Monday, 12 March 2012

A Very Warm Welcome - my visit to King Henry VIII School, Coventry, for World Book Day

Just over a week ago I visited an amazing and wonderful school - King Henry VIII School, Coventry. I was a bit nervous beforehand, as I always am with these things, but I needn't have worried. Everyone was kind and welcoming, especially the school librarian, Kirsty Hill, who organised my visit. And the students were lovely - all very enthusiastic and full of questions, comments and ideas.

I met some keen readers and budding young authors - always a big treat. I spoke to all the Year 7s (130 of them) about how my YA novel Coping to Chloe came into being, and showed them some of my first scribbled ideas. I also passed round some of the early cover designs - the ones we rejected before homing in on the present cover, which I love (look closely - the locket chain is actually a string of words...)

I told the Year 7s how I wrote my first book at 15 but didn't get published until I was, er... well into middle age! And I thoroughly enjoyed running a workshop for one of the Year 7 classes, in which I provided a worksheet to help them get started with creating a character and giving that character a problem. (That's exactly what I'm doing now as I get started on my latest YA novel.) Some of the students shared their characters and read aloud the beginnings of their books. I don't think anyone need worry about the future of literature, if these young people are anything to go by. I'll be looking out for their books on the shelves in future years.

Finally, after a welcome lunch and an interesting chat with librarian Kirsty Hill, I met several keen young readers and writers and did my best to answer their very good questions.

So, thank you, King Henry VIII School, for inviting me to speak and for looking after me so well. You have a beautiful school, a lovely library and a very committed librarian and teaching staff. And special thanks to everyone who bought a signed copy of Coping with Chloe. Don't forget to let me know what you thought of it (one of you already has - thank you!)

Finally, here is a lovely piece about my visit written by one of the students, Leanne Cope of Class 7MN:

Rosalie Warren- A Visit to KHVIII

On the second of March, 2011, the year seven pupils of King Henry VIII School got an exciting visit from Rosalie Warren - author of Coping with Chloe, Charity’s Child and Low Tide, Lunan Bay.

Initially, we had a brief plot of Coping with Chloe. Then, Rosalie handed out several covers for the books which the publishers had suggested. Some worked really well with the book but others I felt didn’t.

Finally, Rosalie asked for ideas about her new book. We had ideas from children in care retracing their long lost parents; to innocent prisoners stuck in prison.

It was an interesting session with Rosalie, but little did 7MN know that for their next lesson they would be having a professional writer taking them for English.

Firstly, we got given a sheet of paper with basic ideas about the main character of a book we were going to write by ourselves. Some of the questions included the character's favourite music and favourite films.

Overall I thought the day was really fun and I’m sure the rest of year seven will agree. We all thank you very much for coming in Rosalie!

Many thanks, Leanne. Hope to see you all again soon.

Best wishes,

Photos by Kirsty Hill


Sue said...

Good to read...and I've picked up a few tips so thank you for that!

Rosalie Warren said...

Thanks, Sue. I focused to some extent on 'disasters', most of them funny, relating to my book, and they seemed to enjoy it. Also, they loved being asked for suggestions.