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Some events in 2018

In April, I spent many hours reading entries for Tower Hamlets School Library Service Creative Writing competition. The theme was ’We need to make some changes around here’. Three months later, I have enjoyed meeting the writers behind the prize-winning stories and poems.

It was lovely seeing so many proud family members too at the event, as well as supportive teachers and librarians. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to hear more of the young writers’ voices in two workshops the following day. The Arts Council of England funded these as well as author workshops in schools and libraries. With so many cutbacks up and down the country, creative projects like this for young people are precious.

World Book Day was more than eventful with the snow but as I wrote in my blog, negatives can be turned to positives! I managed a number of visits before, after and in the snow. As ever, meeting young readers  is always rewarding, as well as their energetic teachers and librarians who make author visits possible with their planning and prep.

14th May is Tiny Owl’s publication date for my Cinderella of the Nile, with stunning illustrations by Marjan Vafaeian.  I shall be launching the book with Tiny Owl at the Hay Festival and am hugely looking forward to Marjan joining us at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

You can read a fascinating article here by publisher Delaram Ghanimifard about the motivation behind Tiny Owl’s new series ’One Story, Many Voices’. Delaram grew up in Tehran in the 1980s and writes: “There is something magical in the way stories have travelled across time and culture.” I agree. Delaram also gives a preview of a couple of Marjan Vafaeian’s fabulous illustrations for our book, the first in this new series.

Last year I gave a couple of writing workshops as part of Tower Hamlets’ annual creative writing competition. This year I shall be judging entries from 25 schools, primary and secondary. The 2018 theme is ’We need to make some changes around here’ . 

Tower Hamlets Library Service will publish a book of the winning entries. Last year’s book of poems and stories on the theme of This is My Dream was full of creativity. I am looking forward to listening to the young voices in this year’s entries!