School Author Visits
Miles’ visits to schools are unique, combining poems, songs, humour, puppets and interactive storytelling in which children are invited to join in. He holds a PGCE and has worked at primary and secondary schools across the north of England. “It’s all about communication,” he says. “I want children or adults I work with to feel inspired by the written and spoken word.” Miles lives in York, North Yorkshire.
Miles’ School Visits
Miles can provide workshops that combine elements of creative writing, storytelling, music and poetry. The sessions aim to promote a love of literacy, stories and writing and there is a strong emphasis on participation and enjoyment. Miles talks about his books and shows the children examples. He talks about the writing process and how to begin story ideas. He is happy to provide a model that the children can use during the session so they can start building their own stories. The sessions often have a storytelling element. Miles provides props so that children can join in, sometimes with hilarious results! Features stories include: Goldilocks and the Three bears, The Elves and The Shoemaker, Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, The Boys Who Cried Wolf, George and the Dragon and more.
Miles can also offer creative writing workshops on the following topics:
- Great story openings – how to write an opening that grabs the reader! (Key Stages 1, 2 and 3)
- Character descriptions – features, body language, mannerisms, behaviour.(Key Stages 2 and 3)
- Magical lands – story ideas. (Key Stage 2)
- Writing dialogue. (Key Stages 2 and 3)
- Poetry – children can write a rhyming poem and learn how to perform a poem. (Key Stage 2)
- Journalism – news and feature writing. Understanding what makes the news, and how to write a news story. (Key Stages 2 and 3)
- Writing for personal growth – writing goals and keeping a diary. (all ages)
- Poetry performance and discussion – suitable for ‘A’ level / Sixth form students.
Miles’ work appeals to all learning styles as it incorporates music, visual aids (puppets and cartoons), movement, discussion and writing. He is happy to work in any classroom, using a whiteboard and interactive whiteboard, and is happy to lead assemblies for whole school groups or year groups in the school hall. His work in class usually involves a creative writing exercise, and this can be tailored to the requirements of the school. For Primary schools, he is happy to work on myths and legends, Aesop’s fables, Greek myths and puppets.
Work In Secondary Schools
Miles is happy to work in secondary schools and can contribute workshops on journalism (including critiquing the media) and creative writing sessions designed to inspire pupils to write poetry or prose. He can also read some of his own poems – a wide mixture including humorous rhyming poems or more serious, reflective poems. He enjoys discussing work that is particularly relevant to teenage readers, for example stories that reflect the emotional journey to adulthood.
Miles’ novel for teenagers, A Song For Nicky Moon, was shortlisted for The Times / Chicken House children’s novel award 2009. His poems have featured in a number of journals and anthologies including Paul Cookson’s anthology of football poems, The World At Our Feet, and Soul Feathers, an anthology of poetry that features work by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Carol Ann Duffy and more. He won the Slipstream Poets prize in 2008 and Sentinel Poetry prize in 2009 and his poems have been featured in a number of literary magazines and anthologies.
He has worked on projects for York Libraries, Hull Libraries ‘Boys Into Books’ project, James Herriot Museum, Chrysalis Arts and at York Theatre Royal and Ilkley Literature Festival. His journalism has featured in The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, Yorkshire Post and The Northern Echo. He wrote and presented a weekly satirical column for BBC Radio York and helped to run York Literature Festival for several years. He has also been a visiting lecturer in creative writing and storytelling at Leeds Trinity University College and York St John University. He has been a writer-in-residence for the NHS in Hull and for a prison in East Yorkshire. At other times he has worked as a teacher and youth worker.
Miles has also written many songs and performed his own songs at festivals like Cambridge Folk Festival and Beverley Folk Festival, where he has also helped to run the late night tent for several years, appearing alongside Billy Bragg, John Hegley and Eddi Reader.
Miles is happy to discuss your schools’ requirements so do get in touch if you would like something tailor made for your pupils.
For Schools visits, please contact Anne Marley or Naomi Cooper at Authors Aloud. Phone: 01727 893992 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.