We are Felicity Ferguson & Ross Young and we are the founders of The Writing For Pleasure Centre. We are also national council representatives for The United Kingdom Literacy Association and the conveners of their Teaching Writing SIG.
Between us we have over 50 years experience of teaching in the classroom. We now work full-time talking, reading and writing about teaching young apprentice writers in an effective and pleasurable way. We are both committed writer-teachers; teachers who write and writers who teach.
What We Have Done:
- We are authors of two books for Routledge:
- Real-World Writers: A handbook for teaching writing with 7-11 year olds (2020) [LINK].
- A Writing For Pleasure pedagogy: theory, research and practice (in press).
- We are the series creators of Power English: Writing for Pearson Education. It is a research-based approach to teaching writing effectively across primary school [LINK].
- We are content providers for The National Literacy Trust [LINK].
- We have led research into effective writing practice in the UK in association with Goldsmiths and The University Of Sussex [LINK].
- We regularly write for: TeachPrimary, Teach Reading & Writing, Primary School Management and English 4-11.
- We have written materials to accompany Schools’ Television literacy programmes.
- We have contributed to book lists produced by CLPE (Centre for Language in Primary Education – London).
- We currently curate the Twitter group #WritingRocks.
- We have spoken at and helped organise international and national conferences.
- We have carried out research-informed CPD training both nationally and internationally.
To date our work is used as part of teacher education at the following universities:
- University of Greenwich
- Canterbury Christchurch University
- University of Sussex
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Chichester
- Birmingham City University
- St Mary’s University
- Nottingham Trent University
- UWE Bristol
- University of Winchester
- Plymouth Marjon University
- University of Connecticut
- Texas A&M University
- Curtin University
- Georgia College
I studied French and Russian at Birmingham University, and later gained two MAs, one in Linguistics and the other in Children’s Literature. I have worked in both the maintained and the independent sectors as SENCO and Deputy Head.
When I was ten and a new pupil at secondary school, I completed my first set homework assignment for R.E. – a recount of the one of the seven plagues of Egypt. I wrote it like a story, with my usual enthusiasm and emotional investment. After a few days my book came back with the comment Is this all your own work? To this day I still feel the injury to my early strong sense of myself as a writer. I was a self-styled Jo March, with a drive to write from a very early age. I wrote out of desire, with engagement, pleasure, absorption, satisfaction, as escapism too. I wrote a great deal at home – stories, unfinished novels, programmes for shows put on with friends in somebody’s backyard, started a magazine with me as editor – one issue a month. It’s my ambition for every child to gain as much pleasure and empowerment from writing as I did.
I studied Primary Education with History & Geography as my specialism, at The University Of Brighton, and later gained an MA in Education with Linguistics.
I have been a Primary school teacher for the past ten years. I have worked in both the public and independent sectors. When I was young, I didn’t realise that literature and the written word were for me to use or enjoy. I was never told I was a writer. This all changed when I began talking, learning and writing alongside the children in my classroom. I wanted the children in my classes to have a different experience than I did and to enter the ‘literacy club’ as early as possible, so that they can have a stake in it, have control of it and can use it successfully, meaningfully and for pleasure now and in their futures.