Thursday, 17 March 2016

World Book Day

On World Book Day, March 5th, I was one of three writers from Bardstown Writers Group, who went along to Myton School to talk to Year 7 pupils about Creative Writing. We were asked to talk to these pupils, age 11-12, about our writing journey, and what made us start writing. All three of us were as nervous as if we were about to meet the Queen. And our fears grew when we learnt that instead of the initial number of about 12-20 pupils, for 20 mins, there was now going to be 60 pupils for one hour, along with the English teachers, the Librarians, and the Deputy Head. But we were brave. We accepted the challenge, even though none of us had ever done an author talk at a school before.

When we got there, the staff tried to put us at our ease, and offered us tea and a selection of home made cakes! But alas, we were too nervous even to eat cake! However, as soon as we got started, we realised that this very large group of pupils were keen to learn from us, and really listened to what we had to say to them about writing. I was amazed at their responsiveness and interaction. They had no fears about participating in the little imaginative exercises we gave them. They had no problem generating a plot from the one sentence. 

We did some readings of flash fiction, poetry, and from my novel, which they applauded. So I was pleased they weren't too bored. They seemed a bright lot, who are very interested in Creative Writing, and write their own stories in different genres - Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, and more serious topics, such as racism. I gave them a handout of my Top Tips for Writing, and some Writing Magazines.

The school later got in touch with positive feedback. The pupils enjoyed our visit, and the school hopes to invite us back next year. I say that hour spent there was well worth it, and I hope that our visit creates a positive memory for them. I would not be surprised if one of two of them turn out to take up writing seriously. Seriously! I was impressed.


  1. Same thing has happened to me!!! I was asked to do a talk to year 8s for a handful, that suddenly became an hour to the whole year! Mine is scheduled for the end of the school year, though. I might get back to you for advise and gin nearer to the date. ;-)

    1. Hi Wendy, You might be nervous before, but you will come away feeling you have achieved something by planting some good seeds of Creative writing into their fertile minds. Be casual and friendly, and it will be fun for you and them. Advice and gin sounds good too! x