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Early Years – Write Here Write Now

Natalie Reeves-Billing outside in the gardenNatalie Reeves-Billing

Today, Let’s take our pens for a drive.  Can you draw a street? What things do you want to put on your street? Trees? Houses?  I’d like a volcano on mine…All you will need is a pen and paper, and we’re ready to go for a ride. Can you describe our journey as we go? 

Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool girl with a wicked sense of humour. Her early years as a professional singer/songwriter led to poetry and storytelling. 

Natalie is a fellow of the Lloyds Bank School of Social Entrepreneurs program, a member of the Golden Egg Academy and board member of Liverpool Year of Writing promoting literacy across Merseyside. She won gold and silver for best children’s book at the 2020 UKTV Mum’s Choice Awards, and her work is on permanent display at the Museum of Liverpool. 

Jude Lennon holding up certificate and her stuffed toy lambJude Lennon

Take Your Pen for a Walk: Join Jude as she shows you how you can take your pen for a walk exploring different lines and shapes. These are really important for early writing and forming letters. To finish, you can let your pen go really wild and create a lovely pattern to colour. This will help with pencil control, pencil grip and following lines and shapes.

“I used to be a teacher who loved writing, now I’m an author who loves storytelling.”

Jude Lennon is a former Early Years teacher who now works as a Storyteller under the name Little Lamb Tales. She tells stories at Primary schools, community events, festivals and libraries. Jude is also a children’s author and is the current Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate for the North West of England.  As an official Patron of Reading, Jude works with schools to spread the message about reading and writing for pleasure.

Jude published her first book, The Dragon of Allerton Oak in 2015. Set in her local park (Calderstones) it features the real Allerton Oak which has stood there for 1000 years. Since then, Jude has gone on to publish eighteen further books. 

Her books cover topics as diverse as Mindfulness for children, phonics, dragons, pirates, astronauts and books set in other countries (including two bilingual English/Spanish ones).

Jude has written two books for the Bobby Colleran Trust to support their Slow Down For Bobby road safety campaign. As part of the campaign, Jude visits Primary schools across Merseyside delivering funded assemblies to highlight the importance of Road Safety. To date she has read the books to over 150,000 children across the area.

Jude is currently working with Will Hawkes (Hal’s Books) a young man with autism. Together they have written two books featuring an autistic main character. Jude and Will’s mum provide assemblies for schools to raise awareness about autism. 

In October 2019, Jude launched her first book for adults – a collection of short stories called ‘A Slice of Lennon’. It was well received and she’s now working on a full length novel. Her most recent children’s book ‘That’s Our Home!’ launched in March 2020 and is all about keeping our beaches clean for future generations. Her forthcoming children’s book ‘Sir Lambalot’ is due out on April 23rd. 

Ali Harwood in front of a wall murialAli Harwood

Join Ali as he talks us through creating your very own story tree. Get your pens and paper and imaginations ready… 

Ali is a writer, poet, artist and teacher.

He is the author and illustrator of Liverpool Liver Birds, a poetic picture book for curious folk of all ages. He also wrote A Black Achievers Mural Booklet and From Somalia to Liverpool: The Experiences of Seven Women. As a poet, Ali was commissioned by Jaivant Patel Dance to provide the words for YAATRA, a solo Kathak and Contemporary dance performance exploring South Asian LGBTQ+ narratives, faith and spirituality. He also wrote poetry for Made of Iron: Six Vessels to accompany the exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, contributed to The Quality of Mersey (conceived by John Gorman and edited by Barry Woods) and continues to organise and host Liver Bards, a monthly poetry open mic event – as he has done since 2016.

As an artist, Ali is currently Artist in Residence at Love Wavertree and has painted a 4-metre-high mural next to Wavertree High Street. He recently painted a series of ten large canvases for Cammell Laird to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic and was commissioned by the British Antarctic Survey to provide illustrations of the RRS Sir David Attenborough (Boaty McBoatFace!). As a teacher, Ali has around 20 regular tutees in English, Maths and Creativity, ranging in age from 6-16 and from a wide range of backgrounds. As a former deputy head and class teacher of nearly 20 years, he enjoys providing school visits and assemblies.

Ali continues to encourage people to develop their potential, be curious about the awesome world in which we find ourselves and explore what makes us tick.

Carolyn Whitehead

 At Beautiful New Beginnings we aim to support and empower parents with a range of classes and courses from pregnancy right through to school age. Whether you are pregnant, have a newborn or are established in your parenting journey, we have classes and courses to suit your needs.

Event Date: Monday 1st February – Friday 8th January 2021

LOCATION: Digital - Online Event


Family | Free | Liverpool

Contact Details

Culture Liverpool, Tel: 0151 233 2008

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