Speeches, Workshops and Masterclasses:
“What Mark doesn’t know about storytelling isn’t worth telling.” – John Whiston, Managing Director of Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North for ITV Studios.
“Mark’s speech to our annual staff conference in February 2019 was highly engaging and uplifting, and people went away feeling inspired by his experiences.” Andy Rawlins, New Leaf Programme Manager.
“Thank you so much for delivering 3 great sessions at the event. We’re getting really great feedback.” – ITV Events.
“Not a thought process I have had before so it was very interesting. I was gripped from start to finish.” – Barclays Summit.
“Thanks again for the masterclass, it was a really helpful and enjoyable experience and I really appreciate you giving us the opportunity to learn from you.” – Student, Northumbria University.
“I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to come up to Glasgow and give what was an amazing masterclass.” – Peter MacFarlane, MacFarlane Chard Associates.
“Thank you so much for coming to Liverpool John Moores University to pass on your marvellous professional advice, insights and inspiration to journalism, creative writing , film studies, media production and drama students. It was the chance of a lifetime that will lead to better storytelling and writing in the widest sense, that’s hopefully beneficial for all.” – Hazel Barrett, Senior Lecturer Liverpool Screen School.
“If you were there you got to take part in a storytelling workshop with Mark Bickerton. It was enlightening and creatively inspiring for planners.” – One Vizeum.
“Thank you for coming in to visit, it was a lovely way to end the half term in such a creative way! The sixth formers enjoyed your video montage and loved the writing task that you set. I think you inspired them to think about a career in the Media Industry in a different way.” – Andrea Bargery, Malbank School.
“Mark is an extremely talented writer and excellent public speaker, very inspirational to aspiring writers.” – Workshop attendee.
“Mark Bickerton, the godfather of soap storylines, runs a masterclass on story writing with our brand audience. #whatbrandscanlearn#powerofstory#onevizeum”
Of “URUNANA”, Rwanda & the African Great Lakes:
“Mark it is truly great that we had you as our Soap Opera Consultant. Your way of handling issues was extraordinary and you are going to bring many fruits to many. We shall keep the candle lighting for you and wherever you go, don’t forget the team you taught to make that baby “Urunana”. We shall remember you always. Please Mark go on sharing your talent with many.” – Sam Kigambidwa, Scriptwriter.
Of the Soap in a Week Project:
“It’s a fantastic initiative and one which I’m delighted to be part of.” – Connor McIntyre, Coronation Street actor.
“This is a fantastic initiative and one we believe is crucial to the development of our creative students.” – Dr Andrew Ireland, Executive Dean, UCLAN.
“What a genius idea Soap in a Week was. A huge well done you for pushing it through and making it happen.” – John Whiston, ITV.
Readers’ comments on the blog:
“Brilliant… Funny, sad, revealing, poetic, vulnerable, humble, optimistic and hopeful…”
“A full rainbow of emotions.”
“That was a very open and brave piece you wrote today. As I get older, it becomes clear how most people I know have been through depression of some kind. Hope your speech goes brilliantly – if it has anything like the neat twists and turns of your story-telling the audience will enjoy it. Looking forward to more of your blog: you have a true gift of spinning a great yarn and connecting with your audience. “
“[“How to Not be Lonely“] really resonated for me. Loved it.”
“Mark, your tales are full of the glory and desolation that human life brings. Real people, proper existential writing, just brilliant, and never to be second guessed.”
“[“I am the Egg Man”] is a nicely paced story. The frustrations of a lifetime summed up with succinct detail.”
“[“Brilliant”] If I had read a paper version I would be turning so fast the pages would rip from the book.”
“[“Wasn’t that a Dainty Dish?”] Nice flip side [to “Brilliant”]. Loved the detail of her chopping up the meat cubes, with force. It’s a story with universal appeal.”
“[“Do you Believe in Fairytales?”] tells of real life with details that you will struggle to find in any newspaper or TV report. … Looking forward to events further North!”
“”Phoenix at the Gateway to the Lakes” – Another poignant tale. The sad, glorious, hopeful loneliness of being alive.”
“Here Am I Sitting in my Tin Can” – “Every new chapter has me hooked. It’s like you’ve driven that tin-can into a tunnel named ‘reckoning with oneself’ … Your book is a page-turner”.
“Fathers for Justice Part Two” – “A story of our times. The anxiety and disintegration is brilliantly described.”
“Fathers for Justice Part Three” – “The joy screaming out of the page almost had me in tears. What a bloody gorgeous ending.”
“The Language of Football” – “Written with great empathy. I like the hope that always shines through in your stories, however bad the situation. I’m always rooting for your characters.”
“The Language of Football” – “Well worth a few minutes of your time – a great wee read.”
“Dead Man’s Dressing Gown” – “Can never tell what will happen next and want to know, so I keep turning the pages. My wife has worked with homeless guys, and tells me relentlessly that it can happen to anyone. Keep up the great writing!”
“First Pair of Football Boots” – “I can see glimpses of the Corrie writing. There is always a moving on in the story, next step, next challenge, next unravelling. I really enjoy reading it.”
“Good work as usual … Keep it up, it’s a cracking tale.”
“Your book will give me more enjoyment than 90% of the stuff in the best-seller lists at Waterstones and WH Smith.”
“Killer 1” – “Psycho meets Ian Brady. Redman thoroughly deserved to die. Nice opening.”
“Killer 3” – “Grim, gripping and in its own way moral. Another of your ‘reckonings’. It could easily be the skeleton script for a three-part TV series. Really very good.”
“Autumn in a Tin Can” – “Your tin can odyssey makes me think of P.J. O’Rourke, who reckoned that meeting members of the opposite sex was the best way to truly know any new city. The word zeitgeist is bandied about indiscriminately, but you are capturing it across northern Britain in these travels.”
“A to Z of Sex” – “This character of yours is so real that I worry about him.”
“Nice work as always.”
“The Grandfather Paradox” – “Knockout ending with the Swiss plan. Liked the reverse angles, through female eyes.”
“Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape” – “Gallinaceous as a partridge is a phrase to conjure with. Not many adventures left to modern man. Your self-belief and self-doubt is fascinating.”
“That Was (The Mental Health Week) That Was” – “You’re the only writer anywhere I read to the final full stop these days.”
“Manchester Bomb” – “As usual, a well-told, thought-provoking read.”
“I’ve found that it’s worth paying attention to any blog from Mark Bickerton, on his website.
Mark blogs sparingly, making any new post stand out more clearly. His latest, on the death of his old friend and Coronation Street actor Neville Buswell, argued that if you live in Britain, January is the best month to turn your toes north.
Mark wrote: “It only feels right for death to be announced in January, when everybody already seems miserable. Much better is it not that if we’re to snuff it, we do so this month, when the streets are never quite aired and everything and everybody looks and feels like punctured mistletoe…..get the mourning out of the way and leave the rest of the year for kicks.”
Terrific writing that poetically nails a grim British reality.”