• Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Fiction came in a flash for children inspired to write their own speedy short stories by a North Yorkshire author who visited their school.

Pupils at Barnard Castle Preparatory School set their imaginations to work on characters, settings and plots for their stories based around a paragraph from Emma Warner-Reed’s latest book.

Children in Years 3 and 4 had the chance to read the prologue to Dotty and the Calendar House Key in advance then fired questions to Emma including how she got her ideas, why she killed the protagonist’s parents with a firework and where was the key in the title.

Dermot Metcalf, seven, of Barnard Castle, said: “I thought the prologue was very exciting. There were a lot of long words in it and I’d like to find out what happens next in the story.”

The author then introduced the concept of ‘flash fiction’ and explained the skills needed to write a complete story in no more than 300 words.

Emma, who lives near Masham, said: “The children had some really exciting ideas and the mind maps they came up with showed some wonderful imaginations.”

A lawyer by profession who writes law text books as well as a legal column in Women’s Weekly magazine, she added: “The children were really responsive and engaged and, given they are aged just seven to nine, were very mature in their thoughts and understanding.”

One of the children taking part, Megan Brown, was more familiar with Emma’s work than most as she is a member of the Dotty launch team, a group of young readers who get copies of her new books to review and give feedback.

Year 3 teacher Tabitha Michelin, who organised the visit, added: “The children loved the session and were incredibly creative with their ideas, inspired by Emma’s book and her life as a writer.”