About J

I have done many blogs on my account and so have my children so please check them out!

Top quality online tuition

Apologies again for the lack of face-to-face workshops at present, but unfortunately a long-term kidney problem has worsened and I’m unable to make plans until I start dialysis and know what I’m capable of. If anyone wants to donate me a kidney please let me know as that should solve the problem! However I am still providing writers of any experience with online feedback; the cost of this is negotiable depending on how much work is involved, but usually no more than the cost of attending a workshop and far less than the many greedy merchants out there doing their best to rip off writers. Contact me if you’re interested in sending me work or would like me to provide you with online writing stimuli.

Stop Press: I’ve now had a successful operation on my arm (second time lucky) which should mean I can start dialysis by July, hopefully making classes once more possible. In the mean time I’m still taking on individual students for online tuition, beside writing what I confidently expect to be my sixty-fourth publication!

Your Tutor Conducts BBC Webinar

I had the honour of running a creative writing workshop and Q&A session for the BBC last weekend – such a pleasure to have nearly a hundred students, and to get such enthusiastic feedback afterwards. It’s only added to my own enthusiasm to work with the next bunch of face-to-face students in Cardiff in September. Check out the post below for dates and times as booking has already begun.

Next course starts Sept 11; top-class editing also available

The first post-lockdown course has been a great success and more courses are now planned. The common room in Chapter has proved a popular alternative to the usual venue in Bute Park and will be used while the Bute Park Visitor Centre remains closed on the weekends as is presently the case. However there remains the possibility of running half day workshops in Bute Park on a weekday if there is sufficient demand. Let me know if you are interested in this.

The next Creative Writing for All course is now confirmed: Sunday afternoons, 2.30-3.30, starting Sept 11, for six weeks, in the common room at Chapter Arts. It’s still £95 and you can now book. We’ll be sticking to a strict numbers limit, so you can be assured there will be ample social distancing and plenty of attention to each student’s work. As always writers of any level of experience are welcome.

I am also now offering inexpensive editorial services: just £32 (the cost of two workshops) will get you advice from a writer and teacher of over 35 years experience (half price for former students). You’ll now find this on the booking page.

Check out the unique qualifications of your tutor here, read reviews here, and contact me here or by ringing 07599 293480.

Courses return in April

The long wait for Cardiff’s most popular creative writing classes is thankfully at an end and a six-week Creative Writing For All course starts Sunday April 3rd for six Sundays, excluding Easter. The price is still £95, tuition is still by Cardiff’s most widely-published YA and children’s author (former lecturer at the universities of Glamorgan and Newport), but the venue this time will be Chapter Arts Centre as we are still waiting for the reopening of the Bute Park Visitor Centre. Numbers will be limited to six to allow for generous social distancing.and workshops will last one hour, with a further half-hour weekly being conducted online. As usual writers of any level of experience are welcome (check out the reviews) and early booking is advised! If you have any questions, feel free to email me or ring me on 07599 203480.

Adventures in the Wriggly Pig Trade

Plans to restart courses (see below) have once again been set back by our viral enemy, but in the meantime I’ve launched a new website which I hope will be of use to writers amateur or professional. This is Adventures in the Wriggly Pig Trade, which discusses how I came to write some of my sixty-four books, provides insights into the life of a writer, and discusses issues relating to publishing for children and young adults. It’s a work in progress and I welcome comments and questions (just email me). I shall do my best to respond to any queries about writing, from the very basic to the mind-blowingly sophisticated.

We’ll meet again. . .

Sadly the dreadful mishandling of the covid pandemic continues to make it impossible to meet in the Bute Park Education Centre, but it is still my plan to resume these popular courses in the new year, if necessary in an alternative venue, and anyone is welcome to contact me to book a place on the first available course without needing to pay up front.

In the meantime I have a new book out! The Thimble monkey books have been widely praised for teaching children about disability while actually making them laugh. The fourth in the series, Thimble and the Girl from Mars, is aimed squarely at those girls who mistakenly thought that the first three books were only for boys (they certainly weren’t, check the reviews!). TATGFM is my 64th book, and hopefully proof that I do have something to teach those of you who also aspire to write. You can buy signed copies at my author site.

Hoping to see you in the park eventually!

Personal tuition now available

With courses still suspended, I am now offering a new way in which writers of any ability can develop their craft. For just £85 I will take you through a guided process which will end with the completion of an accomplished short story for children or adults. Tuition will be by email and (if you so choose) video calls over a six week period. While you may miss out on the sociable aspect of being part of a Bute Park course, you will get greater individual attention and the same well-established teaching methods from a highly experienced tutor and successful author.

Feel free to email me or ring 07599 203480 if you have any questions. You can book here.

Book now for online courses

Update: both live and online courses are currently suspended: see above for individual tuition. Enquiries are always welcome.

Trapped in the house?  That need not stop you learning the art of creative writing!  Courses in Bute Park, Cardiff may be temporarily suspended, but the workshops are simply shifting online, which means that anyone, anywhere can now take advantage of top-quality tuition at a bargain basement price: just £85 for six weeks.  It is possible to take a general creative writing course, or a writing for children course, or even propose a course of your own choosing, and if enough people are interested, I will set up an online class. Virtual workshops normally take place on Sundays at 1.30pm, but with so  many people off work or working at home, other times may be arranged to everybody’s convenience.

Check out the reviews and the other information available on this website, and if you’re interested, simply email me telling me what you want to study. When there are at least half a dozen people ready to study the same course, I’ll set it up and you can book here. You’ll get the same tuition as hundreds have received over eight years at Bute Park.

Writers of any experience, including beginners, are welcome. Numbers are inevitably limited, so if you fancy having a go, don’t delay!

Writing Stories for Children starts 1 March 2020

wfcmar20The first course of the year is fully booked now, but never fear, here comes another. The ever-popular Writing Stories for Children (adult course) starts March 1st for six weeks, once again taught by the author of the 250,000-selling You’re A Hero Daley B, Children’s Book Award runner-up Little Stupendo, and 2017 Laugh Out Loud awards shortlisted Thimble Monkey Superstar.  Experience is not necessary: wherever you are in terms of writing experience and confidence, the course will take you forward. As usual there will be six Sunday afternoon workshops, starting March 1st and ending April 5th, all for the modest price of £95, with two concessionary places for the unwaged. There are no lectures, just the opportunity to write and then get feedback on how to take that writing to the next level.  You can hear a recording of part of a workshop hereEmail me if you have any questions, or ring 07599 203480. Numbers are limited and early booking is always advised.