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Linda Newbery, Author Visit

We were very fortunate to welcome author Linda Newbery into school on Friday 30th November.

As well as writing books for teenagers, much of Linda’s work is set during World War 1.  I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for the students to see how we could look at this period of history from a literary perspective, whilst building on and continuing to explore the work and themes from the assemblies which took place in November. 

Linda ran two Creative Writing workshops for some Year 8 and 9 students, as well as delivering a whole year group assembly for Year 7 in the afternoon, where she answered some of their questions such as “Who was your inspiration?” and “What is your favourite genre to read?”  Well done to Year 7 for listening so attentively and engaging so well with our famous author.

Her visit also gave the older students a fantastic opportunity to learn how a she writes her books. They were given just 10 minutes to write an extract which used ’running’ as a starting point (in author’s terms, this is called a running start).  This is the running start written by Rosie Cowden 8W:

"Sighing an out of breath sigh, regains her ever crumbling posture and moves on. Picking up more speed and momentum she continues to sprint. Her hair tie falling from her knotted locks as she jogs, this way and that way in an ever going circle."

Year 9 were shown a photograph of the scene outside a World War 1 Recruitment office and were asked to write from the point of view of a person in the crowd.  Shown below is an extract from Emily Betts 9P:

A doughty middle-aged woman whose golden hair has been exploded by the drizzle into a misty cirrus. "Join up" she hollows, a sneer in her voice. "What are you? A coward? Be a man!" Her thick hands push objects on the passers-by and before the girl can object, one is thrust in her hands. She stands looking at it. A white feather, creamy pale and delicate, a few of its barbs ruffled by its swift delivery...

Linda was very impressed with how well all the students engaged and complimented us on our organisation of the day.

My sincere thanks go to the staff who helped to organise this event.

Mrs Wood