10th January 2017

2017 will be my 22nd year of travelling around schools. It’s probably about time I wrote about some of the things I get up to while I’m doing it.

Today I was in Castle Acre Primary Academy of Church of England Academy Primary Acres and Castles which is in Norfolk. Writing workshops was the theme for the day. I don’t think workshops is the right word though. No tools were involved but I did teach them how to use a doodly picture to make their ideas bigger and fatter and juicier.

Sometimes I think we have one idea for a story and then we start writing – running out of ideas fairly quickly afterwards. I’m currently encouraging children to strengthen their ideas, make a kind of density of ideas. Then they flow for a lot longer.

Many stories about pets developed. My favourite was a boy who said his dog ate his mum’s knickers and then pooed them out on her bed. That would be quite annoying. We also met a new character called Mrs Computer: a lady with a square head and an amazing memory.

At the end of the day, I was shown some of the writing it had been my privilege to inspire. One boy had written a whole paragraph. Apparently he normally barely manages a whole sentence. It’s nice to know I’m doing something useful. And we all lived happily ever after under the ground with the moles.