Aunt Grizelda’s Fairy Tales of the Unexpected.

I’m delighted to announce the second book in the Aunt Grizelda series is now printed. Here’s a sneak preview of one of the illustrations (by Natallia Pavaliayeva) and an extract.

Cinders in domestic servitude

Once upon a time there was

A girl called Cinderella,

Whose wicked sisters made her sleep

On straw down in the cellar.

They played games on their smart phones  

While they made her cook and clean,

And called her lots of horrid names –

Good gracious, they were mean!

What is your favourite fairy tale? Let me know, and if it’s in the collection, I’ll print an extract.


Have at ye, poetaster!

The Madness! Poetry competition, now in its seventh year, is the brain child of children’s poet, Ed DeCaria. It is cunningly devised to entice children into engaging with poetry by enlisting them as judges, while at the same time driving the competing writers or “authletes” as mad as barnacles, by giving them only 36 hours to come up with a poem on a given topic. After each head-to-head, the authlete whose poem gets the most votes goes through to the next round.

I was in an unusually bucolic mood when I applied to join this carnival of lexical lunacy, and will most likely be regretting my impetuosity come Sunday when the mayhem begins. But let me not me a craven spirit show: it is quills at the ready and to coin a phrase the great bard himself probably wrote (then crossed out) Have at ye, poetaster!