January 26th : Portsmouth LitQuiz
February 6th : Mayville High School Book Week Visit.
February 16th : Portsmouth LitQuiz
March 1st : Lichfield Festival
March 3rd : Copthall School Visit.
March 9th : Chichester Lit Quiz
March 11th : Oundle Festival
March 15th : Portsmouth University, Migrant Syposium
April 29th : Chipping Norton Festival
June 26th and 27th : Pop Up Festival
February 27th : LSE LitFest : Panel event with Philip Womack
March 1st : St Andrew the Apostle school : World Book Day event
March 8th : Clapton Girls Academy : Pop Up event for HIDDEN
May 17th : Mousetrap INSET : St Martin's Theatre
June 10th : Woodside High Academy, Islington : Refugee Week
August 23/24th : Edinburgh Book Festival
September 14th : Speak to members of the Kindertransporte :AJR
October 19th : Speak to Journeys Festival.Art Reach, Portsmouth.
I visited St Catherine's school in Chipping Campden on May 10th to talk about The Emergency Zoo. This was my very first event for the Zoo and the children really loved the book.
The Emergency Zoo sounds amazing!!!! with a bit of drama mixed up with fun and adventures. I would recommend this book to anyone 7 or up. Jack,10 yrs.
The school visit was organised by Emily Dunn who runs a wonderful bookshop in Chipping Campden, called A Festival of Books.
Emily ran a book stall for the children. I am so excited to read your new book tonight. Hannah,10 yrs.
Your book is a real page turner. When you read a snippet I wanted you to carry on. You left a real cliff hanger. Imogen, 10 yrs.
The Emergency Zoo was very moving and I enjoyed your talk. Jess, 10 yrs.
Your talk inspired me more to read and write. Claudia, 10 yrs.
Lovely event with the girls at this great school in Hackney. They had all read HIDDEN and asked some great questions. They also created beautiful posters for me.
"You're an inspiration," said one of the girls.
Lovely morning with the students of St Andrew the Apostle, Barnet. "It's really important for students to meet role models who have followed their passions and interest into adult life and achieved their dreams. We look forward to working with Miriam again in the future." Mr Vassiliou, Deputy Head and Head of English.
The school have written up my visit at this link.
I am available for author talks, panel talks and workshops for literary festivals and conferences and I am happy to visit schools, libraries and any other interested groups such as book groups and community groups.
I talk about my publications, the writer's life, the craft and techniques of writing and my work as a writing mentor with adults and young people as well as with specialist groups such as asylum seekers.
I had a wonderful morning with the girls of EGA at the Jewish Museum. The girls had all read my novel, STUFFED and some of them had read the other books too. Our theme was packing a small bag when you only have a few minutes to leave your home forever. This is a theme which runs through two of my books in the Hayling cycle, HIDDEN and STUFFED. The Museum brought in the theme of the Kindertransport.
My publishers, Albury Books, have blogged about the session here.
The girls asked wonderful questions and enjoyed reading out my drama script adapted from a scene in STUFFED.
I was the guest author on a tutored children's writing retreat at the beautiful Arvon house at Lumb Bank in July 2013, with author/tutors Nicky Browne and Steve Voake. We spent a lovely evening around a cosy fire, as I read my poetry and extracts from HIDDEN and ILLEGAL and talked about my writing career. As Lumb Bank was originally Ted Hughes' home, one of the poems I read was about The Iron Man and The Thought-Fox. It sounded just right in that beautiful setting. I hope to be back at Lumb Bank again one day soon.
I had a wonderful time speaking in two international schools in Frankfurt. The students were from all over the world and spoke very good English. They engaged very well with the themes of human rights and tolerance from my novel HIDDEN and I also read from ILLEGAL and STUFFED.
The students asked great questions, read out poems and my drama scripts, did some lovely writing and were great fun to meet. A very uplifting experience.
Here are some of the comments after the sessions :-
Miriam deals with some very serious topics in her books, topics which I usually prefer to avoid. Yet the way she spoke about it and read fragments made me want to read her books.
Betty 13 yrs.
I liked that Miriam talks about actual subjects in her books but in a way that young adolescents understand it.
Sophia 13 yrs.
I thought the reading was actually the best one I've had so far. I love the types of stories you write and love how you made us do some activities and think about things.
Angela, 13 yrs.
I liked it when some students were asked to read and act some parts for the class. It was brilliant.
Your books showed problems children have and how they overcome the fear of the truth and the problems.I read two of your books before the reading and they were the best books I ever read in a long time.
Gesa, 13 yrs.
Author event at Waterstones, North Finchley, with Gina Blaxill and Lil Chase. We ran competitions all afternoon with books for prizes, gave out sweets and bookmarks, sold books and gave readings. A wonderful afternoon and a great Festival event.
Wonderful morning with the students discussing my work. They volunteered to read my drama script from HIDDEN, asked lots of great questions and listened as I read extracts from all three of the Hayling cycle books.
Great afternoon with the girls at EGA, speaking about my journey as a writer and reading from my work. Many thanks to librarian, Lesley Cheethamm for the invite and for her lovely feedback, "The girls really enjoyed it!"
I was invited to speak to the girls from Henrietta Barnett School and two of the students acted out HIDDEN, taking three parts each. It was amazing. They were completely word perfect - very impressive. The students also enjoyed reading my drama scripts adapted from my Hayling novels and asked extremely perceptive questions about my work and about writing in general. A lovely event.
Thanks so much for organising this - the girls really enjoyed themselves and Miriam is very engaging.
English teacher, Henrietta Barnett School.
It was wonderful to see so many young people in the library and they clearly enjoyed themselves... I hope we can work together again soon.
Catherine Lusted, Librarian, Golders Green Library.
In January 2014 I was invited to the Maurice Genevoix school to run workshops on Peace and Tolerance as part of a Europe wide peace project the school is part of. The students were amazing, reading, writing and discussing everything in English. I am hoping to be part of the project again in October. I wrote a blogpost about the day. Here is the link.
I visited Fareham Academy on March 6th. I had Y5-8 and they read play scripts, wrote some very moving pieces about having to leave home suddenly like asylum seekers and talked about books. When I talked about my new book STUFFED as a teen romance, the teachers said, "Boys like romance too," and indeed boys bought the book as well as girls. Great stuff and a lovely school visit.
On March 7th I visited Haringey Sixth Form College. The students loved reading out my play scripts adapted from all three of my Hayling books. I also spoke to some A level students about their short story assignment. A lovely visit and wonderful students and staff.
I ran a very well attended workshop again on the LitFest. This time my topic was 'Writing Brief Memoir.' We did lots of juicy writing exercises and feedback was very enthusiastic.
In the space of just a couple of hours Miriam's skilful guidance and patient teaching had me recalling people and events in my life and writing short pieces about them. Miriam has started me on a writing project which I know I will continue. I am looking forward to working with here again in the future."
Margaret Harris, Lecturer.
15 schools from Portsmouth and five authors; me plus Andy Briggs, Zella Compton, Ali Sparkes and Andrew Norris. Great afternoon!!
Feedback from participants in my Festival workshop, 'Writing for Children and Teens.
I was touched by the generosity with which you shared your tips for a career as a children's writer. Your approach was practical, realistic and encouraging.
Virginia MacGregor, English teacher, student on M.A. Creative Writing
Your wonderful workshop has inspired me to write!
The 5 hours round trip I made to attend your workshop was more than worth the travel. Thank you for leading such an informative and individualised workshop. My only regret is that you do not offer a series of workshops in my hometown.
Denyse Kirkby, author, Portsmouth Libraries Writer in Residence.
Great to hear your thoughts on writing for children.
Daniella Wills, writer for children's magazines
I ran a creative writing workshop on 'Filling the empty stage', developing characters and plot, for 12 students who regularly meet in the evenings to write poems, plays, short stories and novels. Here I am in their state-of-the art new library.
Charlie (on the left) and Iona, pictured here, are both in the Lower Sixth. Iona has just started writing but Charlie has written plays and also leads writing sessions for Y9 students. The piece they wrote in my session involved murder, mayhem, twins and the cord of a set of headphones!!
I really enjoyed Miriam's workshop. I got plenty of good advice and had a good laugh too!
Charlie Penny, Sixth Form student.
Miriam's workshop was full of wonderful tips and exercises, perfectly pitched and delivered with real warmth and energy.
Virginia Mcgregor, Teacher and Author.
Some comments from the group of 13 year olds who attended my two hour workshop.
"Phenomenal! You don't need to change ANYTHING."
"I thought it was amazing. You should do this more often so I can come again."
"Really fun - just leave it the same."
"Greatly helped and improved my writing."
It was wonderful to have Miriam in our A2 English Literature class to discuss themes in ‘Hidden’. We are studying Othello and talking to Miriam helped the class to explore the decisions the writer made in constructing the text. Students discussed why a writer might be interested in exploring the theme of immigration and a range of very different responses to this voiced by different characters. One student raised a question about whether genuine communication between two very different cultures was possible. Learning about the setting of ‘Hidden’ also helped students to re-evaluate the use of an island as a setting in ‘Othello’. The class explored different ways the writers had written about war and the difficulty of addressing such a complex subject in fiction. Students without a doubt benefited from having had contact with a writer who so bravely addresses a range of difficult issues young people of today experience.
English teacher, Haringey Sixth Form Centre
Thank you for your talk and for giving the students a different viewpoint to think about. You and 'Hidden' were still under discussion after lunch and I am being pestered for your next book when it comes out.
Vanessa Noble, School Librarian, Hayling College
Just to say how much I enjoyed meeting you last week, I am now considering a visit to Hayling Island. Thank you for the talks to the children which contributed to the success of our Reading Week.
Lynda Mason, School Librarian, Belmont School