Brilliant Librarians

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At the end of August I had a great time at the Inverclyde Booked! Festival where I introduced authors Teri Terry, Rosalind Jana, Alex Wheatle and Chris Mould to groups of pupils from local schools. I loved getting an insight into the authors’ creative process and what inspired them to write. Rosalind and Alex had particularly honest and gripping stories to tell, demonstrating how words and books can provide an important escape from harrowing life experiences. I also loved how Rosalind had made the most of any opportunity which came her way, entering competitions and approaching editors, demonstrating the importance of not just waiting for success to happen, but to pursue it with determination and confidence. You can see a collage of photos from the two day event above.

Why I have titled this piece ‘brilliant librarians’ is because I got to work alongside a team of very friendly and enthusiastic Inverclyde librarians during this event. One librarian, Katharine, has stayed in touch with me since my event at Gourock library earlier in the year and she has been particularly encouraging and supportive of my work and got me involved in this festival which means so much. Librarians are the unsung heroes of the literary world and are so so important for inspiring young people (and older people!) to read. What better magic can you introduce someone to, than the wonderful world of story telling?

I also got to attend the fabulous Teen Titles party in Edinburgh where i got to speak to some more enthusiastic librarians. I love speaking to people who love books! The party took place in the reference section of Edinburgh Central library which is quite a spectacular space – unfortunately the battery of my phone died just as I arrived so I only have one photo from the event (below) where I got chatting to some very stylish readers. The Irn Bru wasn’t mine by the way, that belongs to the photographer (a.k.a teen author/watermelon Kirkland Ciccone) Teen Titles is a book review magazine for teenagers, with the reviews written by Edinburgh teenagers. I’m looking forward to being interviewed for the magazine in October when I visit Portobello High during their book festival.

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Another shout out to the greatness of librarians – the careers adviser in Largs Academy noticed Follow Me on display in the school library. He kindly took a photo – I love seeing photos of my book on display!

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Lastly, I’m delighted to announce that I will be one of the judges for a local short story competition, around the theme of ‘My Paisley Adventure’ which the Paisley writing group, Oak Tree Arts are organising. I will be judging alongside other writers: Susan Kirkwood and Leona Gary. Here is a poster for this with more details:

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