Author Dan Anthony Visits

Author Dan Anthony capturing story ideas from pupils during the workshop

Author Dan Anthony capturing story ideas from pupils during the workshop

Every year, staff and pupils at Barry Comprehensive join together to celebrate World Book Day. This year our Year7 and 8 pupils had the pleasure of attending a workshop run by Cardiff born, acclaimed author, Dan Anthony.  During this term many pupils have read his amusing book ‘Rugby Zombies’. Thanks to a grant towards the event from ‘Wales Literature’, which promotes Welsh authors, we were able to invite Dan Anthony to spend the whole day with us.

With a little imagination and a sense of humour, things that most Year 7 and 8 pupils have in abundance, pupils were shown that even an ordinary, everyday event such as eating a bowl of Weetabix, doesn’t have to be boring. Using simple techniques, the most mundane events can be transformed into entertaining situations worth reading and writing about.  Dan Anthony enabled pupils to let their imaginations run free and then captured their ideas using simple writing exercises. Even the most reluctant writers put pen to paper knowing their ideas were of equal importance to their more confident peers. By the end of the session pupils were working together in small groups exploring characters, settings and plots which could be further developed with their English teachers back in the classroom.

Every minute of Dan Anthony’s time with us was fully utilized.  Most obligingly, he spent his lunch time with a group of talented Year 12 pupils, who quizzed him about writing as a career. Hearing directly from the horse’s mouth, the journey from local schoolboy to successful author and playwright was truly inspiring. Dan Anthony left us all knowing that reading and writing can be fun. What better message could we end our World Book Day celebrations with?

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