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Prize-winning children’s fiction author, Alan Gibbons, visits Harrogate Grammar School

On a June morning in June, at 9.00am precisely, Year 7 made their breathless way into the Forum, the feeling of tension communicated through the excited whispers as each child crept quietly to their seat. There, for the next 2 hours, they were to be transported into a new world – one of imagination, adventure and suspense.

Harrogate Grammar School were lucky enough to have Alan Gibbons visit the school, author of books such as “Raising Fire”, “Hate”, “An Act of Love”, and his Blue Peter Award winning “Shadow of the Minotaur”. With the whole of Year 7 packed into the Forum, Mr Gibbons kept the students entirely spellbound, as he spoke about his career, his thoughts on writing, and some of his books. He kept his audience laughing with his eccentric yet fascinating presentational style, and all the students agreed they learned a lot. A few students were even inspired to ask questions of the author, giving even more insight into his life.

But that wasn’t all, after the talk the students entered into a workshop where Mr Gibbons had set up a structure for the students to follow to create their own descriptive story, helping them step by step, to create something both unique and personal, but also exceptionally and maturely written.

Half of the year focused on a “haunting” story, and learned to use descriptive writing and tension. The second half of the year had the chance to write about an asylum and created some truly hair-raising stories!

The lecture and workshops were truly engaging, to such an extent that several of the teachers were inspired to create their own stories.

For live events in Harrogate Grammar School, follow on twitter; @HarrogateGS

Main photograph – Students; Louise Kristiansen, Niomi March, Elise Abbott with Alan Gibbons

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