Yay for Lord Grey!


I had a cracking time yesterday at Lord Grey School in Bletchley, Bedfordshire. First of all I met all the Year 7s and regaled them with my life history (they were in thrall, as you can imagine). After that I was given two hours with thirty Y7 girls – wahoo!  My mission – to get them to produce some creative writing worthy of publication in the We Are Writers book, which I duly did.

I started off with an ice-breaker – Book Spine Poetry. I say ice-breaker, I mean library-wrecker. Book Spine Poetry entails trawling the shelves for four or five titles which, when put together, form a kind of poem. I have to say the librarian, Mrs Coles, was very brave. She didn’t flinch at all as the group were let loose on her shelves.

bookends 2

Once the ‘poems’ had been assembled, they were read out and also captured on camera, rather than being written down. Good fun.






Book Spine Poetry using some really random titles

After that we used Ian McMillan’s Ten Things Found In A Shipwrecked Sailor’s Pocket as the basis for our main activity. Working in groups, the girls devised their own ‘Ten Things Found…’ list, choosing from such things as ‘… in a pop-star’s dressing room’ or ‘a footballer’s locker.’ Sure enough, most went for the darkest choice ‘Ten Things Found in a Murderer’s Heart.’

Here’s an example:

Ten Things Found in a Murderer’s Heart

A childhood sweetheart whom he betrayed.

An icicle dangling.

A nagging pain that won’t stop.

A drop of sorrow, drained of all love.

The cold, black blood that runs through his veins.

A memory, locked away and rather forgotten

An everlasting strain of regret.

A conscience trapped inside, aching to escape.

A mixture of envy and hurt.

A hope that someone will save him.

by Eleanor, Maisie and Abigail


The final piece of writing was another poem. This time a cinquain.

Cinquain’s are deceptively simple but can be very moving, too.

Here are a few from yesterday:


Shiny and crisp.

Glistening, sparkling, glimmering.

It writes without a pen, independently.


by Emily



Strong, determined.

Stretching, flexing, bending.

head held high.


by Needia


And my  favourite:


Majestic, awesome.

Creating, laughing, making.

Writing books to keep us reading.

Helena Pielichaty.

by Mollie


Thank you to everyone I met yesterday at Lord Grey School, especially to Isabella Coles, librarian supremo. I had a super time.









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8 Responses to Yay for Lord Grey!

  1. Maisie

    Thank you so much for using our poems in your blog!

  2. Isabella

    Lovely to see some of the girls’ work on your website – I’ve alerted the English staff so I hope we’ll see more feedback from the workshop gang!
    We had a great day with you – the activities were inspired and caused a real buzz. I’ve already been asked if you are coming back next year!

  3. Needia

    Thank you for using my poem!

  4. anya

    hi Helena, thank you for putting something up about lord grey and sorry for not looking at this blog before. you really inspired me and I have started writing more and more poems. Also your books are amazing!

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