My 2012 tour of schools ended with a flurry of activity in the lead-up to the festive break. Flip Trips, I call them.The pre-Christmas itinerary started at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Wakefield, with two talks and readings to the whole of Years 7 and 8, followed by a writing workshop with year 8s and 9s in the afternoon.
Then I called in at St Aidan’s Church of England High School, in Harrogate (two year-group talks, and two workshops, with a VERY busy book-signing session in the lunch hour), before heading down to Birmingham to give a talk and reading and to run a couple of writing workshops at Arden School, in Solihull. I was one of four authors invited to Arden as part of the school’s Inspiring Writing Week . . . they had Simon Armitage coming in the following day!
Wrapping up the tour for this year was a short hop to Laisterdyke Business & Enterprise College, in Bradford, to meet a group of Year 12 and 13 students. This wasn’t an official Flip Trip, as such – I was there on behalf of Leeds Trinity University, where I teach creative writing, to present a prize to one of Laisterdyke’s sixth-formers, Shazia Bibi, who came third in a national poetry competition organised by LTU as part of One Community Month.
Her prize (I hope she isn’t disappointed!) was a signed copy of Flip.