Tales of everyday life with author Anne Fine

Friday 9 June 2017

Local primary pupils enjoyed an entertaining insight into the life and works of a children’s author with former Children’s Laureate Anne Fine.

Anne Fine’s books have been translated into 45 languages and have won numerous awards in the UK and abroad. Although best known as a children’s writer, Anne has also written nine novels for an adult audience.

In a refreshingly candid talk to Year 5 pupils from four Leeds schools, Anne opened by waving a scruffy piece of A4 paper (a first draft) and saying: “It looks messy and boring and you wonder why anyone would do it” before talking about her books, the writing process and the source of her ideas.

Anne revealed how her everyday life was full of inspiration for stories, from the small boy who talked at her for hours about Tottenham Hotspur to the press cutting about a dog that terrified people when it got mistaken for an escaped lion.

She said: “Anyone else who sees the same things thinks ‘that’s a laugh’, while a writer thinks ‘what a great story’. After finishing each book you say you’ll never write a book again, then you overhear something on a bus…!”

The children, from Swarcliffe Primary School, Seacroft Grange Primary School, Cookridge Primary School and GSAL Junior School, made the most of the opportunity to get answers to their pressing questions such as where Anne writes, her favourite authors and which of her own books she liked the best.

Cookridge pupil Mohammed said: “I’ve never met an author in my life. I got to meet an author who wrote a book that I’ve read. Bill’s New Frock was a really good story and quite funny.”

Fellow pupil Macauley said: “She was funny and honest, gave great descriptions of how her life was and how she got into writing.”

Anne was invited to GSAL by Ilkley Literature Festival (ILF), as part of a partnership between the school and the festival. GSAL is the major sponsor of the ILF Children’s Festival

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