We are extremely lucky to have two wonderful ambassadors. Children’s writer Michael Morpurgo OBE and illustrator, Bruce Ingman. Michael and Bruce have been an inspiration to so many children across the globe, as well as all of us at All Write Now.
Scroll down to see their top tips..!
Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, Shadow, and War Horse, which was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and then, in 2011, for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book, Private Peaceful was adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and a film, directed by Pat O'Connor. He has won numerous awards including those voted for by children themselves, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Children’s Book Award. His latest books are Flamingo Boy, a novel set in the Camargue region of France, In the Mouth of the Wolf, the true story of the lives of Michael Morpurgo’s uncles, Poppy Field in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, a retelling of The Snowman, Grandpa Christmas, a story about a Grandpa’s wish for his granddaughter and the world, and a translation of The Little Prince.
Michael Morpurgo Five Top Tips
Live an interesting life. Meet people. Read a lot and widely, learn from the great writers and your favourite writers.
Try and write a little every day.
Settle on an idea that you really care about, that you’re really passionate about, then research around it and dream it out in your mind.
When I write I try as far as possible to forget I’m writing at all. I tell it down onto the page, as if I’m telling it to my best friend.
Remember to write for yourself, not for anyone else. Give yourself time to find your own voice, your own style. It takes a lifetime. Enjoy it!
Bruce studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and Illustration at the Royal College of Art, London. After teaching at a number of art colleges and illustrating for magazines, including British Vogue and The Sunday Times, he published his first book in 1995. When Martha’s Away went on to win the prestigious Mother Goose Award for Best British Newcomer to Children’s Picture Books and was the Overall Winner of the V&A Illustration Award 1996. Since then Bruce has written and illustrated a number of ‘highly distinctive’ books including, A Night on the Tiles (Methuen 1998), Bad News, I’m in Charge! (Walker Books 2003) and Henry Tate (Tate Publishing 2015). For the past twelve years he has collaborated with the renowned and much-loved author, Allan Ahlberg, producing among others, The Runaway Dinner (Walker Books 2006), The Pencil (Walker Books 2008) – winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award – and Alison Hubble (Puffin 2015). Their latest book, My Worst Book Ever, was published by Thames and Hudson in 2018.
Bruce regularly gives talks and workshops in schools, theatres and at literary festivals, including Cheltenham, Edinburgh and Oxford. Bruce is a founding Ambassador for the House of Illustration, the worlds first dedicated home for the art of illustration; from adverts to animation, picture books to political cartoons and scientific drawings to fashion design. He is Head of MA Children’s Literature: Children’s Book Illustration course at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Bruce Ingman’s Top Illustration Tips
The illustration should try to show what has just happened in the story or what will happen, not the actual moment described in the text. This gives the reader a chance to imagine that moment for themselves.
Try leaving something obvious out of the illustration e.g. blood or falling object detail, so the reader has to use their imagination
Try to make objects look like someone, as this adds character and makes that object more fun and interesting e.g. a rubber drawn as a boxer
Use familiar names/ your name in the story e.g. Allen the Ant or Bruce the boxer dog