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Thank you!

Our new online club, Inkpots Inc, opened its doors yesterday. I am incredibly proud of how it looks and what we offer – and I really hope that those families who are joining up will agree.

As the dust settles a little, here at Inkpots HQ, it is a really good time to say some thank you to some key people. A project like this doesn’t happen overnight, and this one has been a long time in development.

There are three individuals without whom Inkpots Inc really would not have happened:

Jane Prior is the Inkpots graphic designer. If you like the social media posts with the pencils on, the children’s certificates or the various elements of our website – that’s all down to Jane’s talented and consistent hand. She is also the queen of tech and has sorted out all the behind the scenes elements for the membership site. Jane has also worked tirelessly with some website ninjas to ensure that in the coming months my life will be a lot easier as material will be easily archived. I can’t thank Jane enough; she says that I test her with my various schemes but she always comes up trumps for us.

Someone else I couldn’t have managed without is the wonderful Laura Robinson. Laura runs the Worditude Club and has helped me work my way through the minefield (for me) of email marketing and social media planning. It has been essential to have someone of Laura’s calibre to hand; she has been able to keep an overview of the written material when I was sinking in a quagmire of words. Her calmness and experience has seen me through. Thank you, Laura. My fellow Wordidudes have been a constant source of support too, especially when I had a major wobble at the start of the year. Particular thanks go to Kathy Fearn Webster who is such a lovely person and ace cheer leader.

One of the reasons Inkpots Inc has taken so long to develop is that I couldn’t quite work out how I was going to connect with children and then when I realised video could do the job, I was almost paralysed with fear. A sheer fluke led me to Niamh Arthur’s door and a whole new world opened up to me. Niamh teaches people how to make videos and connect with their audiences. I am also a member of Niamh’s Light it Up Facebook community – such a lovely bunch of fellow video makers!  (Incidentally, I started by doing a free course with Niamh and if you are at all interested she is running a new ten-day one starting tomorrow! You can still sign up following this link http://bit.ly/shine-gleam ).

A lot more people have helped me along the way too –  far too many to mention, but my appreciation is huge. I do just need to give a shout out to the wonderful trio of children book bloggers who run @KIdsLitReaders on Twitter. Book Monster Ally, Book Lover Jo and Kim of BookBairn opened my eyes to the wonderful array of children’s books that are currently out there, at a time when I was completely overwhelmed at where to start.

I also picked the brains of various people who were generous in sharing their experiences – thank you to the girls from Book Box Club, the team at Scoop Magazine and Emily at The International Elf Service.

Thank you as well to Chicken House Books, Scoop Magazine and Oxford University Press for sending goodies for the children’s goody bags. Much appreciated!

Of course, Inkpots Inc would never have happened all the wonderful children who come to our workshops in mid Sussex. They have all played their part in forming the new online club and have informed the way we have designed the activities. More than anything, they have been open hearted and kind about welcoming a whole lot of new children to Inkpots, already talking about how we can all connect and perhaps get together.

Lots of them have commented on designs and ideas, but I would particularly like to thank Ruby, Lara, Sophie, Becca, Safia and Ellen for their enthusiasm and feedback especially during the Easter holidays. There are some awesome parents too, many of whom have helped me out without realising but special thanks must go to Rachel who is unfailing in her enthusiasm for all things Inkpots!

My final thanks go to my two sons, Chris and Andy, for their constant love and support. See you both soon.

And now all that remains is to say if you know a child between 8 and 11 who loves writing, drawing and reading Inkpots Inc might be just the thing! Please visit http://inkpots.org/membership-join/  for more information.

Gill

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