‘The Crow House’ – event in Ludlow

The Crow House_Jean Atkin FRONTcover

This Saturday 13th August, I’ll be doing an Author Event for ‘The Crow House’ in Castle Bookshop on Castle Square in Ludlow, from 2pm to 3.30pm.  Map link here.

‘The Crow House’ is a timeslip children’s thriller set in Wigtown, which happens to be Scotland’s Book Town.  Odd and alarming things begin to happen in No. 71 North Main Street – or ‘The Crow House’ as Holly and Callum discover it was once known.

As they reluctantly begin to trust each other, Holly and Callum find out that The Crow House is old.  It has unsafe secrets and doors that aren’t like other doors.

Oh – and I’m going to take my Crow to Castle Bookshop on Saturday – come and meet him!

Wigtown kirkyard crop bw


‘Around the Crow the weather’

It rained on Welshpool Poetry Festival, but didn’t dampen this great little celebration of words in Mid Wales.  I read with Gillian Clarke on the final evening, and am now wallowing in the delights of her new Picador Selected Poems.

But before that I ran a workshop for children.  Here’s a few pics and some very promising lines from a group of focused and inventive young poets.

Welshpool Crow wshop Jun2016 (3)

With a stuffed crow at Wenlock Poetry Summer School

‘I saw his eye gleam./  I saw a trance fall/  on the park’

My new Crow (for The Crow House, natch) and I spent yesterday with Wenlock Books Poetry Summer SCROW 5chool and 13 enthusiastically cawing children.
I explained to the group the strange tale of the crows that lived in the tall trees, right in the middle of a small town by the sea in southern Scotland, and read out an extract from ‘The Crow House’. The Crow House_Jean Atkin FRONTcover   Then we shared everything we knew about crows, all the goriest bits, and they wrote copious drafts.  I love discussing the drafting of poetry with young children – we talked about line-endings, the verb tense they had chosen to write in, whether the poem would work better in the first person, or would be more freeing for them if written in the second or third person, when you do, and when you don’t, need that adjective… From the drafts, the children made and illustrated concertina books for their poems.It's the crow I pity this night Last Tuesday she met the crow Crow concertina bk Zena

Later we played poetry puzzles – Emily Wilkinson (who’s running the Poetry Summer School for Wenlock Books this week) and I were rapt, eavesdropping on the discussions, as the children pieced together a poem.  What a treat of a day.  My thanks to Wenlock Books and its creator Anna Dreda!

Solving Poetry Puzzles


‘The Crow House’ at Ludlow Library

I just spent a wonderful morning with ten creative kids and two taxidermied crows.

Crow House Ludlow Library + crows mrWe read extracts from ‘The Crow House’, invented ways for household objects to transport innocents to other times and places, told stories, inspected the lovely dangerous crows, drew them and wrote about them.  Thank you Iran Morris and Ludlow Library!

Matthew + poem + crow Crow House Ludlow Library crow drawing 5 Ben Crow House Ludlow Library crow drawing 6 Crow House Ludlow Library crow drawing 3 Crow House Ludlow Library crow drawing 2

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