My writing resource for English students is now available. Here’s the blurb:
Zombie Apocalypse! (for Year 9) Escape from a zombie invasion while learning about different writing forms with 12 creative writing activities. Your students will love the action-packed, imaginative tasks – from creating a zombie apocalypse survival kit to planning a design brief for fortifications. Suitable for all: support with writing frames and examples, and stretch with ‘challenge’ and ‘extension’ tasks. Written in entertaining and student-friendly language, this resource will harness pupils’ creative potential, culminating in a varied portfolio of work.
It was great fun putting this together, and I hope it proves useful. It’s had some good reviews so far:
“A really different and fun resource. Compliments to the author – I know the boys I teach will enjoy a number of these tasks and I look forward to trying it out next year!” N Boyce, Teacher and Independent Reviewer
“I think that this is a resource with a lot of potential that will be really effective in engaging more reluctant boys within the English classroom.” – H Jackson, Teacher and Independent Reviewer
“The resource is imaginative, creative and entertaining. It has a golden narrative thread running throughout the source whilst avoiding flogging the topic like a dead horse. The author has shown a real flair for creativity and this shows in the careful presentation of the work.” – K Attwood, Teacher and Independent Reviewer
“The resource is suitable for both weak and capable pupils. Particularly good is the self-assessment and commentary, so that pupils can be very clear about what progress they have made across the scheme.” – S Owen, Head of Faculty and Independent Reviewer
Teacher friends, you can purchase a copy by clicking here. Friends of teachers, spread the word: the zombies are here!
This is Horror has published the short-list for their This is Horror Awards and – great news! – Probably Monsters is up for consideration as Short Story Collection of the Year. I’m honoured to get in among this load of talent:
Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link
Probably Monsters by Ray Cluley
Sing Me Your Scars by Damien Angelica Walters
The Nameless Dark by T.E. Grau
Vile Men by Rebecca Jones-Howe
Voices of the Damned by Barbie Wilde
Click on the link below to check out the whole list of categories and nominees. There are also details on how you can submit your vote.
And while you’re there, why not click on a few other things as well, have a look around? This is Horror celebrates the genre with all kinds of reviews and essays and podcasts and all sorts of other things, the site is well worth checking out.
Peter Tennant reads and reviews a great many books every year, and I’m delighted to say that he picked out Probably Monsters as Best Collection of 2015. I’m especially pleased because I’ve followed Peter’s reviews for years and he’s pointed me in the direction of some great books, so for him to say this is quite a thrill. I’m in great company, too – you can see his list of favourites at the TTA Press site or via his personal blog, Trumpetville.
You can order Probably Monsters as a paperback or ebook from ChiZine Publications, here.
I first stumbled across Jose Cruz when he wrote an astute analysis of one of my favourite Nathan Ballingrud stories. He has since turned his critical eye towards another favourite of mine, Angela Carter’s ‘The Lady of the House of Love’. Needless to say, I’m delighted that he has now not only reviewed my collection, Probably Monsters, but also interviewed me over at The Haunted Omnibus.
Here’s part of The Haunted Omnibus’s mission statement:
“The Haunted Omnibus was established to recognize the long tradition and continued perseverance of the short form within the literature of horror, the dark fantastic, and the Weird… Taking its name from the landmark 1937 anthology edited by Alexander Laing, The Haunted Omnibus provides reviews, essays, and just-plain-fun testimonials of the short horror story’s power, history, and relevance.”
Now that’s an admirable goal. I’m very pleased to have been a part of it.
Mark West has been running a very interesting project called King For A Year, which you can read about here. This week it’s my turn to offer a view on one of King’s works, namely Gerald’s Game which is one of my favourites. I get a bit heavy with the analysis rather than offering a straight forward review, but if that sounds like your cup of tea you can read it here.
I blogged about another of King’s novels a while back, back when I intended to do one for each season, so if you’re interested in what I have to say about The Shining, click here.
Both pieces were adapted from my undergraduate dissertation, The House[hold] of Horror: Locating the Monstrous in the Works of Stephen King.