Manchester and Cheltenham and Goblins and Librarians...

Suddenly I'm busy!  I've been putting the finishing touches to GOBLINS (out next April), writing a new book for the following year, and also working on a couple of smaller projects which I shall tell you about soon.  Meanwhile, I have an autumn of events lined up.  Unfortunately I have so many events that I can't find time to blog about them!  

It's already nearly two weeks since I went up to London to attend the School Librarian of the Year Award, in the middle of that startling October heatwave.  I'm glad I was only presenting the award rather than actually judging it, because I would have found it very difficult to choose between the three finalists, all of whom run fantastic school libraries and are clearly inspiring whole armies of young readers.  The winner in the end was Carol Webb from Forest Hill School in London.  You can see her holding her award in the middle of this picture (taken by celebrity gatecrasher Sarah McIntyre, who later kidnapped me).

Then last week I travelled up to Salford to visit Salford City Academy, where I talked about my work and made the students do some work of their own in the form of some quick writing exercises - not the sort of thing I usually do, but it seemed to go down all right, and the students produced some very good pieces.  Many thanks to librarian Debbie Wilkinson for inviting me.

Then it was on to Cheltenham, which is in the grip of its annual Literary Festival at the moment.  I did an event to an audience of about 525 pupils from various schools in the area, and then hung around the Writers' Room doing some Writing and helping myself to free coffee.  Here's a picture of Alex Sedgwick, my lovely publicist from Scholastic, and Jane Churchill, who organises the children's events at Cheltenham. (It's a bit out of focus 'cos I took it on my Fancy New Phone).

(I also had two pieces of good news about GOBLINS last week, but I'd better not tell you those yet, either.  Here, however, is a sneak peek of just a tiny detail the brilliant cover artwork...)

And next weekend the merriment and rail travel continues when I head off to BristolCon.  If you're going, I hope to meet you there.  If not, tickets are still available...