Posts

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An Advent Calendar Poe-Tree

I had been meaning to create an advent calendar 'poe-tree' for my children for years, ever since seeing one on a children's book blog I follow. There's never going to be an easy time to do this, so I just decided to go for it this year, pulling…

A love letter to the public library

Public libraries have been a lifeline for me for many, many years. This poem had been brewing in my head for some time, and I finally made the space and time to sit down and write it. By a lovely sleight of serendipity, it also happens to be…
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Why engaging in poetry is a way into writing for kids

Ask a child to write a poem or ask a child to write a story. Which is less daunting? A story, on the whole, needs a beginning, middle and end. But a poem? It can be pages long. Or it can just be a few words. That's the beauty of poetry, the…
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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…
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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,…
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Book Review: Under the Spell of the Moon

Under the Spell of the Moon is self-described as 'Art for children from the world's great illustrators.' I would amend this title to 'Art and Poetry.....Great illustrators and poets'. For this book is a visual feast in more ways than one,…
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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…
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Identity Poetry

My greatest challenge I find when I'm doing creative writing and poetry workshops is the time element - trying to squeeze everything I've planned (which always includes fun warm up exercises and small group discussions) into the timeframe…
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Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson, beloved Scottish author of Treasure Island as well as a number of other books for children and adults and an abundance of poems and musical compositions, travelled a great deal throughout his life before finally making…
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How to start with poetry for children? Immersion, leisure, enjoyment, fun

'Poetry plays a powerful role in increasing students’ literacy skills in schools. But unless literacy starts with goosebumps, laughter, or contemplation, none of us would bother to read anything but bills, instructions and road signs. When…