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Writing Extracts and Tips

Here are a couple of extracts from my books, an extract from one of my students’ anthologies, a creative writing idea and a Neil Gaiman quote. Do you think there are writing ‘rules’ that need to be broken?

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#247Challenge

It’s National Writing Day! Check out #247challenge hashtag on social media to see 24 word stories that have been written for the occasion. Why not have a go at writing your own? Below is my attempt, inspired by a number of school visits where the children have been quick to talk about the technical side […]

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Why Write?

Here are some thoughts about why I write, recorded for National Writing Day 2019. It’s National Writing Day tomorrow, check out their hashtag #247challenge to see 24 word short stories written for this celebration of writing. Why not have a go at writing one yourself!

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An Extract from the Firebird Chronicles: The Basillica Isles

An extract from the Firebird Chronicles: They made their way along a dirt track that led through the heart of the makeshift encampment. Every so often, through the tarpaulins pulled between the shacks, Scoop caught a glimpse of the cathedral domes. The air was close, heavy with the smell of fried fish, sweet meats and […]

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Is writing like using an Alethiometer?

The way Philip Pullman describes the process of using the Alethiometer in the Northern Lights reminds me a bit of the writing process – holding lots of things in your mind and allowing them to flow without pushing too hard. ‘…That’s a symbol-reader…all these pictures round the rim…each one stands for a whole series of […]

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Student Creative Writing Showcase: Bingley by Muhammad Hashir

This lovely piece is by Muhammad Hashir, one of the students I worked with at Beckfoot Upper Heaton School. It’s part of our First Story anthology, We Have Conquered Earth! The illustration is by Si Smith. You can read about First Story’s work and see other antholgies at http://www.firststory.org.uk Bingley’s tale is one of the […]

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An Extract from the Firebird Chronicles: The Venus Flower

An extract from the Firebird Chronicles: In the centre of the clearing, a colossal flower blossomed. It sat on the ground, its tulip-shaped bowl surrounded by Trillium buds. Its petals looked as soft as swan feathers, but it was four times the height of Felda. Around the flower, tiny birds hovered, their wings flashing green […]

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An extract from the Firebird Chronicles

Wisdom, however, moved through the everglade like a butterfly tracking the scent of a rare flower. A little bird flitted ahead of her, darting from tree to tree. She ran her hand through a mass of blue buds, then stopped to smell a cup-shaped flower. It looked as if it had been set at a […]

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Gigan Ticks

An army of Gigan Ticks spilled from the Central Chasm. Black legs and bulbous bodies swarmed through the streets. The great arachnids scuttled along the cobbles, spinning sticky webs between the houses, climbing onto their roofs, ready to pounce.#FirebirdChronicles

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Memory and Childhood

I’ve been enjoying reading Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth. This extract made me think about memory and childhood, two themes I’ve been working with in my own writing. ‘The first thing I remember is when I was taken to Jordan for the first time. I don’t know how old I was – probably just a […]