I wrote Grow, my debut novel, after lots of conversations I was having with young people. You can read more about that here. I'd love to carry on those conversations with the young people the book was written for.
I offer talks/assemblies and readings as well as workshops across poetry and YA fiction to all stages of the secondary pathway.
My experience as an English teacher means I can tailor sessions to your students' context and slot in with curriculum if/where necessary. Please do get in touch to discuss further.
In addition to reading from Grow, here's a couple of off-the-peg workshop options I can offer. All are 1-1.5hrs long and could be appropriate for a variety of year groups.
In this session, we look at how good people can sometimes do bad things. And sometimes, bad people can act out of goodness. Actually, the line between what makes 'good' and 'bad' is often pretty blurry. We'll play with writing a range of 'minor misdemeanours' to explore the ins and outs of these ideas in prose, and maybe start tapping at the edges of those issues in our society which define us as either 'good' or 'bad'... whatever that means!
This session, useful for poetry and prose writing, begins with the object. For centuries, writers have sought new ways of looking at the world around them, seeking fresh perspectives to illuminate new 'truths' (!). We'll at some of those ways to bring novelty to the things that surround us everyday.
Write Like a Machine
(requires a library / LRC / big stack of books)
Can machines write poetry? Somewhere in the contemporary poetry miasma, more and more poets are working with or alongside AIs to try and answer this question. AIs work on algorithms, looking for patterns in what a poem may or may not be. They use these to create their own poems from a restricted set of data - or words. They don't know any of the rules for what makes a poem 'good' or not. In this workshop, we're going to be the computers, chuck the rule book out the window and see what we happens when we're no longer in charge of coming up with all the ideas in the first place.
‘As Melvin Burgess’s Junk was to the dangers of drugs, this cautionary young adult novel is to the threat of radicalisation.’ Nicolette Jones on Grow, The Sunday Times, Children’s Book of the Week July 2021