Young Writers Inspired by Top Author
Top young writers from Thanet junior schools have shared a masterclass in words with best-selling author Brian Moses.
Ramsgate Arts Primary School – which is holding its first ever Literacy Festival at the end of February - hosted the Able Writers Day which aimed to stretch pupils’ imaginations through a number of challenging and fun writing activities.
Brian said: “It is important to unlock a child’s imagination and to see how far they can develop ideas through creative writing.”
Their first task was to gaze into the heart of a marble and say what they see, the less ordinary their answers the better. Replies included a ball of mustard and ice cream, the blood of a warrior, a frozen germ captured in water, and guardians of a portal to another world.
He then challenged the pupils to complete the sentence “I don’t want to boast but..” and this brought a range of offerings including winning the lottery 10 tens, achieving 19 Olympic gold medals by the age of 3, and being a mutant alien.
More fun with words and stories included looking at rhyming couplets, discussing Elizabethan and Shakespearian insults and then hurling them at each other using language to make them as outrageous (but not unkind) as possible.
The rest of the day included exploring the use of language and creative writing.
In a question and answer session Brian told the young writers about his own life, how he grew up in Ramsgate and went to Holy Trinity and Chatham House schools before spending time as a musician, a teacher and the last 30 years as a writer.
He told them to seek inspiration for poems and stories in everyday life such as people, places and signs they may see. He encouraged them to “look at things in a different way.”
He added: “I love coming back to Ramsgate – it sparks off so many memories.”
And he added that his early life in the town has been the inspiration for his book Keeping Clear of Paradise Street.
Schools taking part were Chilton Primary and Upton Junior (who are partners with Ramsgate Arts Primary in the Viking Academy Trust) and Newington Community Primary School.
Natalie Barrow, Deputy Head of School at Chilton, co-ordinated the said: “The response has been fantastic. All the children really opened up and explored their creative thoughts with Brian encouraging them to take a step beyond their norm. It was energising and it was brilliant.
“Each of the school groups will take what they have experienced back to their own classrooms and pass on their new skills to fellow pupils.”
Brian Moses Fact File:
He taught for 13 years and has been a professional writer in schools, libraries, theatres and festivals since 1988.
He has given over 2500 performances of his poetry and percussion show and run countless writing workshops.
Over 1 million of his poetry books and anthologies have been sold by Macmillan Children’s Books.
He was commissioned by CBBC to write a poem for the Queen’s 80th birthday which was then performed live on air.
He was invited by Prince Charles to speak at Prince’s Summer School for teachers, at Cambridge University.
He has been a keynote speaker at International School conferences in London and Madrid.
He is Reading Champion for the National Literacy Trust and Co-director of the Able Writers’ Scheme he founded in 2002.
He has published over 200 books from publishers such as Macmillan, Hachette, Puffin, OUP, Collins, Longman, Heinemann & Frances Lincoln.