imagination with stories

Natalie Smithson is a freelance writer and creative at Bobbin About who specialises in work for parenting, children, and baby brands. Here she tells her story of how her active imagination as a child landed her in hot water, but went on to fuel…
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Keeping the stories alive

        It seems I have a bit of a thing about elderly men. That's not nearly as dodgy as it sounds. Let me explain. Whilst researching for my first novel, The Poet's Wife, I was lucky enough to interview a gent in his…
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The power of reading out loud whilst editing

Yesterday, the wonderful Bookouture turned two, my publisher who had (and continues to have) faith in me. That's two years of publishing 22 female authors and building their publishing business into this melting-pot of international creativity…
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A few thoughts on Rejection

I have been meaning to do this for some time, but finally I sat down this morning and counted up how many times my manuscript of The Poet's Wife was rejected before being taken on by Bookouture. Ok, are you ready for this? 83 times. Eighty-three…
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Nairobi's Storymoja Festival

I have just spent the past three out of five days at Nairobi's Storymoja Literature Festival. It is an offshoot from the UK's Hay Literature Festival and showcases literature, art and music from Kenya, other African countries and beyond as…
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How to use Monsters as inspiration to get kids writing

This week I worked with a group of Year Three's at Hillcrest School. We had lots of fun playing monster-themed games to get the children thinking about new and interesting ways to describe monsters. Using Ogden Nash's poem The Wendigo as…
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Magic Box poetry workshop

St.Anne's is a Catholic school in a suburb of Nairobi called Kisserian. This group of kids (aged between 7 and 13) gave up their free holiday time to come back to school for a poetry workshop. We used Kit Wright's wonderful poem, The Magic…