Children’s author visits pupils at Edwinstowe primary school

Pupils at St Mary’s CE Primary School in Edwinstowe welcomed author Dan Walker into school for a writing workshop.
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Children explored story structures and made a start on their own fantastic tales with assistance from the visiting author as part of the Newark Book Festival programme,

Katie Wright, a teacher at the Paddock Close school, said, “Dan led a writer’s workshop and helped the children to create their own stories, based on the idea of a ‘hero’s journey’. Children looked at how many of their own favourite books are built upon that same plot structure and made a fantastic start to their own stories.”

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She said encouraging a love of reading in pupils has a positive impact on all aspects of their education.

Leanne Moden, Newark Book Festival project manager, with author Dan Walker and children of St Mary's CE Primary School in Edwinstowe. (Photo by: Lou Brimble)Leanne Moden, Newark Book Festival project manager, with author Dan Walker and children of St Mary's CE Primary School in Edwinstowe. (Photo by: Lou Brimble)
Leanne Moden, Newark Book Festival project manager, with author Dan Walker and children of St Mary's CE Primary School in Edwinstowe. (Photo by: Lou Brimble)

Miss Wright said: “We want to instil that love of learning and the love of reading in all of our children. By meeting an author first-hand, they discover what it takes to become an author, or to choose writing as a career.

“We hope the event will inspire children who love to read to try something new and encourage any reluctant readers to feel confident about picking up reading material they may not have looked at before.”

Pupil Dylan Spears, age 10 said: “We have been making our own story today and looking at plots and themes to make a story interesting to the reader. It’s good fun.”

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Classmate Elizabeth Turpin, also 10, said: “I like to learn about books and writing and love to read. I am finding it really interesting to hear what inspires an author to write. Reading is so good at taking you out of your own world and I like that a lot. I think reading helps you to understand the world better too, improving your vocabulary, writing and understanding.”

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Dan, who has written four children’s books, said: “I enjoy doing workshops like this and being part of the book festival. It’s great to talk to children and help them to write their own stories. More than anything I hope they develop a love of reading and storytelling.”

He said he is always pleased to see just how creative children’s stories can be.

Dan said: “Working with children on their own stories is fantastic fun. They really do have some wonderful ideas, and it’s important to encourage that creativity.

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“Like many children, I love playing games, but I get so much more out of reading and I hope they can experience that love of reading too. If children go away and start reading for fun, that would be amazing.”

Leanne Moden, festival project manager, who joined Dan at the school, said, “This is part of our festival’s school programme, something we have done for the past few years now.

“The idea is to bring authors into schools and classrooms, to work with children across Newark & Sherwood.

“It is important to do this because it inspires children to think about storytelling, about creativity, and to think about their own stories and how they tell them. It is also important for children to see that writing is a career path they can take.”

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