World Book Day - School Visit
I shall always remember World Book Day 2012 - as it will forever be my most enjoyable and satisfying day since becoming a children's author.
I was approached by Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Newton Heath, Manchester, asking if I'd spend the day talking to their children about life as an author and writing stories.
I prepared 30-minute workshops and delivered them to nursery, reception, Year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils, talking about the process of writing and creating Robbie and the Red Robots, then reading my as yet unpublished stories Dan the Dinosaur, Good Bird & Bad Bird and The Number Bumbler.
The Number Bumbler is a story I've submitted as a story for a new CBeebies TV show called the Rhyme Rocket after they invited me to write a story/poem using rhyming and numbers. I'm waiting to hear if I'll be taken on as a writer for a roadshow workshop they'll be running for children all over the country - so am keeping everything crossed.
Back to World Book Day, the most enjoyable element was the question and answer section of the workshops.
Here are some gems from the children, aged anywhere from five to 11 years old, who were also very excited to hear that I work for Sky Sports.
Q. Are you famous? You're dressed like you're famous. (I was wearing a suit, but doubt famous people shop at Great Clothes on York Road). A. No I'm not famous - but might be one day.
Q. Do you live in a mansion? A. Our house is quite big - but it's definitely not a mansion.
Q. Do you know Wayne Rooney? He's quite ugly isn't he? (clearly a Man City fan) A. No I don't - and I guess he is, but he's good isn't he.
Q. Do you write about hockey for Sky Sports? A. When the Olympics are on yes. Q. What about star-jumping?
Q. Do you support a football team? A. Yes, West Brom. Q. Who? Why?
Q. Who was your favourite author when you were young - and what was your favourite book? A. Roald Dahl - Fantastic Mr Fox.
Q. Do you write your stories in a shed like Roald Dahl? A. No, my shed is a bit cold and has bikes in - I write on my laptop or iPad in our house.
Q. Is that a tattoo I can see on your arm - are you married? A. Yes it is, and yes I am - to a primary school teacher. (cue widespread gulps)
So a truly great day was had by all - and having spoken to the teachers some children have said they'd like to write me a thank you letter.
I think I've found my niche in the market - and look forward to many more school visits over the coming years.Simon J Wilkes
Sky's Secret Scribe 04/01/2012 11:46
Robbie and the British Library 23/11/2011 10:52
The Waiting Game 31/10/2011 10:35
Robbie's Celebrity Fans 19/10/2011 10:12
Cool for Schools 06/10/2011 12:32
Lichfield Mercury scoop! 07/09/2011 16:58
Personal touches 05/09/2011 15:59
Book one has landed! 30/08/2011 08:15
Down the final straight 28/06/2011 14:32
Author's Blog 23/06/2011 22:06