Meet the team
I created The Story Room as a place where children can come and be themselves and write freely, without fear of judgment or the red pen. As an 11-plus tutor I am all too aware that children are often told what they should and should not write. But at the Story Room there is no right or wrong. In the welcoming and friendly environment of our workshops children can let their creativity flow. Through this they can grow in confidence and become better writers. I have worked with children who thought they didn’t like English and now skip through The Story Room doors to workshops and enjoy writing in their free time.
I spend my time reading and writing and am constantly on the look out for ideas for our workshops. I regularly attend writing courses to develop my writing skills and have had my poetry published in 'City 'Between The Lines' and 'South Bank Poetry'. I am currently writing a Teen novel.
As a mother of three boys, I am particularly passionate about getting boys into reading and writing. I have written articles for N21online.com on helping dyslexic children access literature and how to encourage boys to read
I have a degree in Law from UCL and am a qualified solicitor.
I absolutely love what we do at The Story Room and am proud of what every child writes at The Story Room.
See you soon at The Story Room!
Once upon a time I decided to be a creative writing coach for children. I was born in the beautiful blue city of Barcelona where I trained to be a Tax Lawyer. One Autumn I attended a series of lessons on Hamlet at the English Studies Faculty in Barcelona and a few months after I moved to London. Maybe I had heard the call of the English language. That was almost twenty years ago and the love story has endured.
I took an MA on Bilingual Literary Translation at Westminster University and later on a second MA on Comparative Literature at King’s College. I am now a freelance literary translator from English into Spanish, my last published translations in Spain are TimeRiders I and II, the first two books of a time travelling series by Scarrow for 11+ that have been a bestseller in England.
I volunteer as a Writing Mentor at The Ministry of Stories and I have attended multiple Creative Writing courses and workshops at City Lit, Birkbeck College and Arvon which have helped me immensely both in my own writing but also in enabling children to free their own creativity. I am also a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming coach, which is helpful when children are stuck in a negative self-limiting belief and are really convinced they are ‘not creative’.
As an aspiring author I am working towards the publication of two Tales for children and a collection of Short Stories for grown ups.
My favourite part of working as a writing coach is when a child comes to a workshop and looks down thinking he cannot ‘write’ anything because he does not ‘know what to write’ and then leaves proud and smiling, eager to show something he has ‘written’ and was ‘so easy to write’! The next time he attends, the only question is ‘what are we going to be writing about today?’. It's amazing to see the transformation when children see that writing is not such a daunting task anymore.
I look forward to meeting your children at The Story Room workshops.
For me, working with children began with a volunteering role. As a mentor and visitor to a child in foster care, I felt the reward and privilege of being part of a young person’s life over many years. This led me on a path away from a career in University Administration to a role supporting pupils with SEN in a secondary boys’ school. After 9 years, I moved on to a primary school and a Graduate TA role, supporting pupils’ learning and teaching groups as well as whole classes. I am now a primary English and maths tutor.
Sharing stories with my own three children has been one of life’s gifts - although interesting boys in books has been, at times, a battle with digital temptations. Thank goodness for authors that took us into battles, on journeys to discover magical lands and introduced us to characters that we were thirsty to learn more about. Writing with children has unlocked hidden treasures too. Appreciating the beauty of nature from vivid descriptions: like the intricate beauty of a cobweb or a morning cloaked in snow.
I am very excited to share these joys with children at The Story Room and look forward to helping them find their hidden gems.
I have a degree in Politics from Loughborough University, and a Masters in Nationalism, Society and Culture from Middlesex University.
Allan Boroughs is a traveller and writer with a passion for classic adventure stories “in which a lot of stuff happens”. His debut novel, Ironheart, published by Macmillan in 2014, was inspired by his travels in Siberia, whilst the sequel, Bloodstone (Jan 2015) took him to the Antarctic. He is currently planning a trip to the jungles of Venezuela for the third book in the series.
Allan is also a founding member of Future Perfect Writers, who perform regularly at spoken-word events. He divides his time between his business in London and his home in Cornwall; he lives with his wife and two children
I have always loved words, the way they sound, the way they can dance, and the way they create striking images that leave you gob-smacked. It’s the closest thing to chocolate on the page!
So when I was 6 I told my Mum I wanted to be a poet. I have been writing ever since, and many many years later, I have been fortunate to perform my work on television and radio. I have performed in lots of wonderful places including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Soho Theatre, the Bristol Poetry Festival, as well as jazz cafes in Prague, and cool poetry places in Chicago.
I have lead creative writing workshops in a range of places including Arvon, the Royal Geographical Society, Apples and Snakes, Spread the Word, as well as in lots of schools across the country. I was also a Poet Coach in the Teenage Poetry Slam for many years and in 2004, my team of students won. Our prize was to tour Chicago with our poetry and our smiles!
Because of my love of American TV legal dramas I read Law at University.
I have also written restaurant reviews for Eat Japan magazine, and have worked as a Sub-Editor for Playstation Magazine, the Estates Gazette and the Press Association.
Moved by the wonderful poetry sprouting from young people like daisies in spring, I founded Write Lines, an organisation that places poets in to schools.
Starchild (2003) was my first poetry pamphlet, my work has also been published in the Los Angeles Review, Redhen, Contraflower, Scriberazone, Kin Anthology, Poetic Licence vol. 5, Handmade Fire (2007).
We are all creative and our stories will come to life if we write and breath them. So sharpen your pencils and meet me in the Story Room!
I’m a children’s writer and I love getting children’s imaginations firing, enthusing them about books and teaching them how to create characters, put together stories and experiment with language. Having taught creative writing to kids both one-to-one and in school workshops, I’ve seen that sometimes, while teaching our children proper grammar, verbal reasoning and other very important things, we’ve unwittingly started training them out of being imaginative. On their creative journey they may have been told their ideas were too silly or not sensible enough, and this can discourage them from imagining anything at all. I aim to restore children’s confidence that their ideas are valid and that it’s worth exercising their power to create. They can be involved in the rich culture of reading and writing, and get a lifetime of pleasure from it.
I’ve written children’s books for fiction packager Working Partners and for tech start-up Wonderbly, where I was on the writing team for The Golden Ticket, a personalised book published in conjunction with the estate of Roald Dahl (it tells the story of your child’s journey around Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!). I also write poetry for adults which has been published in Obsessed with Pipework, Scintilla and Crossways. I currently recommend children’s books for BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. I’ve worked as a reader for a literary agency specialising in children’s books and I run the popular Twitter chat #ukmgchat, a virtual gathering where children’s writers and industry professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments in children’s literature. As well as my work in the children’s book world, I’m also a comedy improviser creating stories and scenes on the spur of the moment using suggestions from the audience. Before writing for children, I studied English Literature at Cambridge and worked as a local reporter.
I look forward to meeting you all at The Story Room.
- KatherineThe best thing about teaching children is showing them how to let go of everyday life so that they can find creative freedom. This freedom will allow them to grow in confidence and will also develop their literacy skills, both in terms of reading and writing. This confidence can be applied in all areas of life, but especially in the classroom at school. Creative children make happy children!I love to make the children's sessions playful and enjoyable, often using mindfulness and meditation at the beginning of sessions as a means of getting them to relax and focus on the present moment. I also incorporate drama - both partner and group work as means of improving their social skills and allowing them to bond with other children. This creates a safe space for the children to express themselves orally and on the page, share their written work and grow in confidence.My work with children has been varied; from running Creative Writing parties and small creative writing groups to working with the young people's charity Body and Soul which promotes creativity in the next generation.I am associate editor for the publisher Flipped Eye Publishing and I run South Bank Poetry (workshops and open mic nights for adults) and co-edit the South Bank Poetry magazine. As well as this I am a published poet, with many poems published in numerous publications. My latest publication is a poem which will shortly appear in The Spectator.I love writing and passing on the joys and benefits it can bring to the younger generation!