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A More Relaxed Day

Well, it had to come. In 2006, the first time I attended the Writers’ Summer School, I tried to fill every waking hour and was completely burnt out by the halfway point. Now, I attempt to pace myself and only attended the third part of Steve Hartley’s course during the day. With a host of examples, it focussed on the difficulty of getting many boys to enjoy fiction and the necessity to a) keep up the pace and b) banish anything remotely girly.


On days like this, the magnificent grounds of The Hayes come into their own. Talented photographer L.Fox Thomas took this shot of me with Cathy Grimmer, a fellow member of Ripon Writers’ Group.

Curtis Jobling


The evening speaker was Curtis Jobling, prolific animator and writer with – amongst many other things – Bob theBuilder, Frankenstein’sCatThe Curious Cow and Wallace and Gromit in his long list of  credits.  If you’re not already familiar with The Curious Cow, do take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k472n5Pg5mw  Curtis’s rapid fire delivery, not even pausing for breath while he drew cartoons on the flip chart behind him, and the video clips on the two big screens held the audience entranced. He has now laid down his crayons for the time being to concentrate on his fantasy novels about the Wereworld and he ‘read’ us an extract from Rise of the Wolf. (The book in his hand was clearly only there as an aide-mémoire, because he only glanced at it occasionally during a highly spirited performance.) A tribute to the man was the length of the queue afterwards – far longer than the one at the bar (!) – at his book signing, where he took the trouble to chat to everyone and add a cartoon to each signature.


14 August, 2013 - Make the first comment on this story

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