Children's Author

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Skycircus book tour and SCBWICON18

It has been a super-busy autumn of book tour events with Skycircus. I visited lots of schools in Birmingham, Bristol and London, with Usborne and also with Pea Green Boat Books. As well as performing at events like Broughton Hall literary Festival, and doing their school events programme with Caboodle Books and Authors Abroad, I performed at the Beanstalk Literary Festival in London for hundreds of lovely Beanstalk readers and reading helpers.

Looking back I see I have been terrible at taking photographs over the months, but luckily lots of lovely teachers have taken pictures, so here are a few…



Last weekend I was at the SCWBI conference – SCBWI stands for the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators. It is a fantastic weekend for author and illustrators to hone their craft. I got to see a lot of my favourite writing people and Scbwi members, and I also got to be part of their fancy dress party and mass-book launch party with Skycircus. And I got to see my crit group buddy and ace author, Lorraine Gregory win the prestigious Crystal Kite Award for her fab debut novel ‘Mould and the Poison Plot’ It was such a brilliant weekend and I intend to write some more about it later, but in the meantime, here are a few pics…

In the SCBWI mass book launch
With my SCBWI crit group: Tania, Gail, Meira and CRYSTAL KITE WINNER Lorraine Gregory! No Miriam 🙁
SCWBI Party 2018
Lorraine wins the Crystal Kite
With Gail and Meira from my SCBWI crit group.

Cogheart November 2016 Roundup

November has been a little quieter in terms of Cogheart events, as I have got a massive pile of editing on Book 2 – Moonlocket – to get through. In fact I should be doing those edits right NOW, but instead I am writing this blogpost. So anyway, I shall make it a quick one! Although there weren’t many Cogheart specific events, there were quite a few other thing going on in November…

On Saturday the Fifth of November, I joined some awesome authors, librarians and teachers organised by Lucy Ivision, who were taking part in the March to Save Libraries and Culture. The austerity cuts in this country have seen the closure of hundreds of libraries and the axing of funding for many public arts bodies, which is a travesty. Art is a necessity not a luxury, libraries especially are a gateway to imagination, learning and creativity. To have a public space that’s free to visit, where you can browse books, do you homework, use the internet, join groups, get reading recommendations. It’s an essential public service for the future of education and creativity, and worth fighting for.

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In fact, John Bird, who spoke at the rally, expertly sums up the value of libraries to our society in his letter to the Guardian the same week…

The following Saturday I was at a very different event: Steampunks in Space, at the National Space Museum in Leicster. In the morning I did a children’s zoetrope animation workshop and after that there was a Q and A and reading from Cogheart and in the afternoon we did a signing and sold a few books. It was the first steampunk festival I have been to, and a fantastic day out. A great opportunity to meet Steampunk aficionados, all in amazing home-made outfits, and each with a story about the outfit and character that they’d created. They were such an amazing creative bunch, so I am hoping to do a couple more Steampunk events next year. Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the day…

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Then, near the end of the month, there was the SCBWI conference weekend. SCBWI, is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and every year they put on a conference weekend filled with amazing workshops and keynote speakers. This year I got to hear talks by David Almond, Leigh Hodgkinson – an old friend – and Sarah Davies from the Greenhouse agency. I also went to a workshop on Writing Series Fiction, How to put together content around your book for schools.

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The stand out event of the weekend for me a fantabulously fun hands-on picture book workshop with Viv Schwarz, where we created characters and picture books using a method similar to a big group version of consequences. I wish I had a bit more time to write about the conference, the keynotes and Viv’s talk in particular, but that’s a whole other post!

On the Saturday evening there’s the mass book launch where everyone dresses up as a book character, and if you have a book published you get to go onstage with the rest of the published SCBWI authors, This year – my third in attendance – I went as Harry Potter, and got to do this with Cogheart. It even appeared with all the other SCBWI authors on the mass book launch cake, which looked amazing and tasted rather sugary. Anyway here are some Potter pictures from the party…

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