Magnus Church of England Academy has gifted every year 7 student a book for Christmas on an exciting day that also saw the book’s author, Helen Rutter, delivering a talk!
Magnus’ Learning Resource Centre Manager is Heather Jackson who said she hoped the day was inspirational for students. “We have gifted a book to our Y7 students for a few years now, and we couldn't wait to be able to have an author back in school in person this year. We feel blessed that Helen could join us to talk to Year 7 about her book ‘The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh’, and answer any questions they had for her. It's so important that our students get the opportunity to hear from a published author, to understand what inspired them, see where that creativity stems from and where that creativity leads. We hope it will inspire them to read Helen’s book over the Christmas break and encourage them in their own writing.”
Following Helen’s workshop students were able to get their books signed and she explained why she enjoyed meeting students. “I enjoy visiting and speaking to students directly for various reasons; it gets me out of my writing shed and speaking to people! But also, it helps me to meet with the people I am hoping to connect with on the page. Hopefully for students they will see that writing, and being an author is a real job and something they can do too. As a young person I can’t remember ever meeting or talking to an author, and I don’t remember feeling like being an author was an option for me. It wasn’t part of a plan at all. I didn’t feel particularly academic back then and so want to talk to students about the idea that writing is creative, -that the important aspect is being emotionally in tune with yourself and the world around you, to be able to tell stories.”
Helen talked to students about her book, inspired by the story of her son Lenny. “The book was inspired by my son who is only a little bit older than these students and I hope that helps create a connection for them. I also explore the ways you construct your writing so there is practical advice for students. Students also do their own writing exercises.”
Helen says that she hopes that students are able to see themselves as writers. “The message is that anyone can do it, and the message from this book is that if you feel different, it’s not necessarily going to hold you back, it might be the thing that propels you forward.”