Friday, 29 June 2012

Back to School

I spent yesterday shadowing fantastic poet Ian Bland at a primary school in Rochdale. Ian writes poetry for children and travels all over the country running poetry workshops in schools. He is absolutely brilliant. By the end of the day, every Junior child had written their own poem. Ian is definitely someone to book if you are a primary school Literacy Coordinator or Head Teacher. Shadowing was a great opportunity to see primary school workshopping modelled so that I can refine and improve my own skills and ideas for running creative writing workshops.

It really is difficult to pay bills from just writing stories (sorry, if this sounds whingy... I know I'm lucky to be able to do what I'm doing. And please no one mention JKR...) Working as a writer in schools is a way to supplement my wage. But actually the financial incentive is not the major motivator for me. I just really miss working with people. There is something horribly indulgent in spending all day every day writing. What I loved about the youth work job I packed in to write full time is that it felt like I was actually doing something constructive in other people's lives. I felt like I was contributing to society. Being useful.

I realised how much I miss working with children and young people and LOVED putting that 'hat' back on again yesterday.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Wowfest Flash

When Mr S and I went to FACT cinema in Liverpool to see Prometheus, I had to subdue a moment of sudden delight as I saw a piece of my flash fiction stuck on the wall by the cinema bar. All the entries into the Wowfest flash fiction competition are stuck up there at the moment. I had sort of forgotten that that was going to happen. Honestly! So I affected a nonchalant air; a 'this happens all the time' shrug, and then posed by it for a couple of snaps. I am so completely transparent. Sadly, mine didn't make the shortlist, but the three fantastic winners can be found here, including one of my favourites from brilliant poet, writer and blogger Clare Kirwan.

It does look rather lovely, with all the stories pasted up. Something to read whilst your companion goes for a pre-film wee. Ideal really. The theme was the end of the world. I have to say we didn't make much of Prometheus, it was less than earth shattering. But Wowfest's lovely installation easily made up for it for me.