I was excited to do my second event as Fortismere School's new Patron Of Reading last week! Patron Of Reading is a brilliant scheme where an author visits a school regularly over a period of time, working to spread a love of reading and books. Last month, I was invited by the fantastic school librarian Gillian Ward to talk to Year 7, which you can read all about here. This month, I talked to Year 8.
While I talked to Year 7 about reading, the focus for Year 8 was writing. I asked the Year 8s to think of an idea for a story that they really wanted to read themselves. Then we went through the process of writing a first draft, getting distance on it, and reading it through critically to get ideas for how to improve it on the next draft.
They worked really hard at all the stages of the process, and there was lots of excellent writing going on. Some of the Year 8s read out their second drafts at the end of the session, and I was hugely impressed with the range and quality of stories that they'd produced in only an hour!
I'll be coming back to Fortismere in January to do another session with the same Year 8 classes. This time, I've asked them to bring a piece of writing that they've already been working on – perhaps the stories they began last week, or perhaps something different. We'll be looking at some common problems with writing, and how to go about fixing them. In the meantime, here's a link to some writing tips that I've done on this blog – I hope they're useful! And if anyone from Year 8 has any questions or would like to leave me a comment, this is the place to do it!