Category Archives: Creative Writing

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A volunteer revolution – an unsung hero of the UK economy

“My prediction is that 2017 might just be the year of micro-volunteering and data donation, with cheap technologies allowing everyone to volunteer from home for short and sweet periods of time, no matter how much time they have to give.”  NESTA Around one in three of us volunteers in the UK.  This ratio could be even higher if you include informal (and unrecorded) volunteering.  Those acts involving our time, skills, expertise or just our sheer enthusiasm aren’t always measured.  We Read more [...]
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Dyslexia – a disability or a unique learning ability?

In a highly personal article written for the Sunday Times, Richard Branson calls for a rethink on how we support dyslexic children in our education system.  Branson recalls his experience of being dyslexic and "dropping out" at 16 with a profound sense of being failed by a rigid, box-ticking education system that he believes treats dyslexia as a disability. Branson - the billionaire entrepreneur -  points out that Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs are all thought to have been dyslexic, Read more [...]
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A Letter to Dad

Dad The stag returned, this time he brought his season’s companion, he looked towards where you lay (during your last days), then startled by us noticing, he turned away, vanishing behind hedgerows. From your window’s view rabbits seemed subdued, munching under-growth. Under clear glass skies, shafts of light cut through resting upon Westfield. “The good man is the friend of all living things”, you were tuned to nature’s beat.  We grew up around your open heart, an owl under your Read more [...]
Balloons in the sky, never forgotten

For Croscombe Primary School, in memory of our special friend Lydia on her birthday May 27th, 2016.

Special friends are warm like sunshine Special friends play together, even if the rain wont stop Special friends do hide and seek Special friends forever in our hearts Special friends are a twinkle twinkle little star Special friends play together, even when the skies are dark Special friends when we tag and chase Special friends forever in our hearts Read more [...]
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Staring into the face of grief

Waking to a BBC news alert - presented as an almost triumphant musical signature on my mobile ,  I learnt, like so many others, that David Bowie had died. This was shocking. Many of us had his smiling face imprinted on our minds because of a photo posted on social media of him celebrating his 69th birthday just a day or so before his death was announced.   He looked fine, handsome, characteristically debonair. The internet lit up with Bowie from then on – the visionary starman – who gazed Read more [...]
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Unlocking potential with the love of words

I had the opportunity to attend a rather special event, on behalf of the Wells Festival of Literature.   This was an annual celebration for children’s literacy charity Beanstalk held at the House of Commons. Beanstalk recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one reading support in primary schools to children who have fallen behind with their reading. The consequences of the literacy gap in children and young people is significant, including an estimated  cost Read more [...]

Following my character – coming out of the creative writing wilderness – part 3

"First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!" Ray Bradbury. "Have you ever stood among a roomful of strangers striving to embody a colour of your choice - emoting from your lungs to your fingertips the sensation of being, say, red or yellow or green? No, neither had I until I signed up, in a moment of rashness and insatiable curiosity, for a four-day acting course at the Poor School, King’s Cross which I saw advertised in a well-known London listings magazine." Theatre critic Read more [...]

Street writing – coming out of the creative writing wilderness, part 2

"I received scripts of such a high standard. But then I've never worked with a 'literary' partner before and it certainly showed. After much rereading and deliberation I have whittled 40 scripts down to 12.  They all have huge potential. There's a real range of stories, characters, styles - and locations.” Sheila Hannon, producer / writer, Show of Strength Theatre Company. I literally screwed my eyes, blinking in disbelief, when I saw the list of 12 selected writers (out of 40) whose scripts Read more [...]