After several months of hibernation in the writing cave, I've recently poked my nose out, sniffed the air and ventured out into the world again, visiting schools in Leicester and Monmouthshire. Blimey! I'd forgotten how exciting an invigorating it is to share stories and talk books. Kids are such a tonic!
First up was the legendary Author Week held at the Leicester Tigers ground - 5,000 kids over five days with 15 story makers. It's like a book rock concert. Not only does every child take part in a mass workshop but they also get a free book to take home. Such talented and enthusiastic children (and teachers!), and wonderful mentors from Whatever it Takes, the Leicester Libraries literacy programme. I was blown away by the project work I received from Herrick Primary School - great writing and awesome artwork inspired by the mighty Simon Cooper, illustrator of the Undead Pets series.
This week I've been closer to home, out and about in Monmouthshire meeting students from four outstanding schools - Osbaston, Kymin View, Trellech and Cross Ash. What a creative and talented bunch of students - and teachers! We talked about generating story ideas, creating characters with depth and the importance of a hooky opening line. I loved hearing the students' story ideas - everything from home-work helping pixies to thumb-sized wizards sent back in time to save the world from oblivion. Next week I'm meeting students from four other outstanding schools: Raglan, Usk, Overmonnow and Llandogo. My skeleton is packed. The smelly stickers are already stinking out my car, and my six foot ice cream, life-sized penguin and cute corgi cutouts are ready to go! I can't wait to share stories with more inspirational kids. Let's do this!