‘The funniest childrens’ book ever written’ -  Lucy Mangan in The Guardian

PRIVATE KEEP OUT! is being reissued on March 7th 2019 as a

When I am asked how I came to be a writer, I have to say that I don't know because I seem always to have been writing stories, or poems, or plays,  and not all of them for children. For instance, the ‘100 stories for Haitia’ book below is for young adults and older readers and a lot of my  poetry is for young adults and older readers, too. The first stories I wrote were for BBC radio and they were for the same age range.

I didn’t begin writing for children until I wrote a picture book, MATTHEW AND HIS MAGIC KITE and then when my own two sons went to Comprehensive school, I wanted them to know what life was like when I was a child, so I wrote ‘PRIVATE-KEEP OUT’ which is partly based on my own life.

As a child, I used to tell my sister bedtime stories - not always a good thing for her because I kept killing off her favourite characters - and, sadly, when I was sent to an Open Air School, (my second book, Knock and Wait is about that time in my life), which was a bit like a hospital and a school combined and I was given the job of telling  stories to the girls there, I did the very same thing and got into  terrible trouble.

Writing and reading have always been two of the most important and necessary things in my life.

 I always tell others who want to write how great that is and how they should not only write on their own but also get together with other  people who feel the same and have fun whilst they develop as a writer.

Its a great privilege to be included in the list of Nottingham Unesco City of Literature Writers for Young Readers.

Just republished in October 2018...
My story, ‘SPRING HEELED JACK’ is included in this anthology.



I also run a poetry blog at


I wrote this about a shed in a long ago garden, which prompted a short story and also this poem.     


      A thin, fine, dusting of frost glitters
      On the dark roof of the shed
      Standing at the end of the cold garden,
      Ragged green and silvered weeds
      Pressing around the empty doorway,
      As if peering in at something
      That might be happening
      Inside that freezing emptiness,
      Waiting for a blaze of warmth and light
      To fill the empty bitterness.
      Well, that miracle happened once
      On a dark and freezing night.

      Now, thorn red berries tipped with frosty crowns
      Gather as quietly as a whispered warning,
      Resting their icy faces
      Against the cracked and frozen windows
      Of a place cold enough to perish in.

      There was no glamour then and there’s none now.
      No twinkling tinsel, no soft lights glowing.
      Just a woman’s baby lying in a manger,
      The ox bringing a bit of warmth to the deadly coldness,
      The donkey adding a little more,
      Its long ears twitching at the patient man,
      At the watchful woman waiting,
      At the shepherds worshipping
      This holy baby bathed in lamp light,
      Moon light and love’s pure light.

      Until that other freezing night
      When three Kings came riding
      To this icy, bitter shed.
      Bringing their fabulous gifts,
      Their aristocratic knees bending
      To the little holy King,
      Who already had a thorn red frosted crown
      Waiting for His head.       

                                    © Gwen Grant

changes made 05/01/2019