Getting Down With the Kids – World Book Day

 

Skool1I’d been thinking about doing something for World Book Day as it drew closer, remembering that last year it came upon me suddenly and being my first World Book Day as an author, I felt obliged to play some small part. I’d planned a busy ‘three centre’ day, which included collecting train tickets from Market Harborough, a business meeting in Birmingham and a nip to Lutterworth for emergency supplies. So having recently published my debut novel, I did no more than throw a few copies in a bag, vaguely hoping an opportunity would present itself.

I quickly realised dragging a bagful of hefty tomes around with me was folly, so made a swift decision to dole them out to the mismatched selection of females I was to encounter that day. This included the woman behind the glass at the station, a marketing director in a smart city hotel, a Waitrose check-out lady and finally a pretty dark-haired girl in the post office. The surprise, bemusement and delight each gift bestowed was thanks enough, and I considered my personal contribution to last year’s World Book Day a small success.

Having established this ‘new ‘ tradition – I was thrilled when a cousin – of whom I have many, being Irish – seconded me as ‘Author in Residence’ for World Book Day at the primary school where she works. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was dressed as their favourite fictional character. I hugged a beautiful Cat in the Hat (my cousin); bumped into any amount of Harry Potters and Hermiones; waved to Snow White; chatted studiously with the Lion from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and was brought biscuits by War Horse.

After the most colourful assembly I’ve ever encountered, I was introduced to my Writer Stars – five shining examples of all that is good about the education system – and we got straight down to our Workshop. We were a publishing ‘house’; each student decided their genre, what their latest novel was to be called, then wrote a synopsis, a blurb, a dedication and most importantly came up with a pen name.

I then morphed into a Hollywood movie producer and they each pitched their book to me, with the rest of the team acting as a panel, X Factor style. To say I was impressed with their creative talent, grasp of language and vocabulary is an understatement, I was blown away. But it was their imagination that really shone; we encountered Russian princesses, broken families, war and fantasy heroes, horror, unrequited love and some very funny writing indeed. We had the greatest fun and I had the best of times, it was a privilege to be with these awesome and delightful young people. As I left, I gave books that had inspired me to the children, and my novels to the teachers, because you know, there’s nothing like the gift of a book, it comes with a free smile!

 Adrienne

 

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About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which all our books are published.

Posted on April 14, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Adrienne, this post brought the biggest smile to my face! I could picture you on your travels as I was reading it. What a lovely thing to do re giving out your books and indeed at the primary school. I bet they loved you! It sounds like you had so much fun. So worthwhile too 🙂 Xx

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment, Jan – yes I had lots of fun and it makes you appreciate why we love this writing lark, communicating with those fantastic kids and other readers who say they enjoyed your work makes it all worthwhile. X

  3. Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb and commented:

    My mate Adrienne and fellow New Romantic 4 telling the kids how important reading is. . . someone tell Michael Gove.

    • Margaret Cullingford

      I think he is told, Lizzie. He just doesn’t listen because he thinks he knows best. All I know is being read to (loved The Water Babies as I’ve mentioned) before I could read, made me want to write stories myself.

  4. Adrienne, you look to the manner born. We call all remember the impact books had on us as children (and continue to have). They stimulated our imagination, made us forget our worries and made us laugh and cry. So many books in the first instance are borrowed from libraries by children, especially children from less privileged backgrounds, that’s something that need to be cherished and preserved. It was reading Enid Blyton – borrowed from the library – that set me off on my way to becoming a writer.

  5. What a fabulous day, Adrienne – I bet those Year 6s absolutely loved your presentation!
    They’re sure to want you back!

  6. Margaret Cullingford

    Fantabulous, Ade. Just what kids need to inspire them to be creative, making learning fun and not a drudgery, and you had fun and were inspired too. No wonder there were smiles all round. So many children seem to miss out on being read too, which in turn encourages them to read, and maybe make them think they’d like to write stories themselves. .

  7. Thanks sharing your thoughts Lizzie, June and Mags, I so agree we were all inspired from that early age to become writers …rushing to our rooms to lose ourselves in the worlds those fab children’s authors were creating.

    With Lizzie and June both having been teachers, and Mags in education but in a different sphere, you would have found the experience uplifting too, yet, now busy with your writing careers, on hearing the bell would have ran like the clappers out the gate, pulling it firmly behind you! XXX

  8. What brilliant ideas for a school visit.

  9. Absolutely – I agree – a wonderful workshop for the children – and some good ideas… 🙂

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