Pupils spellbound as author Anthony drops in for a chat

STORIES Anthony Horowitz with pupils Maisie Elliott, Ameera Gyening, Zack Toh, Guy Billington and Gordon Stone. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122185-977)
STORIES Anthony Horowitz with pupils Maisie Elliott, Ameera Gyening, Zack Toh, Guy Billington and Gordon Stone. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122185-977)

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CAPTIVATED by his words, scores of young people listened intently to author Anthony Horowitz.

He visited Portsmouth Grammar School as part of the ongoing Portsmouth Festivities.

His Alex Rider books are well-known and popular among young readers.

And on-screen he has written scripts for popular TV dramas Midsomer Murders, Poirot and Foyle’s War.

From experience, Mr Horowitz spoke to young people and adults about his work, inspiration and gave tips on how to be a successful writer to around 300 people.

Mr Horowitz said: ‘I love the Portsmouth Festivities as it’s creative and explores writing and educates people.’

Afterwards a question and answer session was held.

Maisie Elliott, 12, is a pupil at the school, in High Street, Old Portsmouth.

She said: ‘I was really happy and proud to hear him speak.

‘I have read his first book called Granny and I like the way he describes things.

‘I have always wanted to be a writer, and so to hear him give tips was amazing.

‘I felt very privileged to have heard the talk.

‘He has pushed my confidence with it.’

Mr Horowitz’s recent work is writing the new Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk.

Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived in Portsmouth for a time while working as a GP.

The Conan Doyle Estate, which preserves his legacy, authorised the writing of the new novel.

Mr Horowitz said: ‘I love Sherlock Holmes. He is a fantastic creation and Conan Doyle was an extremely good writer.

‘Writing is about exploring and doing new things.

‘For those wanting to become writers, I would encourage them to read more.

‘I would also say write little and often, as this will make you write better.

‘People should believe in themselves too.’


· Lunchtime Live. Featuring Portsmouth Grammar School musicians. St Thomas’ Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 1.10pm. Admission £5, concs.

· The Chimes. Performed by Portsmouth Grammar School pupils. It is a journey into time where the spirits trapped in a church arise to remind us about the consequences of our choices. David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth Grammar School, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 2.30pm, also 7.30pm. Admission £8, concs.

· Venice: The Rise and Fall of a Maritime Power. Historian and author Roger Crowley draws upon first-hand accounts to give us a glittering account of this city of fortune. Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, 17 Pembroke Road, Old Portsmouth, 4pm. Admission £8, concs, booking essential.

· Evensong. With the Cathedral Youth Choir. Music by Statham and Stanford. St Thomas’ Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 6pm.

· The Lessons of Lloyd George. Talk by Lord Hattersley. Royal Marines Museum, Eastney Esplanade, 7.30pm. Admission £10, concs.

· Mozart and Beethoven Recital. Featuring Young-Chon Park (piano). Menuhin Theatre, Norrish Central Library, Guildhall Square, 7.30pm. Admission £10, concs.

· Cathedral Twilight: What are the wild waves saying? Parlour songs and poetry from the age of Dickens. Featuring Alexandra Stevenson (soprano). St Thomas’ Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 9.30pm. Admission £8, concs.

See portsmouthfestivities.co.uk for further details