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Viking Artwork at Beech Hill Primary

We celebrated my 10th Anniversary as a children’s author spending a week with some of our biggest fans up in Yarm and at┬áStockton-On-Tees. Conyers High School is a great place to be for Kath and I – our good friend and librarian, Kim Dawson, always ensures we are well fed and looked after. Instead of having the new intake of Year 7’s en masse as per last year, this time we had them in three large groups and each session proved a great success. After signing books at Conyers, it was time to get down to the fab Stockton Library, where our hostess, Lucy, was waiting to organise our library events over the next few days. We saw lots of children from lots of schools and even did an evening session on ‘How To Get Published’ – this proved a great hit with our adult writers who turned up for the session. The climax to the week was a huge presentation in the state-of-the-art Yarm School theatre in front of around 450 pupils from all over Stockton. The school’s two librarians, Deborah and Katherine, ensured all went smoothly and it seems we are going to be back at this stunning location next year to launch my new scary football book.

Over to Luton next, to Beech Hill Primary School. This school is a wonderful example of how an entire school can become

Fab Year 6's from Beech Hill at War Memorial

enveloped in a ‘book culture’ and live and breathe books. Our son and author, Simon, joined us in working for three days with Years 5 and 6. Personally, I’ve never done so many classroom-based writing workshops, but enjoyed every minute of them…all of the pupils without exception so keen to listen and learn from our experiences. It was also of added interest to accompany a fab group of Year 6’s down to the war memorial in Luton centre to pay our respects and also to talk to 29 NQT’s at the end of a busy day about all things literary and what gets children to pick up a book and read.

A HUGE thank you to Mr Hawkins and Ms Carey for all their hard work in organising the week for us so well, especially after a lorry fire on M4 motorway caused our week to start off with a delay to the proceedings.

PJM

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