Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall has launched a project with me to creatively inspire young minds.  All the great young brains in the British Isles are invited to participate!

Creative Will offers the chance for aspiring Shakespeare fans to not only win their own workshop with me at the Schoolroom, but to also feature in my next novel.  As part of the launch, pupils and students from Stratford Primary School, Alveston Primary School and King Edward VI School attended a creative writing workshop with me in the Guildhall.

There are two age groups for the competition: Key Stage 2 children (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 of primary school, ages 7 to 11) are invited to draw a scene from a Shakespeare play as if they were there.  And those in Years 7 and 8 of secondary school (ages 11 to 13) can have fun writing a short story that gives a 21st century take on one of Shakespeare’s plays.  The winning entries will get the chance to come along to the Schoolroom with their class for an interactive creative session with me and be written into my next book!

Sarah Jervis Hill, from Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, says, “We want to bring to life the inspiration that has lived and breathed in the Schoolroom for hundreds of years and rekindle the magic from when Shakespeare not only attended school here, but also had his first professional theatrical experiences.  We’ll be doing this through Creative Will, which hopes to nurture and develop creativity in lots of different ways. We are really excited that for our first project we will be working with author James Hartley to use the legacy of Shakespeare to inspire children in their creative thinking and writing.”

James says, “I believe passionately in the power of creativity, which can help children in so many different ways with their learning.  And there is no stronger influence on the craft of storytelling and language than the legacy of Shakespeare.  For young minds we need to make Shakespeare relevant, approaching it with the same energy and passion that the Bard himself had.  I’m very excited to be working with Shakespeare’s Schoolroom, which as a writer and English teacher is one of the most exciting places to visit imaginable.”

Alongside the competition, there will be a twitter take-over and James will be sharing his tips on creative writing online.  For further details about entering email:

The entry deadline for the competition is Friday 26 May 2017.

The Invisible Hand has just been released and will be available from the shop at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall as well as booksellers and online.

As featured in the Stratford Herald:

And ITV News: