All About Sarah Singleton
Sarah is a writer, journalist and poet. She has been writing stories for as long she can remember and completed her first full-length novel while still at secondary school. Her first published novel, The Crow Maiden, is an adult contemporary fantasy novel set in beautiful, mystic Wiltshire, where she lives.
She trained and worked as a journalist, working for local newspapers and magazines and published a variety of short stories and a novella before writing Century, her first novel for teenagers. Century won the Booktrust Teen Award in 2005 and the Dracula Society’s Children of the Night Award for best gothic novel. It was later released as an educational edition, complete with teachers’ notes and lesson plans.
Century was followed by Heretic (2006), Sacrifice (2007), The Amethyst Child (2008), The Poison Garden (2009), The Island (2010), The Stranger (2011) and Dark Storm (2012).
The novels range in style and subject – gothic romance, thrillers, contemporary fiction and historical fantasy, with both female and male lead characters.
“I have a particular interest in the gothic genre, and the way the idea of the gothic has evolved over the centuries and still fascinates us today though my writing subjects vary and I have also enjoyed writing about travelling in modern-day India (The Island/The Stranger).
Sarah’s School Visits
Sarah has worked with children in both primary and secondary schools, from year five up to the sixth form, on a variety of topics – including creative writing, writing for newspapers and the gothic genre.
Sarah was lead artist for the Rural Arts Wiltshire project, Small Schools, Tall Tales and worked in four primary schools running writing workshops on journalism, creative writing and poetry writing, which culminated in the publication of a book containing the children’s writing.
She works with children in key stage 2 and has run workshops for classes of up to 30. Workshops can range from one hour to all day. She offers workshops on writing poetry (including the poetry of place, how children see and respond to their local environment), writing for newspapers (recent workshops have focused on writing news stories on an environmental theme and the work schools are doing to be more eco-friendly) as well as writing stories.
Often her workshops will involve a field trip of some kind – whether that is to a nearby place of historic interest, or simply into the school grounds to observe and gain inspiration for a poem.
Sarah offers talks for large groups in secondary schools, including an illustrated presentation about her work and her life as a journalist and author, as well as a very popular illustrated presentation on the evolution of the gothic genre. A computer, projector and screen are needed for the talks.
She has a range of workshops for class-size groups, which include a gothic writing workshop, finding inspiration for stories using pictures and how to start a great story. She can run workshops from one-hour in length to a whole-day programme for one particular group, depending on the requirements of the school.
She is happy to work closely with a school to tailor-make workshops to meet the school’s particular requirements. Recent examples include a whole-day session working with a group of gifted and talented year 7’s on creative writing inspired by Charles Dickens and a two-day session with a group of mixed ages to create a special newspaper for the school.
Sarah has worked with many sixth form groups taking an exploration of the gothic genre to greater depths, examining themes and the qualities of a character in the gothic novel and using related creative writing exercises. She has also run sixth form workshops looking at the language and style of real news stories and then setting students a challenging exercise to write their own news story on a relevant topic.
Mercy and her sister Charity have never questioned their daily routine, each day unfolding exactly as the next. They live at night, sleep during the day and see their widowed father only rarely – their house shrouded in perpetual winter. Then one day, Mercy is woken to find a snowdrop on her pillow. A sign of spring, a subtle hint at a possible different future. A chance meeting with the mysterious Claudius sets her to questioning everything she has ever known – not least the truth behind her mother’s death. Bit by bit Mercy traces her parents’ story through the past, travelling back to see herself as a young child, silent witness to the dramatic events Claudius himself plays an enormous part in – only when she has pieced together the truth can her world begin to move on.
When Elizabeth finds a green-tinged creature in the woods she’s amazed to discover that it’s actually a girl of her own age. Isabella has spent the last 300 years in the faery world, hiding from persecutors who accused her of being the daughter of a witch. Elizabeth has her own persecutors to face. A catholic priest is hiding in her home – an act of treason in 1586 – and the net is closing in. As they become friends, Elizabeth and Isabella must find a way to protect the family from being torn apart.
The Poison Garden
It is the 1850s, and a young boy, Thomas, leaves his family to be apprenticed to a pharmacist, at the behest of his dead grandmother. He also inherits a magical box from her, which provides him entry into a mysterious garden. But while visiting it, he sees a ghostly vision of his grandmother, who tells him she was poisoned, and warns him that he must find the person responsible, and save her precious garden. For she was one of five members of an arcane guild, each of whom cultivated an individual garden, mastering the art of poison, perfume and medicine. The guild members jostle for power as, one by one, they are murdered…can Thomas solve the mystery, before he in turn is threatened?
Charlotte is heading to a tiger sanctuary to do some voluntary work as part of her travels. But a fellow traveller working at the sanctuary starts to make her feel uncomfortable and she decides to ask Otto to visit her, pretending to be her boyfriend. When things start going wrong at the sanctuary, Charlotte fears a vendetta against her could be to blame. As tigers come under attack from poachers, the local authorities threaten to replace the sanctuary’s management. Mark the journalist reappears, ostensibly covering the poaching crisis, but also delving into the background of the traveller who is making Charlotte’s life a misery. But by now Otto and Charlotte’s ‘fake’ relationship seems to be developing into something a little more serious…and how will Mark, and Otto’s ex, Jen, feel about that?
Reviews and Recommendations
“Sarah Singleton is becoming a major novelist in the teenage fiction scene with The Amethyst Child her best achievement yet.” The Independent
“Captivatingly sinister.” Amanda Craig, The Times, Heretic
“Like all Singleton’s fiction, this treads a fine line between fantasy and philosophy.” The Times, The Poison Garden
“A tense and menacing story about a girl drawn into a cult, told from before and after the inevitable crisis. Wonderfully sensuous and evocative writing and psychologically sophisticated, it will appeal especially to teenagers having trouble fitting in.” The Bookbag on The Amethyst Child
“An intriguing gothic fantasy, replete with descriptive detail, exotic characters and macabre conspiracies.” Books for Keeps, on The Poison Garden
“The students thoroughly enjoyed the day and produced some amazing writing.” John Bentley School.
“Sarah’s visit inspired and energised a range of students from years 7 to 12 and gave them renewed confidence to express themselves through creative writing.” Churchill School
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Sarah Singleton, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at email@example.com
Further information on Sarah Singleton is available from her website: http://www.crowmaiden.plus.com/index.html