4 July, 2017
A PROFESSIONAL insight into writing was the big attraction at a series of workshops for young people.
Award winning Tim Bowler, who writes for young adults, has visited schools in Exeter, Mid and East Devon in a special series of events aimed at encouraging young writers. The sessions were organised by the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival as part of its Education and Outreach programme.
More than 200 children took part in the week long series that saw them try exercises such as building tension and explaining why unusual objects might be found in ordinary places.
Devon based Tim, who has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as “the master of the psychological thriller and by the Independent as “one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction’, urged students not to be satisfied with a first draft of their work.
“Just because it’s there, it’s not written in stone,” he said. “Be fearless and try different things in your writing.”
Kathy Hamilton, Head of English at St Peter’s CofE High School in Exeter said: “It was brilliant. There were lots of good ideas for the children they were asking about future workshops.”
Lucy Ayres, English teacher at Exmouth Community College said: Tim was an inspiring teacher who was hugely engaging. The pupils really enjoyed it.”
This is the third year that the BSLF has organised writing workshops in secondary schools. As well as at Exmouth Community College, this year they took place at St Peter’s and Maynard in Exeter, Queen Elizabeth’s in Crediton, King’s School Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth College, Colyton Grammar and Honiton Community College.
Sponsored by Exeter University, they are part of a programme of events aimed at younger writers. During the main Festival itself, which runs from September 13-17, there will be other events including a Poetry Slam and a writing workshop aimed at writers aged 12-18.
The Festival’s David Marston said: “We aim to encourage and develop the readers and writers of the future and the positive feedback we have had again this year from teachers and pupils means that we are keen to continue this work into the future.”
The full programme for the Festival includes double Booker Prize winner Dame Hilary Mantel and award winning Warhorse writer Micheal Morpurgo as well as broadcasters Jeremy Vine, Nicholas Crane and the Rev Richard Coles. Journalists Bridget Kendall and Allison Pearson and language expert David Crystal are also lined up as well as politician Alan Johnson.
Tickets are now on sale. Full details: budlitfest.org.uk