“Post-earthquakes I had a disconnect in my teaching, especially with the way we were expected to teach writing under the national standards. Teaching suddenly became uncomfortable for me, and I had loved it.
I’ve always been a hobby writer so I took a time out to do a Masters in Creative Writing and wrote a collection of flash fiction. It was long-distance, which suited me because I could just disappear into my little room in the roof of our house, up a spiral staircase. Out one window I see the Alps and the other way is the ocean.
I was told off for daydreaming at school. I don’t think the idea that you can be a writer was ever in my head. It wasn’t a real thing. It was either a teacher, a nurse, secretary, or air hostess. So, yes, it took me a long time to actually start writing. Now I get to do what I was always doing as a little one, making stuff up which is fabulous!
When Glyn, who had been director at the School for Young Writers retired, I took it on, with some trepidation. I’m a teacher at heart so the two loves have just been so connected. I feel incredibly lucky to be doing this work.
Children don’t often experience getting to write in their own voice. We encourage them to write from who they are, from what they want to say. They’re each individual, they’re totally unique so no two pieces should be the same.
My new thing for this year? I’m learning ballet for the first time in my life! It’s what I really wanted to do when I was six, and my mother said no because I was very clumsy. I’m totally useless, but nobody cares. I’m a silver swan and there’s a whole new adventure in that.”