April-June Reading BAME authors

So how do I decide which books I'm going to read in this journey of only reading BAME authors during 2021? I have several pages in a big notebook where I have two lists of books that I 'must' read this year and books that I will 'maybe' read.…
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Five on Friday with Jill's Book Cafe Blog

I loved these unusual questions I was asked by Jill Doyle of Jill's Book Cafe Blog, such as what are my top 5 pieces of music, 5 things I can't live without and 5 pieces of advice I'd give to my younger self. It was really fun and thought-provoking…

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…