Thursday, 8 October 2015

Kevin Price and Kathy McArdle join us for...Brilliant Books!

Last week, the Brilliant Books gang met Kevin Price, willwriter, legal expert and Nottingham-based community activist.

Kevin is a leading member of the Bulwell Town Team: a community-drawn committee working with the City Council to empower local people. They are currently looking at entrepreneurial projects for young people and are part of the North Notts Creative Forum, encouraging local people (in an area off high unemployment) to "create" art, writing, sculpture etc. 

Dickensian moral fable "Great Expectations" was Kevin's chosen book, a more traditional offering after last weeks graphic hi jinks.

Kevin created a fine presentation, including the video from the original David Lean film, the meeting between Magwich and Pip in the cemetery where the latter's parents were buried.

Then, the kids got together to look at character for their upcoming short stories. Working in small groups, the stories came thick and fast.

These two young lads are team writing a zombie/apocalypse type story each week, which will be featured in the anthology. 

The young people are beginning to settle down after three weeks. Some are natural readers. Some natural writers. Others remain to be convinced of both, but that's what Brilliant Books is about. We hope to inspire them and that's why the project needs eight weeks per group. 

Of course, on every course we deliver (for adults as well as children) we offer the chance to read to the group. If anyone did become an author (there is promise here, and on the previous group), then the ability to read work in public is a critical skill. Not everyone enjoys performance and we don't push, but during Brilliant Books, some have discovered a nascent ability to do this. This adds another dimension - reading, writing, performance - all connected to the love of books.

Thank you, Kevin, for inspiring a terrific session.


This week, Kathy McArdle, the Chief Executive of Nottingham's Creative Quarter was our Host. We were privileged to get her as the NCQ is one of Nottingham's busiest, most thriving organisations, dedicated to ensuring the City wins it's bid to become a World City of Literature. Here she is with some of the girls in the group.

Kathy is a brilliant activities facilitator - we've been to several of her workshops - and she got straight down to business, reading from Louisa. M. Alcott's classic sisterhood drama, Little Women.

Because Kathy can facilitate (and this being a feisty group), the questions came thick and fast.

Again, the pupils sat down to do some work on their short stories (after a healthy fruit break) and Kathy worked with a group of four.

on dialogue

before they were asked to perform their dialogues to the rest of the group. Here's Paige and Jess...

All in all this was an excellent session. Thank you to Kathy McArdle for Hosting here.


The Brilliant Books team donated a series of Dickens books to the school this week - the collection is building nicely!!

Next week, top Nottingham community developer and University liaison officer Farah Khan is back - those with good memories will know that Farah joined us last year for one of Brilliant Books' best sessions and she will always be welcome back.

Thanks for reading...

The Brilliant Books Team

Brilliant Books is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.


  1. Great write up Mark and these two sessions sounds very positive with great in and output - well done all! :-)

  2. This is so inspiring. Hope to see it successful. It will help everyone, not only the young ones. Keep up the good work and excited to see what comes next.