Interview with Backlash Press

Recently, my third novel The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale was selected by an independent publisher Backlash Press as one of their 'curated indie' titles. Backlash describes itself as a small, independent press publishing house dedicated…
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The Curious World of Waiting

There is a great deal documented about the process of writing a novel: crafting a plot and characterisation and the story arc or the editing process, for example. There has also been much written about the finished product of a book: working…
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The Public Library Love Letter

I have had my poem about my long relationship with public libraries published with online literary magazine, Idle Ink. Click here to read this very personal poem. Me around the age I started falling in love with books.

A Year of Reading Authors of Colour

I decided towards the end of 2020 that in 2021 I would read books only by authors of colour / BAME authors. I made this decision after realising that only a tiny proportion of my shortlisted favourite books from 2020 fell into the BAME category.…

Big Girls Do Cry...A Lot

I am delighted to welcome on to the blog today Mphilo Mauncho, a twenty-year old student who lives in Nairobi, Kenya. In the following piece - Big Girls Do Cry - A Lot - Mphilo writes courageously about identity, belonging and the creative…
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Creative Writing Workshops with a Danish Gymnasium

I recently had the opportunity to teach a series of creative writing workshops to students at Herning Gymnasium in Denmark. I feel so fortunate to have been encouraged creatively as a child at primary school (doubtless helping to shape me into…
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How to stay connected in a time of disconnection

Here in the UK, we are in our third lockdown in the past year. Physically, we are more removed from one another than we have been as a species since the Spanish Flu over one hundred years ago. I find myself thinking of another time of great…
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Poems of a Teenage Girl

Last year, I spied a book in the window of my local bookshop, How to Grown your own Poem by Kate Clanchy. I loved the cover and the title and often use poetry to help my students with creative literacy, so decided to treat myself to…
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Second Prize in Trip Fiction Sense of Place Competition

I was delighted to discover last week that I had come second in a writing competition which 400 people from 35 countries entered. The remit was to write a piece of fiction or non-fiction under 3000 words that had a strong sense of place. I…

📚Top Ten Books of 2020📚

I read quite a lot of books, so it wasn't at all easy to narrow this list down to ten. I have also discovered the joys of audiobooks this year which has significantly bumped up my book intake. I spent some time writing out my long list, crossing…