• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

North East Connected

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‘Northern voice’ author inspires students at Darlington school

A NORTH-EAST author who published her first children’s novel this year has spent time inspiring young writers in her home town.

Lisette Auton, author of The Secret of Haven Point, led writing workshops at Polam Hall School, in Darlington, speaking with children about writing both as a career, and for the sheer joy of it.

Lisette, who grew up and lives in Darlington, said: “When I started writing, I thought you had to write in ‘the London tongue’ – that to make a book good, it had to have that voice, it had to go down South.

“But you don’t, so my book is full of Northern words, and it’s a Northern voice, because I wanted to see more books like that on the shelves.

“We’ve got extraordinarily talented young people here, and I want them to know that they can live here and still do extraordinary things. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them, it’s been so much fun, and I’ve been blown away by the work that they’ve done.”

The visit was arranged by Polam Hall’s librarian, Sarah Ellis, who said: “It’s been wonderful to see the students so inspired by having Lisette in school today. Meeting a local author is particularly motivating for the students.

“She’s been immensely creative and has really pushed their comfort zones on their creative writing, and it’s given them a real opportunity to try new and different techniques.

“We need to show students how reading and writing filters down into every aspect of their academic curriculum. If you can read and write fluently, then the sky’s the limit.”

Lisette spoke to all students from Year 6 to Year 9, and ran writers workshops with smaller groups throughout the day. Students also had the chance to have Lisette sign copies of her book, which were provided by Waterstones, Darlington, at a discounted rate.

Georgina Ellis, a Year 7 student who took part in the workshop, said: “It’s so amazing. We get to hear from somebody who has actually had their book published by a very important publishing company. It’s just crazy, I can’t believe it.

“It’s been so inspiring to think that Lisette came from the same place as we did, and she’s gone so far, and it’s like, we could do that too.”