Melanie Courtney-Holt, 
English resources author

"ZigZag isn't satisfied to merely produce study guides but to publish resources which help students through precise yet varied activities to both enjoy their studies and to succeed in exams."

Melanie was educated in Wiltshire and graduated from University College London in 2000, having also studied at the University of Vienna. After her degree, she stayed in central London to work at the world’s oldest literary agency, A P Watt. Her work with a mixture of exciting contemporary authors inspired her to share her love of literature, language and ideas through teaching.

Melanie returned to the West Country to do a PGCE in Secondary English at Bath Spa University. She has worked as an examiner for A Level, specialises in A Level teaching and is an English and Journalism Lecturer at a further education college.

"ZigZag really listens to teachers. The very format of its publications, electronic and loose leaf, [...] are an obvious testament to their goal of publishing the most useful and lively resources for time-stretched teachers and their classes."

Melanie began reviewing for ZigZag as a fairly new teacher, hoping that it would bring new ideas (and much needed resources) to her classroom practice.

"I've always enjoyed using ZigZag's publications and so have my classes. I have a Facebook Appreciation Society based solely on ZigZag's fabulously fun resources for lower school on Dragons which thoroughly captured my younger pupils' imagination one year. It even convinced them to produce writing in genres they claimed not to enjoy."

After joining PublishMeNow, ZigZag encouraged Melanie to write for A Level on Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong. "From the outset, I enjoyed the sense of being part of an educational community which is constantly looking for the best ways to help teachers to get on with the business of teaching by supporting them through well-targeted resources."

Melanie believes that students of all abilities benefit most when they are stretched and supported in roughly equal measure.

"ZigZag also has a high, yet realistic, estimation of students’ capabilities and has always given me the freedom to follow my views and respected my professional judgement. They also generously share their vast amount of professional expertise in terms of publishing and education. As an author, you make a substantial commitment to writing outside of your main teaching post but the process of writing has helped me to clarify, review and develop my own teaching and I have always felt fully supported by ZigZag."

Melanie is currently working on a revision guide to AS English language Unit 2: Language & Social Contexts.

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