I live and write in the Kingdom of Fife, overlooking the silvery River Tay, with a view of trees and grey slate roofs and a skyscape it would be hard to better. Also resident in the flat are an unruly crowd of characters, including a Victorian detective girl, a miner boy from an alien planet, a ferret princess, a medieval orphan, a talking gargoyle, a short Viking and the occasional flying horse. I enjoy their company and do my very best to keep up with their stories.
About writer's work
I write historical adventures for 8-12s, fantasy and science fiction for older readers, silly stories for younger audiences, and gripping tales for less confident readers. I've appeared in festivals, libraries and schools from Shetland to London, lugging a suitcase full of ferrets, medieval costumes, mysterious artefacts, an enormous enthusiasm for reading and writing and books, and a toothbrush. My creative writing workshops for children, young people and adults cover poetry or prose and can be tailored to address topics such as spine-chilling baddies, strange houses, ruins on Mars, just what you might do if only you had a flying horse, and many more.
Websites featuring the authorWebsite Silver SkinSlightly Jones Blog Facebook Queensferry Book AlertAwfully Big Blog AdvenureGirls Heart BooksThe History Girls Blog
Current events and projects
I am currently offering four author events for primary schools:
1. For 6 - 8 year-olds - Tales from the Turrets - including a suitcase of ferrets and what flying horses are best at.
2. For 7 - 10 year-olds - The Leif Frond Adventures - introducing a small Viking hero-in-the-making and his misadventures.
3. For 8 - 11 year-olds - The Slightly Jones Mysteries - Victorian adventures and intriguing detective work.
4. For 8 - 11 year-olds - The Wickit Chronicles - with medieval costumes and squishy and revolting facts.
Teachers’ notes are available, including ideas for writing exercises based on the stories, and ways to bring the different worlds of the books to life in the classroom. There are special websites for The Slightly Jones Mysteries (www.slightlyjones.co.uk) and The Wickit Chronicles (accessed through My Books on www.joanlennon.co.uk).
I am currently offering two author events for secondary schools:
1. For age 12+ - Silver Skin - this talk looks at the inspiration for the novel and shares writing tips, as well as some behind-the-scenes insight into cover art. Silver Skin was shortlisted for the 2017 Scottish Teenage Book Prize.
2. For age 12+ - Walking Mountain - Joan talks about how she went about inventing a strange future world that is fantastic and familiar at the same time, where ideas come from, and how publishers get us interested in books.
Teachers notes are available, with a range of multi-discipline curriculum activities based on each of these novels.
Creative writing workshops for children, young people or adults are also on offer, based on my novels or built around character, setting, getting inspired - or something individually tailored. These workshops can focus on writing fiction or poetry.
I love working collaboratively and have taken part in various projects, including 26 Treasures (with the National Museum of Scotland), 26 Atlantic Crossings (with Canadian artists), the Farlin Project (with artists from Shetland) and my poetry pamphlet Her Lines, My Lines with the artist Kyla Tomlinson. I'm a Patron of Reading for Queensferry Primary School, and have been the writer-in-residence for East Perthshire and the BOOKMARK Book Festival, a multi-discipline resident at Hospitalfield House Art Centre, an Arvon tutor, and a Jessie Kesson Fellow at Moniack Mhor.
Associated media and resources
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