Sheffield Children’s Book Awards 2013.

I was asked to perform at the City Hall in Sheffield on the 28th of November by Jane Clare and Jennie who are some of the AMAZING librarians to be found in Sheffield.

This was a very big event, with what looked like 700 children (or even more!) and grown ups all sitting in the main hall in Sheffield where I have been many times to see bands and comedians (Led Zepplin in 1969, WOWSERS!!!) but only once before have I performed there and that was Long Long Ago.

The event was hosted by Tricia Cooper from Radio Sheffield who was Simply Lovely and made all the audience feel comfortable and right at home. It is a very big place the City Hall but Tricia soon got everyone involved and there was a lot of clapping and lots of foot stomping too! The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Vickie Priestly was there as well, showing a fantastic support for this important event. This was the 25th Awards ceremony from Sheffield so there was a lot of silver around the place!

Of course,there were loads of famous writers like Marcus Sedgewick there and and illustrators too, plus some of the publishers. I mean it was a really big event.

Anyway I performed some poems; they were The Worst Place To Find An Alien, Pirate Stomp and Mr.Moore. To hear so many people joining in with the choruses was really awesome and exciting. I had a headset mic and everything, and a HUGE stage to leap about on. I mean TRIPLE WOWSERS!!!!

As you can see, I really really REALLY enjoyed the whole experience!

Here are the results.

Overall Winner

Tom Gates – Everything’s Amazing (sort of) by Liz Pichon

Picture Book

Pigeon Poo by Elizabeth Baguley and Mark Chambers

Shorter & Longer Novel

Tom Gates – Everything Amazing (sort of) by Liz Pichon

Young Adult Category

Wonder by R J Palace

Highly Commended

Picture Book

Socks by Elizabeth Lindsay & Nick Sharratt

Shorter & Longer Novel

My Hamster is a Genius by Dave Lowe.  Illustrated by Mark Chambers

Young Adult Category

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher


Picture Book

Jumblebum by Chae Strathie & Ben Court

Shorter & Longer Novel

Fright Forest by Marcus Sedgewick.  Illustrated by Pete Williamson

Young Adult

Secrets of the Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed

So there you are, great big dollops of great books for you to read.

A very exciting day!

THANKYOU FOR ASKING ME ALONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Northern Children’s Book Festival

It was that time of year again, taking part in one of the best festivals ever!!!

It found me driving up to Gateshead one day and Sunderland the next.

On the 14th of November I met the children of Falla Park Primary School in Felling, I also met Denise the librarian who helped me all day.  I had a really great time at this  friendly and welcoming school. I performed my poems and answered many Very Hard Questions. It was a great morning, so enjoyable. In the afternoon, I visited St.Alban’s Primary School in Pelaw for more good times and poems and laughs and joining in and being pirates.

The next day I drove to Sunderland and met Stephen the librarian and his colleague Sandy at Grange Town Primary School. Here are some pictures of me and some of the fabbo kids who go to school there.


securedownloadYes I know! More pirates! But this school is very near the sea so it’s only to be expected.

I would like to thank the Headteacher of this marvellous school, Mr. McAnaney for taking these photos and allowing me to use them here.

Then we visited Unsworth Grange Primary School who provided us with one of the best school meals EVER (fish cakes, chips and custard on the pudding!!! What more do you need????) I performed my poems and answered hard questions and had a really splendid time. Very enjoyable. yet again, I found myself in such a welcoming and friendly school.

Both days were great and my thanks to the librarians and teachers and grown-ups at all the schools, my BIG thanks to the children I met and laughed with …………….


and a HUGE THANK YOU to the NCBF which every year provides schools and libraries with loads of poets and authors and illustrators really is a Festival to be proud of, and I am always really really pleased to be part of it.

Thanks, hope to see you next year.

Samuel Barlow Primary School Clipstone.

This is a school in Nottinghamshire and I went there because Authors Aloud asked me to. I performed my poems and then worked with different classes making up poems about Monsters, UFOs, and Pirates. We had a very large dollop of FU


I had a really great time but never really found out who Samuel Barlow was!


Anyway, thank you for a lovely lovely day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flakefleet Primary School Fleetwood

I had SUCH a good time here! It’s a very exciting place, all very new and shiny. The teachers and the children can write on the classroom walls! It’s ok, they’re supposed to! The walls have this special paint on them which allows anyone to write poems straight onto the wall or do sums or make announcements or anything like that. I read a lot of poems to different groups of pupils and then a group of the pupils made up poems about pirates with me.


OOO ARRR!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Flakefleet Primary!

My Visit To Wales

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be back in Wrexham in North Wales for a few days. Shan Cooper the wonderful librarian organised it all and together we visited these schools:

Victoria CP School, Gwersyllt CP, Ysgol Heulfan-Gwersyllt, BrynteyCP, Alexandra CP, Eyton CP, and Ysgol Y Waun Chirk. So very many thanks to Shan and all the pupils and grown ups at those schools.

Paula and I rented a small cottage and took Jorge the dog too, so it was a bit like a small holiday.

A Bit Of Catching Up To Do

It has been SO LONG since I wrote my blog I feel I must apologise because there are lots of schools I need to mention.

SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Roger and the Queen 2Here’s a picture of me and some friends.

Yes that really is Roger Stevens sitting next to me.

Oh and Her Majesty the Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Her Royal Highnees Princess Anne.


Roger and I were invited to a celebration of British Poetry at Buckingham Palace recently, it was a wonderful evening. Around 250 other poets and publishers were there as well. Very exciting!!!!!!