As winter draws in, the wild Frances moults its cool summer coat, and grows a new (indistinguishably similar) winter coat. Although shy, it can still sometimes be sighted in urban areas by the diligent Frances-spotter.
On December 10th, I visited Goldsmiths College, London University in order to give a guest seminar for the students of the Creative Writing MA course.
The subject was “strange fictions”, a very broad topic, so I focussed upon a few pitfalls and thoughts for the fantasy writer, with reference to my own work and the books that had inspired me. Many thanks to Maura Dooley for inviting me, and to the students for asking such erudite and well-considered questions!
Swanshurst School‘s second Year 7 Literary Festival was held on 15th December. (It’s apparently the largest girls’ school in Europe, and has a rather splendid model of the solar system spread out across the grounds.)
Aside from myself, the guests included Sally Nicholls, Katrice Horsley, Spoz, Leila Rasheed, Bali Rai, Tony de Saulles, Jodi Anne Bickley and Helen Monks. There were creative writing workshops, storytelling sessions, art classes that produced gleeful pictures of dead cartoon dogs and elephant poo, chocolate-themed rapping, author talks and poetry.
I gave two author presentations and one creative writing workshop. There were some fine character ideas, including a Medusa whose dearly loved family had been killed by humans, and who managed to get her revenge after achieving world domination. (Always nice to see old stories turned around and seen from a new perspective.)
Congratulations to Gareth Beniston, Tracy and the other school librarians on organising such an exciting and varied event. A big thank you also to Ella and Mia for looking after me during my visit!