I was delighted to be invited by Nicky Gale of West Quay Waterstones, in Southampton, to be a participating author in the Wessex Schools’ Literary Festival. She arranged for me to visit Thornden School in Eastleigh, to spend the day with groups of Year 9 pupils. I spoke to a large group about writing and reading, finding your voice and following your dream. Then I taught two creative writing workshops, using familiar landscape as inspiration. I was looked after by the two brilliant school librarians, Sue and Liz, and was really impressed by the enthusiasm and good manners of the pupils – they were all a pleasure to meet. Many thanks to Nicky for arranging the visit, and I look forward to visiting her Waterstones branch in November.

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