March 23, 2015 by Lydia Syson
1940. The Battle of Britain is raging in the sky above. Germany could invade any day. It is impossible to ignore the rumble of guns and the rumours of spies and fifth columnists. It was one extraordinary burning summer that changed lives forever.
Find out about the propaganda, pilots, and planes that inspired Lydia Syson’s ‘That Burning Summer’, a novel for teens set in 1940, and take part in a drama workshop led by A Spaniel in the Works exploring life under the threat of invasion.
‘RULE ONE: If the Germans come by parachute, aeroplane or ship you must remain where you are. The order is to “stay put”…’
All ages welcome but most suitable for 9-14 years.
FREE! (a minimal booking fee is charged) Advance reservation here: keep reading
Category Events | Tags: Days of Hope, drama workshop, Philosphy Football, Spyfever, WW2
October 28, 2014 by Lydia Syson
A few days ago, a new opera called Shell Shock premiered in Brussels, just one of the huge number of commemorative events marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Works of art such as Pat Barker’s mesmerising Regeneration trilogy have already made a huge contribution to our understanding of shell shock, though sadly, not enough to ensure we are dealing with it effectively today. ‘You don’t ever get over it’ was the headline of a disturbing article in last week’s Guardian about the treatment – or non-treatment – of combat stress today, through interviews with British soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland. Names change - in the 19th century it was known keep reading
Category Blog | Tags: aeroneurosis, Bomber Command, Combat Stress, Flying Personnel Research Committee, flying stress, George Cocker, Joana Bourke, La Monnaie, Lack of Moral Fibre, LMF, morale, neurasthenia, opera, RAF, Salamander Oasis, Shell shock, soldier's heart, That Burning Summer, WW2
May 2, 2014 by Lydia Syson
Last month I wrote about a high-tech school visit I’d made to Sydenham School in South London. Today I’m delighted to announce the results of the creative writing competition. keep reading
Category Blog | Tags: invasion, Jess Taylor, Julien Bryan, Poland, Sydenham School, USHMM, writing competition, WW2, WW2 fiction, Year 8 creative writing
January 14, 2014 by Lydia Syson
Ravilious in Pictures: The War Paintings by James Russell (The Mainstone Press) – one of the most thoughtful and appropriate Christmas presents I received last month – has many resonances for That Burning Summer. Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) was probably the best known of the three British Official War Artists who were killed during the Second World War, keep reading
Category Blog | Tags: Alan Powers, Christmas presents, Dulwich Picture Gallery, homing pigeons, James Russell, Kenneth Clark, Mainstone Press, Narvik, Ravilious, That Burning Summer, War Artist, WW2
December 5, 2012 by Lydia Syson
Yes, yes, I know writers are meant to be a lonely lot, isolated in far-flung garrets of angst-ridden creativity. Actually, the children’s writing community is as welcoming and inclusive a place as you could ever hope to find yourself. Hence The Next Big Thing – a kind of chain blog in which no curses are threatened if you don’t pass it on, but writer after writer has the keep reading
Category Blog | Tags: Battle of Britain, children's writers, Fleur Hitchcock, Julie Mayhew, Natasha Ngan, Next Big Thing, Polish pilot, Rebecca Lisle, Saviour Pirotta, WW2