I was invited into my children’s primary school this week to talk about my books, and writing novels and short stories, and to teach some creative writing in Year 5 and 6. I will load a few photos when I have them.
It was a great experience and the children were a captive audience. They asked some intelligent questions about whether you begin a story at the beginning or in the middle, and how you weave flashbacks into a story. We discussed some of their favourite authors, Jacqueline Wilson being one of the favourites! Many of them enjoyed historical fiction and some had already written their own stories outside school and wanted to talk about the writing process and ask for advice. As a qualified teacher, going back into the classroom felt very natural, but I would recommend that writers speak to as many different audiences as possible. It gives you an opportunity to exercise your public speaking skills for events, like public readings, and it engages people in discussion about books, and encourages young minds to think outside the box.
As an author, you do get asked to speak at book groups, in schools, and in a few months I will be teaching some young adults with mental health issues about writing. Why? Because people want to know about the process, they want to discuss books and share commonalities.