LAUGH OUT LOUD

I'm dead chuffed to tell you that one of my poems 'Laughing Your Head Off'  has been chosen Macmillan Children's Books to be included in their new poetry anthology called 'Laugh Out Loud'.  The book is available in all good book shops.

DRIVING THE INVISIBLE BUS

My third collection of children's poems is now available.  It's called 'Driving The Invisible Bus'.  It features loads more funny, crazy, quirky and entertaining poems for kids aged 7 to 11.  Copies are £4 each including P&P.  For details on how to buy a copy please e-mail me or catch me live in a library somewhere!

AWARD WINNING SHINE MAGAZINE

Shine winners

In October 2007 I hosted the Youth Justice Board/Arts Council Just Creativity Awards held at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds. This awards ceremony is about celebrating the work the arts provides in youth justice. I was very pleased to be nominated for an award in the Outstanding Partnership category alongside Kirklees Youth Offending Team for the magazine we produced called "Shine". The competition was of a very high standard, but managed to WIN.

I was delighted because Kirklees YOT have really embraced the work I have been doing with them and their young people and the magazine is a testament to all this hard work. So well done everyone involved!

MICHAEL MORPURGO

Michael Morpurgo and Me

I recently hosted an event with children´s writer Michael Morpurgo at the Leeds Town Hall. 1200 people came along to hear Michael talk about his books and where he gets his ideas. I warmed the audience up and introduced him. He was a lovely bloke, down to earth and friendly. He even asked me if I wanted a cup of tea. Tea with Morpurgo. Sounds like one of his stories.

YORKSHIRE ARTSPACE

My good friend the artist Trish O´Shea was recently Artist–in Residence at the Town Hall in Sheffield. Yorkshire artspace commissioned me to write a response piece to the work that Trish had been doing. It was a bit of a challenge to me because this is not the kind of work I normally do but I think its good to challenge your self now and again. The piece was called The Space In-Between and will be included in a publication out next May.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WRITERS IN EDUCATION

I´m happy to say that I´ll be working on another NAWE project next year. I´ll be working alongside Riverside Primary school in Tadcaster in January 2009. I´ll be talking to the pupils there about poetry and generally messing about with words and ideas. I really enjoyed the last NAWE thing I did and look forward to this one.

TOM PALMER

My old mucker Tom Palmer has a new book out called Foul Play which is published by Puffin. I was dead chuffed when I found out that Tom had got this publishing deal with a major publisher. He really deserves it. The book is brilliant, fast paced, lively and gripping. It´s about football but even if you don´t like football you´ll like it. The last time I saw Tom he took a fiver off me at pool. But don´t worry, I´ll get him next time. (besides, I think he cheated, talk about Foul Play!!)

QCA calls for more Creative English

"The way English is taught in schools should be reformed amid calls for more "creative" teaching, a study suggested.
Poets, journalists and actors should be required to spend more time in schools and children should be taught through drama from an early age. Children should be taught to read whole books, not just extracts for exams.
The "English 21" report, from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority identified some key themes:

A desire from teachers for more time to focus on the creative and arts aspect of English, which has been lost under perceived pressure to prepare for exams.

A sense that English lessons were too remote from the outside world and calls for more contact with professional writers and actors as a key part of the curriculum."

Yorkshire Post 30/09/05

A big book and a big smile

"I've seen many sessions by many authors, poets and storytellers but I've never seen any sessions that evoked such a positive response from children, fantastic!!"

Anne Burns - School Library Service, Bolton