A great afternoon at Good Hope School in Hong Kong!

March 26, 2018 at 10:29 am | Posted in Good Hope School, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to my lovely host Shallin Ng for inviting me last Monday to speak to the girls of the prestigious Good Hope School in Wong Tai Sin about How to Become Great Writers in the Digital Age! We covered everything from freeing up time by reducing extra-curricular activities, to reducing time on social media and digital games, to reading copiously, to keeping diaries! Here I am above with Deputy Principal Ms Helen Yu who presented me with a beautiful gift. I hope to see you all again soon!

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A wonderful morning at Diocesan Girls Junior School

December 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to my hosts, teacher Rachel Yu (above) and PTA parent Hynn Ming Lau, for inviting me to talk to the lovely young ladies of Grade One to Three at Diocesan Girls Junior School in Hong Kong yesterday. First I read the girls my beautiful new story Storm Whale, which was followed by dozens of eager questions about whales, some of which I had to admit were so tricky that I could not answer them! Then I gave the girls my Top 12 Tips to Become Great Writers in the Digital Age – and I was so impressed by their focus and understanding of this very topical and important subject! I’m quite sure that they will be strictly limiting their time on digital screens and greatly increasing their time spent reading books from now on! I look forward to receiving lots of DGJS story entries in my next Clever Competition! Thank you to my old friend Matt Steele of Growhouse for organising the event and co-ordinating the fabulous book sales!

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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