I meet a future great writer at the SILF…

March 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Meet Dashiell, a remarkable young man, and his remarkable family Brook, Phineas and Hannah, who have been coming to my sessions at the SILF for some years now. Dash’s mum and dad are both well-known writers, and it looks like Dash is a chip off the old block! We had a lovely lunch together, during which I noticed that Dash was busy with pencils on paper! And here’s what he produced, in just half an hour:

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This is Dash’s map of an imaginary country, Syldavia, which he invented over lunch! You can see its boundaries, its mountains, forests, beaches, bays and seas. You can see its capital city, its population, its national flag, its religions, its language and even its writing! This map reminded me of nothing so much as the maps and kingdoms invented by the Brontes in their Haworth parsonage back in the 19th century – and all of the Bronte children were exceptional writers, from an early age.

Dash gave me this map as a gift – which I will always treasure. But he has lots more at home! Now this is what I talk about in my sessions with kids, mums, dads and teachers, about the way great writers are created! The NUMBER ONE requirement is a GREAT imagination – and it’s very clear that Dash has an exceptional imagination. He also has great general knowledge, curiosity and the ability to think deeply. And of course Dash just LOVES reading books – lots and lots of them. And so it is inevitable that Dash will become a great writer one day.

I think we can all learn a great deal from this excellent young man. Thank you Dash.

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