Banner image: Penny Dolan, storyteller & childrens author My
Friday, April 16, 2010
Here we are, a exact month since my last post. Hope you all had a delicious Easter!

The end of the Spring term was so extremely busy I didn't get time to catch up with this blog. So I hope that everyone at RIPON CATHEDRAL SCHOOL, BROOMFIELD SCHOOL in Northallerton, MIDDLETON SCHOOL in Leeds and OTLEY STREET NURSERY in Skipton had a wonderful Easter break. It was lovely meeting you all. Thank you!

Last weekend I was down at BRADFIELD COLLEGE, near Reading, giving two seminar sessions at the FEDERATION OF CHILDREN'S BOOK GROUP'S CONFERENCE but I was also able to hear several amazing speakers including JUDITH KERR.

This week I've been working away at a short story for a Stripes Christmas anthology - odd to be staring at daffodils and writing about snow - while next week I'll be calling in to see my Year 3 friends at MIDDLETON SCHOOL again. These visits are part of a WRITTEN & SPOKEN WORDS PROJECT organised by ARTFORMS, Leeds, which I'm finding very interesting.

However, I also have to find time to start checking through the UNCORRECTED PROOF of my big novel for older children. It's A BOY CALLED MOUSE, and the bound proof arrived just in time for me to read from it at the Conference. That, after my long wait, was a most wonderful moment. Now I've just got to check the rest of the 450 pages!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Tomorrow I'll be at MIDDLETON LIBRARY working with my Year friends from MIDDLETON PRIMARY SCHOOL, Morley, Leeds. I think we'll have lots of fun, so see you there, and hope it isn't raining!

I'm also sending a "Hello!" wave to everyone at SCOTTON LINGERFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL near Knaresborough. Looking forward to meeting you the day after!

Have just had to put a spare chair next to my writing table. My tabby cat is getting a bit creaky in the bones and can't quite jump up now without something to help her. However, when she does get on to my table, she spends ages walking around and bothering me before - at last - settling down to sleep. Annoying - but it would feel a bit mean if I didn't help her up, the poor thing.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Another busy couple of days, so many thanks to the children and staff of SELBY ABBEY PRIMARY SCHOOL for inviting me along for their exciting Book Party and to all at BARWIC PARADE PRIMARY SCHOOL, Selby, for the fun of sharing stories with you.

Now feeling quite tired after those two especially busy days (partly because I was also battling with a nasty cold) as well as tonight's djembe drumming practice, so the group will be ready for a small gig this Saturday.

Goodnight all!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Lovely day today in KNAVESMIRE PRIMARY SCHOOL,York, talking and telling stories to the children in the SCHOOL LIBRARY. Yes, at a time when school libraries are often now computer suites, this was a real, genuine and lovely library room full of shelves, and all the shelves full of brilliant books.

It made me extremely happy to be working there, surrounded by lots of interesting books - some by writing friends! - except for the fact that I had no time at all to read any of them.

All the same, it was still an absolute pleasure to be in such a bright and booky place, and special thanks to Tracy the librarian for her help - especially for getting some of my books in too!

Happy Reading Everyone!


Thursday, February 25, 2010
Thank you to everyone at BELMONT GROSVENOR PRE-PREP SCHOOL for your wonderful welcome and the chance to sit by your warm fireside and share my stories. If I'd have known, I'd have worn my pj's & dressing gown and brought my teddy too!

As for ST. PETER'S PRIMARY SCHOOL, Accrington - many thanks! I had a most brilliant time with you - and extra thanks for the surprise of that huge card you sent me. It was lovely coming to see you all, and I was so glad that the snow stopped long enough to make the journey possible.

Now for some very special people. Hi to all the children in Miss Richardson's Year Three class at MIDDLETON PRIMARY SCHOOL, Middleton, Leeds. Thank you for listening so fantastically well to my stories on Tuesday morning. Hope you are enjoying all of my books that Allison from the library service brought in (thank you, Allison), and look forward to seeing you again next Tuesday, perhaps.

As it's World Book Day Week next week, I'm also looking forward to seeing everyone at BARKSTON ASH CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, nr Tadcaster, KNAVESMIRE PRIMARY SCHOOL in York and WOODFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL, Harrogate. Greetings to you all!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A BOY CALLED MOUSE: Bigging Up The New Blog
Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I've started another blog. In it I'll be talking about all manner of things leading up to the publication of my latest book - A BOY CALLED MOUSE. It's a "Victorian" novel for 9-13 year old readers and will be published by Bloomsbury in October 2010.

You can find out more about it by trying out the following link:

The Year of Mouse - Penny Dolan

However, I'll still be keeping this blog about my school visits going. Which reminds me - I have some very urgent catching-ups to do!

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Saturday, February 06, 2010
Had a busy time in London just over a week ago, meeting up with book people (various), and a sneak into the new Theatre Arts Gallery at the V&A Museum. Back 10.30pm Friday, followed by a weekend busily finalising my Storytelling Training Workshop for some of the volunteers at the Workhouse, Stockwell, a National Trust site, last Tuesday.

Joy! The National Trust day went very very well, though with work on my mind it was hard to take in the surroundings as much as I wanted to - and I couldn't prime the pump well enough to raise any water. Might have frozen if I had! Plan to go back there later this year when it's warmer, and as a proper "visitor".

This weekend I am working through some urgent untangling of Tome Two. The week ahead is busy: opening Belmont-Grosvenor School Pre-Prep Library on Monday, and telling stories by the fire-side, followed by a trip over to St Peter's Primary School, Accrington, on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to this very much, although I hate the uncertainty of the weather at this time of year. Keepin my fingers crossed inside my thermal mitts! The new blog - The Year of Mouse - seems to be going well.

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A blog about the life, times and travels of a Children's Writer, Storyteller and Book Week Visitor. For more writerly thoughts, pop over to my other blog The Year Of Mouse ( Squeak!

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