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August 2007

Things have been a bit static lately on my website because the lovely Leslie is busy redesigning a new one for me. This will hopefully be ready to go online very soon. But for the moment here is some of what has been going on with me in the last while.

August is here and once again Edinburgh is wearing its vividly colourful garb as the Festival City. Next week the Edinburgh International Book Festival starts on Saturday 11th August for just over two weeks of literary delights in Charlotte Square Gardens. It is a busy time for me especially the first weekend when I am chairing a panel event on How to Get Published on Saturday, speaking on Writing for the Educational Market on Sunday and running a workshop on Writing children’s characters on Monday. The following week I am running another workshop on Writing for children under ten on the Monday and finally on Tuesday I am introducing Greg and Kate Mosse who will be talking about various aspects of the writer’s craft – See my EVENTSĀ  page for further details

I will be at the Society of Authors in Scotland AGM where I will be standing down from the committee. It has been an interesting few years – meetings were far from boring and often characterised by frequent outbursts of laughter. I will especially miss the cream cakes! Perhaps I might be persuaded to come back and report to them occasionally in my position as vice chair of the Literature Forum – Who said I couldn’t be bribed by cream cakes??

I have been travelling around a lot in the last couple of months. I was visiting schools in Aberdeenshire in June. I had been contacted by Banchory Primary School P2 who sent me some lovely pictures and stories they had written about Hamish McHaggis and I visited both P2 classes there. I also visited Crathie Primary School, MacDuff and Rosehearty primary schools, Maud primary and Old Rayne Primary School,

In July I visited schools when I spent a week in Kent starting with the Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, Wilmington Primary School, Garlinge Primary School and finally Linden Grove Primary school where I stayed on after speaking to the children to present two lucky pupils with bicycles they had won in a special draw, for regular reading over a number of weeks.

I also travelled to Cardiff and then London in connection with the Channel 4 TV quiz programme CODEX. This is filmed in the British Museum in London in the middle of the night. I was one of a team of three children’s writers and we had to answer questions about some of the artifacts in the museum. The quiz is hosted by Tony Robinson. It was a great experience, particularly being in the museum which is such an amazing place especially during the night when it is all closed to the public. We started filming at 3am and I thought I was tired but as soon as it began I forgot all about that and it was great fun! My other team mates were children’s writers Charles Butler and Mark Robson. Did we win? Well…….we were sworn to secrecy until the programme is shown on TV, sometime in September. I will post up the date when I find out!

We also did some filming at the Archbishop Courtenay School in Maidstone and the children and teachers there were absolute stars! The film production crew were a good bunch and a great time was had by all.

I also spent a week in a lovely old manor house in Oxfordshire with the SAS (Scattered Authors Society) 25 wonderful children’s writers which was a delight. So once the Book Festival is over I will be heading for my writing shed for a bit to catch up… more on that later…

This entry was posted on Monday, August 6th, 2007 at 8:59 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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