Wednesday 23 July 2014

Everybody Wants To Be A Cat!

Last night, I had the absolute honour of attending Varjak Paw: The Musical, staged by the amazing Year 6 at New North Academy, and directed by the brilliant Fiona Gunn-Stokes!

I visited New North Academy earlier this year; here's the blog I wrote about it at the time.  You can see from all the comments just what a fantastic group of readers and writers they are.  So when they told me they were going to do a musical production of Varjak Paw as their end of year show, I couldn't wait!

It was absolutely brilliant.  They did both Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw in one great big epic story; and they did musical numbers including Everybody Wants To Be A Cat, Love Cats, and Stray Cat Strut!

There were fantastic costumes, make-up and sets; brilliant acting, singing and dancing; terrific use of video for the dream sequences...  it had everything you would want from a stage show!  But for an author to see his characters brought to life like that – it was an incredible experience.  I have to admit, I got quite emotional watching it... though I was definitely not the only one!

So I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone involved – and good luck with everything you go on to do in your lives.  I think you are absolute superstars.  Keep the Way alive!

Friday 18 July 2014

School Visit: Greengate Juniors & Barrow Island Primary

I'd like to say a big thank you to Paula Hillman, and to everyone I met at Greengate Juniors, for giving me such a warm welcome when I visited Barrow-in-Furness last week!  And thanks to Steve Hillman for taking these fantastic photos, and making the visit possible by driving me all the way from Lancaster!

This was an unusual visit for me, because it was organised through Twitter, where I post as @whatSFSaid.  I'd been reading amazing tweets from @GreengateJ describing all the fantastic work that Year 6 had been doing with Varjak Paw – so when Paula invited me to visit and see for myself, I couldn't say no!

It was wonderful to see all the enthusiasm for books and reading in Year 6 – and also Year 4 from Barrow Island Primary School, who joined the visit too, along with their teacher Mrs McVea-Roberts!  It was a real pleasure to sign books for everyone at the end.  Thank you all for your brilliant questions and stories – and keep the Way alive!

And for more photos & information – see this lovely blog about the visit!

Wednesday 9 July 2014

School Visits: Nelson Primary, and Little Star Writers

I'd like to say a very big thank you to Mel Taylor of Little Star Writing, who organised a fantastic author event for me at Nelson Primary School last week (and took all these awesome photos!) – and thank you to all the brilliant Year 6s, 5s, 4s and 3s I met, who gave me such a warm welcome!

It was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm for books and reading!  In fact, there were so many brilliant questions, we didn't have time to answer them all.  So if anyone out there still has any questions, either about my books or about writing in general, this is the place to ask them.  Just leave me a comment below, and I'll be happy to answer!

It was then a real pleasure to join Mel and the Little Star Writers for a creative writing workshop.  I heard some truly amazing stories, including one that I will never forget, written from the point of view of a pair of scissors!  It was inspiring to see such creativity in action, and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!