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

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The highlight of my writerly life – the day I met Joanne Harris

Last weekend, the World Fantasy Convention was in Brighton. I’d known about this since earlier in the year, and I tweeted the friend of Plot Bunnies, first-ever Q&A victim, Joanne Harris, to ask if we could perhaps meet up while she was in town. Yes, she said, that would be lovely. She asked me to email her nearer the time. (We’d been corresponding via Twitter & re Plot Bunnies for a while, by this time.)

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