Workshops and School Visits

I have taught creative writing since 1999, working with students and aspiring writers of all backgrounds and ages.

For five years I was a tutor then co-director of the undergraduate and postgraduate writing programme at Manchester University. I have also been a writing fellow at Leeds University, a visiting lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University and, since September 2009, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University, on the BA in English & Writing and the MA in Creative Writing.

I have tutored 13 creative writing courses for the Arvon Foundation, run evening classes for the former Borders Bookshop and one-off writing workshops for literature festivals, libraries and writers’ groups. My work with school-age children has included tutoring a one-week residential course for a group of sixth-formers, running an extra-curricular course for Year 12 students leading to a performance of their work at a festival, and two series of journalism workshops for 7-11 and 13-17 year olds.

Now that I’m writing for teenagers, my teaching commitments outside of university are focused on young people in secondary schools, from Year 7 to Year 13. Since Flip‘s publication I have visited more than 60 schools in England, Wales and Scotland to give to give talks and readings and to run creative-writing workshops.

Here are some of the nice things people have said:

  • My daughter recently attended your creative writing workshop. She really enjoyed meeting you and taking part, in fact she was buzzing with ideas when she came home and it was great to hear her talking about developing her imagination and creative side again.
    (Ms A.S., after a visit to Guiseley School, Leeds.)

  • I’d like to reinforce how fantastic Tuesday was for both the staff and students involved. Students were genuinely excited by the event and have been asking when you will return!!
    Sam Cartrwright, English teacher, Holly Lodge Science College, Smethwick.

  • Thanks for coming in yesterday to talk to our Year 7s. Both students and staff really enjoyed your talk and I have heard from several students who are now thinking about being authors! So you were definitely a big hit. Don’t be surprised if we ask you for a repeat performance! (David Amdurer, LRC Manager, The Crossley Heath School, Halifax.)

  • I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading FLIP. Your insight into teenagers is spot on. I absolutely loved the book and it will definitely be on my ‘Book of the Week’ stand. Thank you for bringing an exciting and original piece of literature into my school library!
    (Lorraine Gill, Literacy Lead, Hethersett High School, Norfolk.)

  • I would like to thank you for giving your valuable time to come and speak to our students. I know I am speaking for my colleagues and our students when I say it was a thoroughly enjoyable session that flew by too quickly. I hope that we can ask you to re-visit us.
    (Susan Fowler, Librarian, Pudsey Grangefield School, Leeds.)

  • Thank you for coming to our school, it was much appreciated. I really enjoyed the book. It’s very rare we get a real author to read his/her own work to us. I really enjoyed it and hope for you to come again some time.
    (K.B., Year 8 pupil, Pudsey Grangefield School, Leeds.)

  • Thank you for your visit – I know the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the event and I would really like to invite you to return to deliver two workshops.
    (Maura Ryan, English teacher, Scissett Middle School, nr. Huddersfield.)

  • Thank you for a lovely day. The young people seemed very receptive to your talk and really engaged with what you were saying, which now gives us a platform to work more closely with the school in the future. (Tracy Johnson, Librarian, Sandwell MBC Libraries and Information Service)

  • Dear Mr Bedford, Recently I met you at the Essex Book awards where your book Flip was a runner up. There you gave me some leaflets on writing; these have inspired me so much that I’m starting to write to get published. Many thanks. (L.M., school pupil, Essex)

  • Martyn was inspirational! Our students loved his talk, and cannot stop discussing Flip! In fact, we have had to order yet another set of his books.
    (Colin Winborn, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield)

  • Martyn, thank you so much for all your efforts. I believe the students will remember the experience from the Summer Programme for many years to come and we look forward to having you again next year.
    (Rita Lister, Librarian, Royds School, Oulton, Leeds.)

  • Just wanted to say a big thank you for coming to our school on Wednesday. The students all had a brilliant day and all the feedback has been really positive. They loved your workshop and found your answers to their questions about FLIP and writing fascinating. Many thanks.
    (Cathy Hawkings, Great Baddow High School, Chelmsford.)

  • Thank you so much for your visit to the school last week. The second year students thoroughly enjoyed your talk (as you could tell from the questions they asked) – and they have spoken of it frequently since. They are also very much enjoying both Flip and Never Ending!
    (Bryony Marshall, Head of English, Pocklington School, North Yorkshire.)

I am a member of the National Association of Writers in Education and have public liability insurance and a current certificate of enhanced disclosure from the CRB. My fees are in line with those recommended by the Society of Authors.

If your school or organisation is interested in arranging a visit please get in touch with me via the contact page or contact Liz Scott, the publicist who handles all my bookings:

Liz Scott PR & Marketing
07879 640 222/0161 928 4540
liz@lizscottpr.co.uk
http://www.lizscottpr.co.uk

New teaching guide:

I’m very pleased to be one of the contributors to an excellent new creative writing guide aimed at writers and tutors who teach the subject in higher education. Teaching Creative Writing, edited by Elaine Walker, is the second title in the Creative Writing Studies series by the Professional & Higher Partnership, based in Cambridgeshire. It is available as an e-book and in print as a hardback. The book showcases practical approaches, with 50 lessons developed by published writers from around the world and designed for fellow writers and tutors on university creative writing courses to borrow and adapt the ideas in their own teaching. The contributions cover a variety of approaches, both traditional and innovative, and a wide range of genres and forms – my own session is based on travel writing. Here’s a reference to it in a review in the Australian magazine, Text Journal:

Martyn Bedford’s exercise ‘Travel writing – from classroom to Khartoum’ illustrates how ostensibly simple activities such as basic note-taking, memory exercises, discussion, and the strategic use of secondary sources, can help students move in two hours from questioning the value of their own experiences to establishing the foundations of a substantial piece of writing.”