Author pays visit to Gosport school to help inspire writers

WRITE STUFF Author Jonathan Stroud at Bay House School with Year 7 pupils, from left,  Stephen Etchells, 13, Mayzee Clarke, 12,  Ryan Wood, 11, Alfie Smith, 11, and Mia Ayres, 12. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (14590-1)
WRITE STUFF Author Jonathan Stroud at Bay House School with Year 7 pupils, from left, Stephen Etchells, 13, Mayzee Clarke, 12, Ryan Wood, 11, Alfie Smith, 11, and Mia Ayres, 12. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14590-1)
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A CHILDREN’S author has been inspiring youngsters by visiting their school.

Jonathan Stroud paid a visit to Bay House School in Gosport where he gave a talk to Year 7 pupils about how he became an author.

He then spent the afternoon taking part in a creative writing workshop with Year 9 pupils.

Jonathan is promoting his latest book, a ghost story called Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase.

He said: ‘It’s important for all authors, certainly authors of junior fiction, to come out and meet their audience and find out what they like and what they don’t like and to hear their ideas. It’s been wonderful.

‘When I was a kid authors used to come to my school occasionally and it was always an amazing experience.

‘It’s possible that when I come to see kids it will have a lasting effect as well.’

Year 7 pupil Mayzee Clarke, 12, said: ‘It’s awesome because in our old school we didn’t get many opportunities for people to come in.

‘It’s good because when we are reading our books, we have met the people who wrote them.’

Adele Hawksworth is the Learning Resource Centre Manager at Bay House School.

She said having authors visit the school always brings excitement.

‘It always gives a buzz to the school when you know you have got an author coming in,’ she said. ‘There’s a lot of anticipation for them in the school to meet a real author.

‘For many it inspires them to go on and write themselves.

‘It sparks passion in many children.

‘Seeing a real author in the flesh is something they remember for the rest of their lives. It’s been exciting for them.’

Year 7 pupils said they enjoyed having an author come into the school.

Ryan Wood, 11, said: ‘He was telling us how he became an author and how he wanted to make it different from everyone else’s books.

‘I love writing.’

Alfie Smith, 11, said: ‘It inspires us. If people want to be an author in the future, it can inspire them.’

Jonathan also did a book signing for pupils at the school.