April 10th, 2019

On Waking Up

“What does it feel like to be alive? Living, you stand under a waterfall. You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing and step into the waterfall. The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on […]

November 16th, 2017

On Writing and Motherhood

‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ Ernest Hemingway Ten years ago I stood outside Michael Rosen’s old east London home, clutching a tupperware box full of dark chocolate cupcakes. I was nervous and now looking back, completely unprepared. To start with, Michael Rosen, (who is […]

April 26th, 2017

Clubs Rule – OK?

  When I was in primary school I was lucky enough to make friends with a girl called Lisa. She had green-eyes, straight blonde hair and was very neat. Although slight, she was strong and could run faster than most in my class (and for that was called a dark horse by my teacher). She […]

February 26th, 2017

Eight Things I Learned from Running a Writers’ Workshop

Last week I ran a workshop for adults interested in children’s literature, called ‘The Enchanted World.’ ‘Great title!’ I hear you say. Yes I thought so too. Especially right now when everything seems decidedly disenchanted. 2017 is already feeling outrageously bleak, and it’s only February. The state of the world, our bank accounts, kitchens and […]

January 3rd, 2017

The Freedom to Roam

  “Children…at the end of the nineteenth century… had their own separate, largely independent lives, as children. They roamed the woods and fields, built hiding-places and climbed trees, hunted, fished, rode ponies and bicycles, with no other company than that of other children.” – A.S. Byatt The first house I ever lived in was magical. […]

November 25th, 2016

Why Poetry is Important

‘Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words’ – Robert Frost Reading poetry as a child was as playful as the rest of my life. Poems encouraged nonsense, humour and imagination: unicorns in the garden, jellyfish on the stairs, sleeping giants, friendly turkeys, the wind, the snow and […]

November 9th, 2016

Why I Read Children’s Literature

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” ―Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder   Almost every morning, my […]