Michael Panckridge, author of more than thirty novels for young people, spoke to all of the Year 7 & 8 students last Friday. They listened spellbound as he explained to them the importance of imagination and ideas in the creation of his stories. He also shared with them his experiences at school, the importance of sport in his youth and how this led to the creation of his first series, Clearing the Pack. Following this, Michael showed the students the process that the publishers take in creating covers for novels to ensure that when making their ‘six second decision’ in the bookshops, buyers take his book home to read.
Michael’s final session of the day was with the 24 lucky year 7 and 8 students, nominated by their English teachers to attend his writing workshop. This session took place in the Fiction Area of the Gregory Fish Library where the students used the GFL iPads to start creating their own stories, with advice and encouragement from Michael.
The feedback from staff, students and the author himself has all been very positive about this event. Mrs Barnett, the Finlay Anderson teacher-librarian who sat in on this last session, reported that Michael was, ‘blown away by the fact that it was last thing on a Friday and our kids were sitting there typing away on their iPads’ and the smiles on the faces of these very ‘engaged’ students told the same story.