This is the WASTED BLOG. For my main author website, click this link.

Awards: WASTED won the Read it or Else category in the Coventry Award and was runner-up in the North East Book Award. It is longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Manchester, Grampian, Angus, and RED Awards.

Thursday, 8 July 2010


The beginning of the school summer holidays is perhaps not the best time to attract the attention of teachers and school librarians with an idea! But, hey, I like to live dangerously.

Anyway, if you are a teacher or school librarian or if perhaps you run a teenage reading group, this might interest you. If you would like to use any of the following creative writing ideas in your school, I would love to help by a) offering a signed book (or perhaps more), which you could either offer as a prize or else just have in the school library b) providing some posters and cards for your participating pupils c) be available to answer questions and engage with your pupils in any way I can. I'd also love to come and do an event, but I'm afraid I have to charge for that - though if we combine with other schools this can work out very reasonably.

So, here are some creative writing ideas, but you could also have your own - just let me know what you want to do.
  • There are a couple of points in Wasted where I write two alternative scenes, toss a coin and one scene vanishes. WHAT IF I'd tossed the coin differently - how would the story have turned out?
  • A "favourite scene" competition - say why you like a particular scene.
  • Write the conversation you'd like to have with Kelly (the bad girl!)
  • Write about a time when a chance event changed your life - perhaps an accident that almost happened, or actually did happen, thanks to a chance event.
  • Write a story where the events depend on a tiny chance event.
  • Do you think we can make our own luck or are we quite powerless? Discuss.
  • Is it possible to predict the future?
Anything else you can think of? Really, I'm up for anything that gets pupils writing and enjoying writing.

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ALSO - does anyone have any other good ideas for school-appropriate activities based on Wasted? Add in the comments below!


The Mole said...

Lizzie suggests tossing lots of coins, or one lots of times, and working out probability of landing specific way up. Logically it's 50/50 - but it's more complex than that. If you toss it and it comes down heads then the odds of the next one being tails are nearly 100%. If it's heads a second time instead then the odds of the third one being tails increase to a more positive 100%. Following this it seems that 50/50 is too simplistic odds. Clearly a maths lesson ensues.

Nicola Morgan said...

Ah. If it's a maths lesson that ensues, I think I will need to pretend to be a pupil.

I am afraid I completely don't understand the maths of probability. I remember actually arguing with my maths teacher about probability because it's one of the places where maths, life and philosophy all part company (or come together, depending on how far you go...)

Thanks Lizzie and the Mole!