Top Reads of 2019

As the end of 2019 is fast approaching, I thought I'd write a list of my top ten books of this year. If you like the sound of any of them, you've still time to pop down to your local bookshop before Christmas. The following books are not in…

The Truth about my Mother on her 75th Birthday

My mother recently celebrated her 75th Birthday and, as one of the gifts I gave her, I decided to write a poem for her. The theme of this year's National Poetry Day was TRUTH, so I used that single word as a starting point for what became my…

Celebrating National Poetry Day

Please click here to read an article I have written about National Poetry Day, celebrated this year (2019) on 3rd October. This year's theme is TRUTH. So, why not join in and #tellyourtruth

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…
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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,…

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…

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…