Pupils meet authors

Philip Ardagh with Year 5 pupils, left to right, Lilli, Jessica and Georgia.
Philip Ardagh with Year 5 pupils, left to right, Lilli, Jessica and Georgia.

PRIMARY school pupils joined youngsters from throughout the North-East at Europe’s largest book festival for children.

Pupils at Clavering Primary School, in Hartlepool’s Clavering Road made the trip to Newcastle for the Gala Weekend of the Northern Children’s Book Festival.

There they got the opportunity to meet a number of children’s authors who led a series of writing workshops.

Jeremy Strong, Philip Ardagh, Steve Cole and Cathy Cassidy all offered their expert advice to the children.

The theme of the two-day event was Dream a Little Dream, aimed at encouraging youngsters to use their imagination and be creative when reading and writing.

Neil McAvoy, deputy headteacher at Clavering Primary School, who organised the trip, said: “Attending an event like this is an amazing opportunity for the children to meet and, hopefully, be inspired by famous children’s authors, learn about the writing process, discover more about the publishing industry and discuss how to become a successful writer.

“At Clavering Primary we are passionately committed to reading for pleasure as well as purpose and this trip was part of our ongoing Clavering Loves Reading initiative.”

The annual book festival brings together children from the 12 North-East local authorities and is a partnership between all of the libraries in the region.

Prior to the regional event, Clavering Primary School, in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council’s library service had also organised an afternoon session with North-East children’s author Cliff McNish, who also worked with the youngsters at Barnard Grove Primary School, in the town.

Mr McAvoy added: “All the children who attended the gala weekend had a thoroughly enjoyable time and all left with books signed by some of their favourite authors.”