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Children's writer gets inspiration from the Dales - so can you
North Yorkshire writer Robert Bullock admits that the Yorkshire Dales has always provided plenty of inspiration for his writing; "My Noah Ramsbottom stories for young children couldn't be more inspired by the beautiful Dales features and personalites! The adventures are even set in a cave halfway up a limestone scar and features a character who resembles my own Grandad Fred!"

But after a year of visiting schools up and down the country with his inspirational literacy workshops, Robert has decided to stay put this summer and host a series of creative writing workshops for adults in Clapham Village Hall which he hopes to take to other locations around the county.

Robert Bullock inspiring children at Grove Road Primary School, Harrogate
"Whenever I visit a school, I'm frequently asked to take an assembly and I like to use 'inspiration' as the theme. Afterwards teachers often come up to me, tell me how inspired to write they are and how much they would like to take part in a creative workshop for adults!"

Numbers will be limited so that all the participants are able to join in fully and get more out of the workshops. Participants of the workshops will be asked to bring some creative writing they've already done and think about what inspires them.

"It's not A-level English Literature," laughs Robert, "there won't be any tests or exams, it'll be very informal and a lot of fun. It's a chance to develop writing skills and learn about the whole process of getting a book published."

But why has Robert decided to set the workshops in the Dales? "This year I've visited schools as far apart as London and Edinburgh and when I visited Settle Primary School recently it brought it home to me how much potential there is right here on my doorstep. And the area has been popular amongst artists, musicians and writers for hundreds of years!"

What next for Robert? "Next month I'm doing a literacy week at schools in Lancaster which will culminate with performances at the Grand Theatre and I've been asked to be an author in residence at a literacy weekend in Scotland in September. Next month my fifth book, Sam Marsh and the Battle of the Cloudships is released and I hope my next novel Jacob's War will be out by the end of the year."

Jacob's War is set in 1940 and is the story of the internment of children with German origins in prison camps on the Isle of Man. It was inspired by an article on the Six O'Clock News three years ago; "I was watching the news and was intrigued by an interview with an elderly gentleman." Robert spent six months tracking down and interviewing people, now in their eighties who were actually interned in the Rushen Camp in May 1940; "I felt honoured to be speaking with these people, some of them at the time just very young children, and to be telling their story."

Anyone wanting to bring some of their own inspirations to Clapham this summer and tell their story can reserve a place on the two day Creative workshops by contacting Robert through his website www.ninnylizard.com .



Children's writer gets inspiration from the Dales - so can you, 23rd May 2012, 8:39 AM