28/04/21 – A real honour to be asked to judge this year’s Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate competition alongside the 2020 winner Ellie Dart and Justin Coe. The standard of poetry was breathtaking and as always with young people’s writing, their poetry was evocative, relevant and honest. All of the poets were amazing and the winner? Faith has the most incredible potential. Watch out Poetry World!!
Further details on the Severn Arts webpage
05/04/21 – Certificate received from De Montfort University of a Teaching Assistant, Level 3 Qualification. Always useful as a writer for young people and you never know where it may lead
Modules included – Schools & Colleges as Organisations, Support Health & Safety in a Learning Environment, Understand how to Safeguard Children & Young People, Understand how children and young people develop
21/03/2021 – The Death of a Forest is shortlisted in WORD Stafford’s ‘Place’ poetry competition. Hurrah!
Death of Forest
Ten years before, I’d walked this trail
Through fir, through fern
through branches, through life
through occasional breaks
through glimpses of light
in branches that stretched
came the monochrome flight
of a nutcracker, in shadow
that flew alongside
like a phantom
The trail is now bulldozered
Those tangles of roots
That delved for their lives
the tips of the trees
that fought for the light
the meandering path
that once graced the sight
of a monochrome bird
but a concrete phantom
of what it once was
17/02/21 – The Worcestershire Litfest Young Writers competition 2021 is now open. Details as per the below YouTube recording
23/12/2020 – Lovely to be involved in the #worcestershirelibraries Winter Medley with one of my favourite children’s poems
1/11/2020 – In uncertain times, it is great to be involved with Litopia Pop-up Submissions. My fourth visit and really enjoyable as always
01/10/20 – National Poetry Day and great to be part of the #shareapoem event with Worcestershire Libraries with ‘Funeral Vision’
19/09/20 and 20/9/20 – back to storytelling with The Story Knights at Hartlebury Castle to celebrate World Heritage Day
22/07/20 – Another one for photos! This time a photograph that was taken in the winter and now transformed into a wonderful painting by local artist, Susan Birth.
18/07/20 – As StorytellerK from Northwick, I’ve been sending some photographs to BBC Weather Watchers. After being chosen as ‘editors choice’ for the day, it turned up on BBC T.V. too – hurrah!
12/07/2020 – I was lucky enough to be invited back to Litopia Pop-up Submissions for the third time. Really interesting to hear the ideas and stories and to meet fellow YA author, Meredith Tate
02/07/20 – I was very proud to be asked about my role as Children’s Writing Ambassador for Worcester Litfest. We spoke about favourite books, illustration, proudest moments and in encouraging Young People to enjoy their reading and writing. Thank you!!
01/06/20 – Singing with Voices Unlimited has definitely helped me through the Covid-19 experience and they kindly published my VLOG too!
29/03/2020 – A return to Litopia Pop-up Submissions. As always, I have complete admiration for those brave souls who submit their work
09/01/20 – At Speakeasy, Worcester. Photo courtesy of Mel Woodend who is the current Staffordshire Poet Laureate and the featured performer for the night.
24/11/19 – a real honour to be asked to be involved with this. Every Sunday literary agent Peter Cox and his guests review the weeks’ manuscript submissions – live and on-air. Very brave of the writers to do this. Some cracking stories too!
14/11/19 – Flam And Flange – At Heroes Bar, Worcester, and part of an event raising money for Fibromyalgia Action UK. Alongside live sets from Tone Tanner, Mutante and The Arbouretum and spoken word from Charley Barnes and Katie Harris – thank you for inviting me!
26/10/19 to 31/10/19 – at Bodenham Arboretum as The Story Knights for some Spooky, Halloween storytelling. It’s been marvellous!
19/06/19 – Really enjoyed the launch of Sue Pritchard’s/Frances Bennett’s Something Wicked and published by Black Pear Press. She is such an excellent writer and it was a real privilege to be asked to read. Good luck with this Sue/Frances!!
15/06/19 – The end of the Worcestershire Litfest, 2019. An event that began with the Young Writers competition and ended with the big fat raffle. There were lots of literary things in between!
22/03/19 – Thank you to the Creative Writing Society at the University of Worcester for inviting me to discuss character building. Some really deep, evocative characters created and I’m looking forward to reading all about them!
Grateful to Katie Harris for including me in this on 07/12/19 at Heroes in Worcester. I’ve written a couple of new poems, one of which fits in the notion that I am, indeed, an eater of oranges
06/12/18 – Lovely article about the Clothiers Company Annual Award from the University of Worcester
(Photograph of the Clothiers Company Annual Dinner, in the Guild Hall, by Jodie Stilgoe)
29/11/18 – Really enjoying my photography at the moment and one taken in the summer, with November in mind, has won WN Camera Club Photo of the day, which is great!
It is entitled ‘Poppy by the Severn’
22/11/18 – A poem received from a young writer (and neighbour) who has kindly bought a copy of Max & Luchia: The Game Makers. It’s brilliant – thank you!
I know a writer
I know a writer who lives on my street
I know a writer who is good at their job
I know a writer who knows me too
11/11/18 – I read a children’s poem and a story focussed on WWI Chaplains including Woodbine Willie at Fort Royal, Worcester, as part of the Lighting of the Beacon ceremony. The Mayor also spoke and we were memorably entertained by Dancefest
6/11/18 – Graduation Day, University of Worcester, with Michael Wheatley and Margaret Adkins
(Photograph by Paul Adkins)
Confirmation of First Class Honours
05/11/18 – Receiving the Clothiers Company Annual Award at the University Graduation Awards Dinner
1/11/18 – At the George Marshall Medical Museum. Using a story based in 1850 called ‘A Walk in Nunnery Wood’ as inspiration, the young writers created incredible stories!
29/10/18 – Final night (of three) of Halloween storytelling. Lakeside Cabin at Bodenham Arboretum as part of the Torch Lit Pumpkin Walk. It is the first event in which ‘The Knights of Max & Luchia: The Game Makers’ have told their stories (Sera Bryant and Myself). Tough, but rewarding!
27th & 28th /10/18 – A big thank you to Nina Lewis for involving me in this project.
26/10/18 – Lovely to be invited to the U3A Worcester meeting in Bromyard Road. We spoke about writing in general and then focussed on the distilled art of writing Flash Fiction. Some excellent ideas and beautifully crafted stories and poems. A really enjoyable two hours – thank you!
16/10/18 – Attended pre-dinner drinks at the Clothiers Annual Dinner 16/10/18. Sera Bryant and myself spoke to some incredibly friendly and welcoming members of the Worcester Clothiers Company about our writing and illustration aspirations. We also spoke about Max & Luchia!
(Photograph of the Guild Hall, Worcester, by Jodie Stilgoe)
03/10/18 – The students who read at the book launch of Max & Luchia: The Game Makers, were incredibly brave. They were also incredibly good!
23/09/18 – Such a privilege to work with Sera, Jodie & Kayleigh for the Book Launch of Max & Luchia: The Gamemakers and really special to have been part of this university article
Really lovely to receive a review of the launch from a vegan baker, Kayleigh, who specialises in gluten and allergy free cakes
14/09/18 – A lovely first. An opportunity to be featured performer at WorcesterLitFest & Fringe, Speakeasy. It’s an event I’ve been going to for several years and it was great to do this.
Lovely to get a first in BA (Hons) Creative Writing & English Literature from the University of Worcester, and to get a mention in the Worcester News as part of the 343 too!
27/07/18 – Another one from The Hive. On the shelf, next to Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes. Doesn’t happen every day!
21/06/18 – Celebration as part of the Federation of Children’s Book Group’s 50th Anniversary and run by the Worcestershire Children’s Book Group. 6 schools from the local area attended. To listen to the young people’s enthusiasm for all things books was amazing. I even had the opportunity to cut the cake!
16/06/18 – An odd day. Runner-up in the Poetry Slam, then the winner in the Worcester Litfest Flash Fiction Competition. As I say, an odd and yet remarkable day (photo with Ruth, Worcester Litfest Director)
22/05/18 – Occasionally, amazing things happen. Thank you so much to Tim and Jodie (the ones beside me in the photo, who, along with the rest of the Worcester Students’ Union actually do the real work) for presenting me with Institute Rep of the Year! Blimey.
11/05/18 – What a great morning at the ‘Meet the Author’ event in which myself, Kathy Gee Wordstring and Dennis Hodgkins were given the opportunity by Evesham Festival of Words to talk about books. Thank you for making us feel so welcome!
28/03/18 -You may say it was fate, that last night was great, to celebrate, birthday number eight at Worcester 42 with Alan Durham, James Burkes, Myfanwy Fox, Suz Winspear, Timothy Stavert, Polly Stretton and others, not that I’d want to pontificate. Lovely to be asked to host the event too!
19/03/18 – Great day at Pershore High School, where a group of yr10 & y11 boys created a story out of a hat. Ribbity Ribbon, football coach, gambler, raver, spoon player, his Jewellery heist thwarted by Korean mafia, goes onto win the Champions league. FANTASTIC STUFF!!
08/03/18 – It was ‘Kings and Queens’ day at Blessed Edward Oldcorne. 2 x sessions with 15 students, with each student creating a story for the upcoming Worcester Litfest Young Writers’ Competition. Really looking forward to reading these!
04/03/18 – Really enjoyable afternoon at Oakley Flanagan’s book launch. The former Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate (and guest performer) was in great form!
01/03/18 – Well, the Beast from the East scuppered a few World Book Day plans and revisits to Pershore High School and Blessed Edward Oldcorne have now been rearranged. Fortunately, I did get the chance to go to Christopher Whitehead School to talk about reluctant reading and my YA novel, Jimmy Cricket
29/02/18 – Lovely article by Black Pear Press – Thank you! I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do this.
14/01/18 – Great to be asked to read at Suz Winspear’s book launch of ‘The Awkward People’ at Drummonds in Worcester. I read ‘Bat in the Box’ and ‘Bang Bang’ (as written by Mike Wheatley). The former Worcestershire Poet Laureate has produced a wonderful collection – my favourite poem is Safe Harbour
11/01/18 – Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the prize giving for the Rotary Young Writers Competition at Pershore High, but I’ve since read the four winning stories. Dark stuff but extremely compelling. One of them has since won the District Competition too! Good for them all!
19/11/17 – Lovely opportunity to read a story from the ‘Of Machines And Men’ Lit Fest Young Writers’ Anthology at Titania House. Some (all!) really great stories from the Young Writers!
17/11/17 – Didn’t they do well! The students of Blessed Edward Oldcorne that is! 5th and 8th in the regional finals of the Worldwide, KidsLitQuiz in Butts Arena, Coventry. Fantastic Performance!
13/11/17 – Second visit to Pershore High today to follow up a visit on 03/11/17. Some fantastic ideas from the young people with reference to the Rotary Young Writers Competition! Looking forward to reading the entries!
21/10/17 – Managed to see Jeremy Strong today at the Beeline, University of Worcester children’s storytelling festival. I remember reading Fatbag the Demon Vacuum Cleaner some years ago. Apparently, he’s now written 107 books! Other highlights from the festival included the incredible Michael Rosen and a wonderful day watching a group of Primary School children animate their own film.
12/10/17 – A quick visit to help judge the acrostic poem competition at Blessed Edward Oldcorne. Decisions made, but very difficult
29/09/17 – Into Blessed Edward Oldcorne to meet the new year 7s. We discussed their reading and writing likes and dislikes along with the renaissance reading scheme. There was also time to speak about their sporting prowess, which fitted in neatly with a chat about my YA book, Jimmy Cricket!
27/09/17 – 42 Night in Worcester and an opportunity to read from my new novel, the first chapter of my YA dissertation piece, The Objectors
26/07/17 – An opportunity to host at my favourite spoken word event, 42 Worcester. Some really great performances, a couple of beers, a few laughs and a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Just another night at 42 then! The stellar cast included – Sera Bryant, Liam Cortintias, Polly Stretton, Timber Stavert, Holly Magill, Neil Richards, James Burr, Suz Winspear, Margaret Adkins, and Nina Lewis
29/06/17 – A story of mine called The Biggest Issue, and loosely based on a Big Issue Salesman I met on a freezing December Day, has been commended in the Graffiti Magazine short story competition. It is due to be published in the August Edition
26/06/17 – A day I won’t forget in a hurry! I’ve taken over from Karen King today at Blessed Edward Oldcorne as the Patron of Reading. Karen is exactly the kind of successful children’s writer that I one day aspire to be. I’m really looking forward to working with the wonderful librarian, Mrs Bromyard, and the eager young readers and writers at the school
05/06/17 – A poem of mine has been published on the Good Dadhood site as per the below link. A lovely surprise, especially with father’s day just around the corner.
05/05/17 – A story of mine entitled ‘Caught Out’ has been selected to be included in the anthology called Paws for Thought and as per the below link. Proceeds go to the RSPCA
01/05/17 – ‘Broken Memories’ a short story based on a man, emotionally abused as a child, who returns to the family home as an adult has been longlisted, then shortlisted in the Nottingham, National Short Story competition
15/12/16 – I’ve had 4 x nursing case studies published, which is great and very different to anything I’ve done before. Following an interview with 4 different students about their life at the University of Worcester, these have now been accepted as a means to inspire future students to pursue a future nursing career
15/11/16 – A story entitled ‘Opening the Locks’ has been longlisted, then shortlisted in the Erewash, National Short Story Competition
05/11/16 – A story originally aimed at Women’s Weekly called ‘Dance Night’ has been included in the Black Pear Press anthology as per the below link, after being longlisted
02/11/16 – A poem entitled ‘The Rivers of 1916’ and a piece of flash fiction about the 1/8 Worcester Battalion’s involvement in the Battle of the Somme have been included in a wonderful little anthology that incorporates the work of Worcester Writers Circle
15/10/16 – Two pieces of Flash Fiction have been included in the Cache of Flashes, namely ‘Butterfingers’ and ‘Filled with Joy’
03/06/16 – ‘The Photograph’ A short story about a man who revisits Leominster and retraces his steps via the use of a Photograph – Short Listed, then awarded Runner Up in the Festival Competition, 2016. Deborah Moggach (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), handed out the certificates at Grange Court
26/05/16 – The Contract, a short story about gambling with more than the protagonist could afford, has been awarded ‘Runner Up’ in this years Nottingham Writers’ Competition and a competition. The Long list was almost 80 and the shortlist 25
25/04/16 – The Cha, Cha, Cha poem (Magic Dancing Shoes) has been published by Kishboo Online Magazine
28/03/16 – Incredibly, I’ve found out today that my story ‘Pooh Sticks & Rainbows’ has won 1st prize in the Kishboo, Spring, 2016, Short Story Competition. Thank you to everyone who voted – I’m so very grateful! Thank you so much to Kishboo Magazine for publishing this because it is a story which means a lot, which therefore means that this means an awful lot too!
30/01/16 – I found this the other day. I guess it’s not often you see your name mentioned on the same page as The Rolling Stones and The Levellers and so I felt compelled to add the below link to my blog. Thank you to Polly Stretton and Black Pear Press for sending this off to Slap Magazine!