Thursday, 8 October 2015


Morning, folks! Yesterday I finished the 100 Poem Challenge - phewf! You can read all of the poems on this blog.

Thanks so much to everyone who has been reading, spreading the word on Twitter, offering virtual cups of tea and donating over on Indiegogo. You've been wonderful.

Remember, all donations go to the FABULOUS Book Bus, who send mobile libraries out to rural communities in Malawi, Zambia and Ecuador, helping children learn how to read and tell their own stories. Check out their Twitter feed to see what they've been up to recently. They are some of the best humans.

The donation page will be up for another 16 days over here - as I type this we're nearly at £2500! - perks are up for grabs including handwritten poems on postcards and limited edition poetry pamphlets of all 100 poems. However many we sell before the donation page closes will be the number that are printed (they won't be printed again). The fabulous Leo Nickolls is very generously making a cover for the pamphlet and it'll be posted out to all who buy one a few weeks after the Indiegogo page closes, numbered and signed.

Stories, stories, stories. Stories for everyone.

You're all lovely.

Excuse me, I'm going to go put the kettle on.

Lots of bookish love

Jen xxxxx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

100 Poem Challenge - IT'S TODAY!

Hello folks,

Thank you so much for your donations so far - you're all wonderful. If you haven't donated and you want to, you can do so over here; The Book Bus do wonderful things. Perks are up for grabs, such as handwritten poems on postcards and limited edition poetry pamphlets. If you're not able to donate, it would be wonderful it you could share the link.

I'm going to be posting the 100 poems on this blog over the next two days (finishing by midnight Wednesday 7th October).

If you have any key words/photos to inspire poems, tweet me at @aeroplanegirl 

On with the poems!

lots of bookish love,

Jen xx

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

100 Poem Challenge - Call for Support!

Hello, folks! You might remember - if you've been following this blog for a while - that four years ago I did The 100 Poem Challenge, writing 100 poems in 48 hours to raise money for charity. Well, I'm doing it again - but this time for a different charity and I'd love your support :)

On 6th-7th October 2015 I'm going to be writing 100 poems in 48 hours to raise money for The Book Bus, a wonderful charity that sends mobile libraries to communities in various places across Africa, Asia and South America to help children learn to read, provide teaching materials and create school libraries.

On the 6th-7th I'll be posting the poems on as I write them. Before then, if you'd like to, please tweet me tag words using the hashtag #100PoemChallenge - I'll use some of these as titles of poems or to spark off ideas when the time comes.

I've set up an Indiegogo page over here to accept donations. Any amount that you could donate would be very much appreciated: £1, £2, whatever you can spare. I've set the goal at £1000 but I would love to raise as much money as possible - as I'm sure you'll agree: stories are a huge part of what makes us who we are, and reading is a skill that should be available to every child.
There are also two perks that you can purchase: a handwritten poem on a postcard at £5 (I'll be handwriting each of the 100 poems on postcards after the event) and a limited edition poetry pamphlet of all of the poems for £10. Both of these can be shipped to anywhere in the world. All proceeds go to The Book Bus.

About The Book Bus

See recent amazing activity from The Book Bus on their Facebook and Twitter

& from their website:

The Book Bus supports schools by providing mobile library facilities and volunteer story-tellers to help children become confident and literate readers for life. Working mainly with rural schools in Zambia, Malawi, India and Ecuador, our volunteer crew divide huge classes into small groups and inspire the children to read by personalizing the reading experience through story-telling, assisted reading practice and creative arts. This simple and effective support is sustained by provision of books and resources to each school library. Each Book Bus and its volunteer crew supports a cluster of five schools for up to three months. We make weekly visits to these schools working with up to 800 children from the cluster. The project finishes with an end of term party and opening of a new school library.
Registered Charity No: 1117357

Any money you feel you can donate would be very much appreciated - thank you xxxxxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A look at the Man Booker longlisted novels I've read so far...

As an official Man Booker Vlogger, I'm reading as many of this year's longlisted books as I can and letting you know what I think as I go. Here are my thoughts so far!

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (this one isn't part of the prize but it's the first in the trilogy, the third - Lila - having been longlisted. They're more companion novels than anything else, but regardless I wanted to read them in order. :) )

(Click to view on Youtube.)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

(Click to view on Youtube)

Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

(Click to view on Youtube)

Let me know your thoughts if you've read any of these. My video on Satin Island will be up tomorrow. xx

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Life Update & Events

Hello lovely folk!

Last night I uploaded a video telling you about everything that's going on life-wise, bookselling-wise, writing-wise etc. You can watch that over here. Grab a cup of tea and pull up a seat.

If you would prefer to read instead of watch, here's a summary of some of the things I talked about:

- We're sadly closing Ripping Yarns bookshop at the moment. We're not disappearing as a business; we'll be operating out of Celia (the bookshop owner)'s house, doing book fairs, open by appointment etc, so do keep an eye on our website for details of that. We're open until 20th September if you want to come and say hello in the mean time. We were hoping to stay until the end of our lease in 2018, but the landlord is doubling our rent so we're leaving early.

- If you'd like to listen to me chatting on the Man Booker Podcast, you can do so over here. I'm at 9:25mins in.

- I've got 5 events coming up in the next few weeks in Edinburgh, Stockholm, Uppsala, Ilkley and London if you'd like to stop by! All details are on the events page.

- The Bookshop Book is coming out in America on the 1st October, hurrah! I was at the Little, Brown offices last week signing copies to be sent to some of the US bookstores in the book.

- We have adopted a lovely dog called Lola! She's a sweetheart and we're very happy. She's a five year old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. Look at those ears. Ah!

I talk about more things in the video, but those are the Big Things. :) Everything's very busy at the moment but I'm also enjoying reading the Man Booker longlist as part of the Man Booker Vloggers project and will be uploading more videos with thoughts on the books as I go. Keep an eye out for those over here.

I hope you're all having a fantastic week. xxxx

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Friday, 14 August 2015


Hello folks, happy Friday! I have a bit of an exciting announcement to share! :)

(If you can't view the video, click here).