What’s our excuse for so many illiterate school leavers?

I’ve been saying this for ages. That too many kids leaving school in the last few years do not have a sufficient level of literacy. But I’ve been digging a bit and the news, when you look for it, is shocking, if not entirely surprising. A study by the University of Sheffield has shown that almost a fifth of teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 have a reading age at or even below that expected of an eleven-year-old. Continue reading

Another NaNoWriMo over

So, another NaNoWriMo is over, and Laz and I managed to write 150,000 between us, in the space of 30 days. Added to that, Alex, one of my kung fu brothers, also participated, and he managed 50,000, too. Between the three of us, then, we have produced 200,000 words in a single month.

Continue reading

Getting back into the habit

Training was fabulous, yesterday. Not that it isn’t always, but after three weeks away, it was something of a relief. I got to Islington early, having been to Fulham first to hand in some work and collect some more (and, having learnt there’s plenty more to come, I left with something of a bounce in my step). I sat and read for most of the time I was there waiting – it was a good excuse to read some more of Fingersmith and it took me by surprise at the end of the first section. The first person narrator hadn’t seen it coming so, of course, neither does the reader. Continue reading