The 2017 school events kicked off with a visit to Holy Spirit Catholic Primary, St Helens. I met Mrs Ravey, the headteacher, at Reading Rocks 16 last year, so it was lovely to be invited to visit her school.

The morning started with a Key Stage 2 author assembly where I shared my writing adventure and explained how the books are created. The children listened attentively and the session finished with a retelling of one of the new Impossible Tales. It’s a particularly horrible story that involves plenty of stomach-churning descriptions. Judging by the children’s reactions, they enjoyed it.

After catching my breath and swapping a Key Stage 2 audience for Year 1 and Year 2, I was ready to go again. I put on my storytelling waistcoat and shared two of the Impossible Tales with the children: Junk from the Trunk and Fear of the Unknown. The children were brilliant and listened beautifully as we tangled with a fearsome pirate and heard about a mysterious sea creature. It was a fabulous forty minutes of storytelling and I loved every minute.

The morning concluded with a Year 6 writing workshop. The children had read one of the Impossible Tales the day before I visited, so we focused on a short extract. I challenged the pupils to create their own version and after lots of discussion and idea-sharing, they produced some fantastic first drafts. I’m excited about reading the finished pieces after the editing process has been completed. Hopefully I’ll display examples on here at some point.

After a lunchtime book signing I made my way back to Blackpool, tired but completely elated. I had a fantastic time at Holy Spirit Catholic Primary and it was a great way to start the new year. I’d like to thank Mrs Ravey for inviting me along to spend time in her fabulous school.