I began teaching in a secondary modern school in north west London in 1970; I have always had an affinity with young people and spent many years working with them in inner city settings. It has been an enormous privilege going back into schools and working with them as a published writer. I have and can work with all ages, in primary or secondary schools, tailoring my workshops to suit the needs and requirements of pupil and school.
As part of my work in schools, I have successfully mentored young people through the process of developing and producing school magazines and anthologies of their own writing projects. I can work with students from Year 1 to postgraduate level in a variety of specialist areas including fiction writing, poetry and journalism, which can be delivered in the form of a workshop or extended programme.
As part of any workshop or programme I include a ‘performance’ aspect, where performance and delivery skills are taught to learners – developing their social skills, abilities and building confidence levels.
For a while I had the honour to work as ‘writer in residence’ for Calderdale High Schools and for the Faculty of Education, University of Leeds.
I’m able to adapt all consultancy, delivery and project management to suit all budgets and funding pots – please contact me directly to discuss pricing.
I have run writing workshops and programmes all over the UK for adults and young people, within the fields of writing and performance – this includes working with the visually impaired, men in prison, English teachers and writers’ groups.
I am extremely skilled and professional at building group and individual confidence. My workshops are fun, engaging and educational.
I have and will travel to any part of the UK.
Please contact me to discuss how I can best work with your writers’ group.
I have a great deal of experience in running Readers’ Groups. Having been Reader in Residence for Kirklees Libraries for three years – I’ve trained library staff in many authorities on approaches to running readers’ groups.
I’ve also run very successful ‘one off’ reader’s group sessions on poetry, as workshops – often as part of a larger event or festival.
I am happy to come in, on a consultancy basis, to work with your group, or your group co-ordinator(s). Full references or recommendations may be provided on request.
Whatever your budget, please contact me to discuss how I can best work with your readers’ group.
One of my greatest areas of expertise is the hosting and the running of literary events.
These include Readers’ Days, where I usually compere, running readers’ and writers panels’, introducing and interviewing acts. I concentrate on building rapport and engagement, making the day stress-free, seamless and fun.
I am very knowledgeable and confident in the world of books and reading, and able to communicate my enthusiasm to an audience of any size, from 20 to 200, creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable to make their own contributions to the general debate.
I have hosted Readers’ Days and literature events all over the UK. My particular skills are in having a conversation with an author/writer on a platform or stage and making it appear casual, informal and fun. Writers have included (amongst hundreds of others) Andrew Motion, Sarah Waters, Joanne Harris, Val McDermid, Michael Holroyd and Simon Armitage.
I have performed all over the country, with both poetry and prose. I am an accomplished and amusing performer of my own and others’ work. I can work with groups to develop a knowledge and understanding of poetry and have run many open mic spots.
I have performed at the Ilkley Literature Festival, Bradford Literature Festival, Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Bridlington Poetry Festival and the Beverley and Humber Mouth festivals, to name just a few.
Whatever your budget please contact me to discuss how I can give you the best and most inclusive poetry/prose event.
Please click here to view examples of my work.
Writing and journalism
I have also had a variety of writing commissions for Northern Ballet, Barnsley, Sheffield and Bradford local authorities, both working alone or with community groups to produce work which reflects local or institutional concerns.