Last week the Academy welcomed three visiting authors from the Appledore Book Festival to talk to our students and share their experiences and inspiration.
Christopher Edge – author of Twelve Minutes to Midnight thriller trilogy – spoke to Year 8 class about the inspiration for his writing. Four unwitting volunteers were given moustaches in an attempt to become like famous authors of the past. The class were then guided to write their own mystery story, complete with ideas for unlikely and unusual detectives, suspects and a trail of beguiling clues. The class left buzzing with ideas for their own stories, some still scribbling eagerly as they left the Library.
Year 10 were given a different challenge by Bali Rai, award winning author of ‘An (Un)arranged Marriage’. A passionate reader himself, he urged the students to be the best they can be through reading ‘because reading is knowledge and knowledge is power’ whatever your chosen interest or profession. He certainly inspired many students by reading an extract from his new book, ‘Web of Darkness’. ‘He really made me think’ said one student as Bali encouraged discussion of prejudice and censorship whilst sharing stories of his own childhood in multiethnic, multicultural Leicester.
Paul Dowswell writer of over 60 books, both fiction and nonfiction, worked with Year 9 students where he told them of his passion for World War 1. English and History students were treated to stories from the war and excerpts from Paul’s new book “The Story of the First World War” as well as discovering what inspired Paul to become a writer. This author’s visit was particularly relevant to our History students as they begin their studies on the First World War.
To round the week off, 25 Year 10 students were given the enviable opportunity to meet and listen to Malorie Blackman, Childrens Laureate and author of the popularly acclaimed Noughts and Crosses series. The students learnt how Malorie suffered 82 rejections before securing a publishing contract and her message of resilience and perseverance was a very powerful one. All the students after experiencing Malorie’s passion, wit and determination came away inspired and enthused. Malorie’s advice to all young writers starting out is to ‘write what you care about and to write from the heart’.