WRITER

WRITING THAT PUTS THE GRR IN GIRL, THE ART IN FART: STORIES THAT GIVE KIDS A HUG.

HELLO


Urban and gritty I'm not

I'm more chocolate and snot

But stories need bite

So I'm never trite

Because children matter a lot.

My name is Jayne Kirkham and I am a writer with over thirty years experience working with and writing for children and young people.
I’ve written for theatre, film, television, radio and online. I’ve worked on projects ranging in size from small conservation films in Africa to international feature films. My most recent credits have been here in the UK for BBC’s Cbeebies: Tee and Mo, Bing and original poems and stories for radio podcasts. For more information about what I’ve done, click on “What I’ve Done”.

WHY I DO IT

Growing up on Exmoor gave me a lifelong love of nature, adventure and the mysterious. It also, surprisingly, nurtured a love of cinema, theatre and poetry. Having studied Film, Drama, English Literature and Screenwriting to Masters level, my first commission was a play for Radio 4. But having worked with children all my life, and having never grown out of watching kids TV, I decided to write for children and families.

Commissions include original feature films, adaptations of novels, shows for preschool, and older kids and online. I still write for grown ups (for example adapting Marina Lewyka’s novel Two Caravans, into an animated feature) but please don’t ask me to be all urban and gritty. I don’t do gritty but I do do muck.

Ha! I wrote do-do! Do-dos! I always like to squeeze out something earthy. But it has to be done with finesse, aplomb: I’m on a mission to put the art back into fart.

I’m also on a mission to put the grr back in girl. And boys actually: getting kids outdoors in stories and for real. I’m a canoe and kayak coach. I love the whoosh and wah-hay of white water. But I really love the woohoo of someone realising they are so much more than they ever imagined! I think stories should empower as well as entertain. Whether it’s explaining Armistice Day or exploring what it’s like to need a heart transplant, or simple whimsy and fun, I write stories that give kids a hug.

I do this because children’s media plays a powerful role in the development of our kids. This is also why I volunteer for the Children’s Media Foundation and spend a lot of my free time going into Parliament. I promote the need for diversity, quality and safety in all media for young people. As Baroness Floella Benjamin says, “Childhood lasts a lifetime.” That’s why I say children deserve the best media.

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Stories with action about

Girls that can fly,

Ostriches, bunnies and apes.

War stories, more stories,

Comedy, drama and tall stories

Of doctors, detectives and grapes.

  • Three Arrows Media

  • Little Roy – Jam Media, CBeebies/CBBC

  • Tee and Mo – Plug-in Media, Cbeebies

  • CBeebies Radio – CBeebies

  • Bing – Acamar, CBeebies

  • Ajani’s Great Ape Adventures – Nature for Kids

  • Olive The Ostrich – Blue Zoo Productions, Nick Jnr

  • Roze and the Robots – Gravy Media/Passion Pictures

  • NOKSU – Evergreen Films/Epidem, YLE TV1

  • Bowerbird – Artemisia Films

  • Last Night – Deadline Films/Irish Film Board

  • The Deadline – Deadline Films/Metrodome

  • Fei – Peach Blossom Media/Evergreen Entertainment

  • 6.6.04 – The Film Council

  • Where The Skylarks Nest – BBC Radio 4

  • The Children’s Media Foundation

  • Working with Young People

  • Brown and Sticky Productions


News, views, stories and stuff

No piffle or waffle, flimflam or guff

All things considered and not off the cuff

No more of this rhyme scheme: enuff is enuff!

  • MY STORY THE SOCK DRAWER OPENS UP A WORLD OF COLOURFUL EMOTIONS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    I’ve just listened to today’s CBeebies Radio podcast.  “Oh that’s a good story today,” I thought.  “Did I write that?” YES I DID.   I hope that you and your little ones enjoy it too.   If you do, you’ll understand why I went and changed my socks and am now wearing purple.

  • JAYNE’S COLOURFUL STORIES AND POEMS ON CBEEBIES RADIO!

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Children's Poetry, Children's stories, Children's TV, Education, Screenwriting

    Had to abandon several plans this summer because those lovely people at CBeebies Radio asked me to to write some stories and poems for them sharpish. Hopefully my friends, real and imaginary, didn’t feel too neglected and they, especially if they’re under six years old, will enjoy the results. You can hear them from today on the BBC iplayer radio app, just look for the Cbeebies bug! Then from next Monday 6th November you can download my story The Paintpots from the CBeebies website

    The following Monday your little ones will be able to hear all about a quite magnificent Sock Drawer!

    And in between listen out for poems about the sounds of colours – how do they sound to you?

    Developing and writing these was a blast and an education. Here are some of the key things I learnt during this project:
    – Yellow is an existential colour
    – D.H. Lawrence has a lot to answer for
    – Snail snot should never be underestimated

    None of these conclusions found their way into the CBeebies material, you’ll no doubt be happy to learn. Instead, your preschoolers will enjoy discovering, for example that:
    The colour yellow is a primary colour
    But it’s a great mixer and go between.
    If blue gets all flustered, yellow really cuts the mustard,
    Shouting, “Bananas in custard!
    Hey look: we’ve made green!”

  • #TCMC I HEART SHEFFIELD

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Animation, Books, Business Trips, Children's Media Campaign, Children's Poetry, Children's TV, Screenwriting, The Children's Media Foundation, travel

    By train and plane, taxi and car
    We’re travelling to Sheffield from Stroud and afar.
    Like migrating wilderbeasts, salmon and toads
    Although hopefully not eaten or squashed on the road.
    On pizzas and parties we’ll spare no expense
    At the annual Children’s Media Conf’rence!

    I’m producing, tomorrow, the Opening Sesh
    It’s a Question Time thing, in which we will flesh
    Out the bones of kids’ media policy and stuff
    And probably mention Brexit but without flimflam or guff
    On panellists (and poets) we spare no expense
    At the annual Children’s Media Conf’rence!

    I’m over excited, I’m sure you can tell
    Writers don’t get out much, oh you knew that as well.
    Jayne World has gone all sing song with rhyme
    But I’ll try to control it most of the time
    On potions to pacify me, spare no expense
    At the annual Children’s Media Conf’rence!

For screenwriting please contact Julian Friedmann -
Blake Friedmann Literary Agency Ltd,
First Floor, Selous House,
5-12 Mandela Street,
London
NW1 0DU
+44 20 7387 842
Julian@blakefriedmann.co.uk

For books please contact Chloe Seager -
Diane Banks Associates Ltd,
Cameo House,
11 Bear Street,
London
WC2 7AS
+44 20 7766 5290
chloe@dianebanks.co.uk

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