Here on the LGP blog we like to shine a light on some of the amazing Story Mentors who give up their time to volunteer at our workshops. Today we’re featuring Deirdre Huston.
Hi! Please introduce yourself.
I am the outdoor author and photographer of five walking and cycling guidebooks. I write historic fiction too and I’m currently working on a final draft of a murder mystery novel set in eighteenth century downland on the coast of Sussex. While I was running Young Writers’ Workshops, I also self-published a children’s interactive illustrated story. As a teacher and writer, I enjoy nurturing creative ability and helping young writers to develop their ideas and projects.
Why did you want to become a story mentor with Little Green Pig?
I missed working with children and young people and wanted to make a positive difference. I share my love of the outdoors and Sussex through my guidebooks and I wanted to do something to share my love of writing and literature with young people.
What has been your favourite moment so far?
The BrightSTAR Academy was such a bold and interactive space enabling a wide variety of imaginative stories and ideas to emerge from Academy Trainees. I also enjoyed the workshop at Fabrica Gallery, an amazing creative space in the centre of Brighton which, appropriately for me, featured an installation which was all about journeys. Entering this space felt like being in the hull of a large ship where we were part of the sculpture even as it was being constructed and I was so impressed by the thoughtful responses of the children.
Here at LGP we’re lucky to be working in a city that’s filled with so many creative people, projects and organisations. What do you like most about Brighton?
Do you have any book recommendations, either for adults or children?
Yes for children I’d like to recommend Robert Macfarlane’s The Lost Words which helps bring back the rich language of wild imagination and outdoor play through acrostic spell poems and rich illustrations, reintroducing words of the natural world such as Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn. It’s a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke.
For adults, I’d like to recommend my new guidebook, Day Walks on the High Weald, published this month by Vertebrate Publishing. It includes 20 circular routes between 6.5 and 13.9 miles long spread across the rich and varied landscape of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and I promise it should give you some lovely days out and some interesting insights into this area of Kent and Sussex. They do also publish some children’s fiction, especially that which helps young people connect to the outdoors.
And finally, what’s your favourite word?
Deirdre helped to set up the High Weald Walking Festival which runs this September in the hope this will encourage more people to get out and enjoy walking in the High Weald. All the walks are free. She is leading a short Creative Writing Wander on Saturday 15th September and also a sample walk from Day Walks on the High Weald on Saturday 22nd September. Further details at http://www.deirdrehuston.co.uk/pages/events.php
Interested in volunteering with Little Green Pig? Find out more here!