Schools & colleges

In this, the closing year of the centenary of the 1914-1918 war, there’s a wealth of information online about the First World War, as well as scores of new books and novels, TV documentaries and thousands of hours of radio broadcasts, all looking back at this terrible period in history, and trying to make sense of a conflagration that seems at first sight to have little rhyme or reason.

The Goose Road looks at one momentous year of the war – 1916 – through the eyes of a young French peasant girl, forced to work the land with her mother after her brother and father were both conscripted to fight at the Front, and their plough horse taken to pull cannons and ambulance carts.

For schools and colleges, The Goose Road offers cross curricula opportunities to study English, creative writing, French history, rural society, social and military history, and the science behind the original inspiration for the book: the Spanish influenza pandemics of 1918 and 1919, which killed up to 100 million people worldwide.

Check out “Resurrecting the Past” in the Practical Writing Tips drop-down box on this website for details about my research into WW1, and The Goose Road category for articles about the book itself.

CILIP has created schools activities around The Goose Road as part of its First World War reading pack. Here’s the link to their resources to copy & paste in your browser:

Walker Books in Australia has also written teaching notes to accompany the book. Google them, then scroll down to the titles to find the link to The Goose Road (which opens as a PDF file).

If your interest is less in warfare and more in the craft of writing, please do look around my other blog posts. These are also easiest to navigate via the Practical Writing Tips box. Here you’ll find tricks of the writing trade, self-editing tools, and posts about my own journey to publication. For a little light relief, you’ll also find a gallery of pictures of my darling dog – with more to follow in due course!

If you would like to discuss a Skype or author visit, please follow me on Twitter and we can DM. Alternatively, email me via I’m a trained children’s fiction editor, an international journalist with 35 years experience, a mentor for adult creative writers and currently training as a college lecturer in English! Watch out for a scheme of work for GCSE creative writing which I’m working on at the moment. I’m happy to talk to classes from Y6 to FE colleges and sixth form.