2018….halfway through already!

The year began with James Gillespie’s Primary School’s Scots Fortnight, where we had fun with the Scots words using the Thistle Books, and even managed to create a new tough tonguetwister ‘Dougal Googled Shoogle’ (try it!).

Then there was a big sleep with 180 children when ‘The Giant Who Snored’ visited Edinburgh Academy, a World Book Day dash around the country, and Wee Write! – Glasgow’s Book Festival for Children and Young People, with the Museum Mystery Squad heading west to pitch their puzzling cases to people.

At this time the exciting news came through that the Squad’s ‘Case of the Hidden Hieroglyphics’ has been shortlisted in the Teach Primary Book Awards (Key Stage 1, 5-7).

After this the launch of ‘The Case of the Roman Riddle’ took place twice on the same day at Kinneill House Museum, Boness, and at Waterstones, West End, Edinburgh before the first ‘Roman’ event at the Eboracum Festival in York.

The rest of 2018 will include the annual story writing week working with families at The Haven, Circle Scotland. We’ve written 5 books in 5 summers! I’m looking forward to No.6.

There will also be outings to the Borders Book Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Islay Book Festival, Imprint Book Festival (Kilmarnock) amongst others….then it will be time for a strange disappearance…the Case of the Vanishing Viking set to be launched in late October. That building really is stuffed full of mysteries! There will be more to come….watch this ‘space’ (there’s a clue)…

There will also be a scattering of ‘Giant Who Snored’ events at Storytime sessions in bookshops and nurseries. This big guy made his first appearance at Borders Book Festival in 2017 and has been causing chaos ever since! It’s a noisy book about being asleep and the search to find out who can wake a big snoozer from his slumbers?

Oh and I nearly forgot about some very short stories written earlier this year…5 Minute Mysteries, which you can hear on some of the excellent Sonic Snackbox programmes (BBC Radio Scotland). These are full of fun and facts for 1st Level Primary School pupils.

Alongside the writing, I’ve continued with consultancy work, most recently working on some evaluations of services – finding out about the support young people need to make steps towards study and employment, and the support older people value when they have visual impairments. I’ve also been facilitating workshops and strategy days, and supporting some small charities in researching funders, writing fundraising proposals and for other others in looking at how they can be more effective in the communities they are based in.