I’ve been writing for children for over 10 year and I love it! Am I really supposed to have so much fun in my ‘job’?
"Fiona Cummings is an experienced published author. Her amazing props sparked my class's imagination. the stories and books we produced were worthy of being published themsleves." Gayl O'Callaghan of Orchard School, Watford
Writing is exhilarating and exciting, but it can be frustrating too: every word has to count. I know what it feels like to sit in front of a blank piece of paper and not really know which words to put next. There is a joy in going into schools, meeting the very people I write for and hopefully passing on to them my own passion for reading and for writing. I am a firm believer in learning through fun, so my talks and workshops are lively and interactive. The contribution of each child is valuable and my workshops are structured so that everyone can participate at their own level.
My workshops can either be literacy- or drama-based or a combination of the two. In the former I discuss characters and their characteristics and explore how I build up a storyline. Children are then helped to create their own 'book'. In drama-based workshops children explore the different movements and ways of speaking of the characters through various 'games' and in a group activity scenes from the book are acted out or improvised. The focus is always on interactive activities and keeping everyone involved.
Workshops I Offer:
Characters and story-building
Stories from different cultures
- "The Extremely Very Scrambled Up World of Little Doogs: Playing the Road Trip Game"
I'm really very excited about this because I've been much more involved in the whole process of getting it published than I normally am. It all started over a coffee with my friend Ian. He'd had the idea for a series of stories involving a group of quirky animal characters. We tossed a few ideas around together and The Schnoops came to life. After a couple of years or more, lots of coffee and even more laughter the books and the characters are about to be let loose in the world! Briefly the characters are:
Little Doogs who is a shy young puppy. All he wants is a place he can call home
Schnoss who is a sausage dog and the 'business boss' of The Schnoops
Honey a stroppy rabbit who dreams of glitz and glamour
Trevor a chilled Dutch elephant who calms everyone down with a good hearty meal
Jezza a very lazy giraffe who is a 'Rubbish Artist' in all senses of the phrase
- "Happy New Year Sleepover Club!"
This is about a New Year's Eve party which Fliss's Mum is organising with the girls' help. There is so much happening and I loved planning it and making sure that everything built-up into the chaotic finale where Frankie's Mum gives birth to baby Izzy. I must admit that I always loved writing about Fliss's Mum because she was always so neurotic and OTT. In this book I could really let loose as she worked herself up into a frenzy over how the party was going to turn out. I have really happy memories of writing this book.
- "Sleepover Club Goes For Goal"
Quite often writers say "oh the book just wrote itself!" and you think "yeah, yeah!" Well writing this book is probably the nearest I will ever come to being able to say that myself! I love football, probably not as much as Kenny does in truth, and I can't even kick a ball for my dog, but I was excited to be writing about the sport. A five-a-side tournament for the girls to compete in had so much potential for things to go wrong, especially when one of those girls is Fliss! It was fun thinking of how Kenny could persuade the others to join in and then, when they did agree, putting so many obstacles in their way in the competition. My brain was certainly whirring away faster than my fingers could type when I was writing this book! Other books I wrote for the series:
Fiona is a member of the following organisations:
Society of Authors
National Centre for Language and Literacy
UK Literacy Association
National Association of Writers in Education
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Audiences: 5-7 (Key stage 1), 8-11 (Key stage 2)
I am based in Yorkshire but Lancashire is very easily accessible and I have visited schools in Hertfordshire and Kent. I am prepared to travel and I am flexible on payable rates so do get in touch for a chat about your requirements.
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