Author visit by Julian Sedgwick, 3rd June 2019

Julian Sedgwick’s visit

We were delighted to welcome Young Adult author, Julian Sedgwick, to speak to our 3rd Form students on Monday 3rd June. He held the theatre spellbound with tales of school, ghosts, 1920s Shanghai and a moving account of people trying to re-settle in the Fukushima area of Japan after the tsunami and earthquake of 2011.

Julian told us he had unhappy memories of school – he didn’t feel he fitted in and didn’t have good friends but it did prompt him to read for escapism and fuelled a desire to become a writer. He wanted to be a writer from the age of 7 but only got his first book published at 47 years old. Other early ambitions were to be a high wire walker, footballer, Zen Buddhist monk or a fire breather in the circus  – however his wife banned him from fire breathing as there is no safe way to do this!

Introducing his ‘Ghosts of Shanghai’ trilogy, Julian set the scene of exotic 1920s Shanghai – lit with neon and teeming with gangsters, spies and refugees. He recounted the Chinese ghost story of the ‘painted skin’ and now I have to get onto book two ‘Shadow of the Yangtze’ to read this full tale. You can get a flavour of the book in this video trailer

Voyages in the underworld of Orpheus Black 

Julian also talked about his new book co-written with his brother Marcus Sedgwick and beautifully illustrated by Alexis Deacon.

Voyages in the underworld of Orpheus Black  – is a lyrical and dreamlike story of two brothers in conflict amidst the devastation of WWII London. Julian wrote one of the voices whilst Marcus wrote the other. It took them around 6 years to write this novel and includes themes of conscientious objectors during World War ll (their father as a Quaker was a conscientious objector), myths and reality and Harry’s character becomes obsessed with the myth of Orpheus.

Julian went on to tell us about his recent research visit to Japan talking to people in the recovery towns around Fukushima. This was very moving and informative for our students.

The grand finale was full of tension, hilarity and jeopardy. Julian has had a lifelong interest in the arts and culture of China and Japan and a fascination with performance, street art and circus and we were treated to a display of knife juggling.

 

 

 

 

Y9 Mini Literature Festival Friday 4th March

VMMSedgwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y9 enjoyed a continuation of the celebrations of books and reading the day after World Book Day with a morning of author talks. We were excited to welcome one of own authors – Virginia Macgregor, twice published author and English teacher here at Wellington. Virginia talked about the inspiration for her novels and read an excerpt from “The astonishing return of Norah Wells”. The students were full of questions and a number of them felt inspired to continue with their own creative writing projects including writing their own novels.

After break we welcomed award-winning young adult author Marcus Sedgwick to the theatre. Y9 were all given a copy of ‘Revolver’ by Marcus to read over the summer before their arrival at Wellington. His books have proved popular with a large number of our students, in particular ‘My Swordhand is singing’ and many of the students have read his Carnegie-shortlisted novel ‘Midwinterblood’. He opened his talk with a debate about the pros and cons of being a writer. He talked about his interest in coincidence and how it became a major theme in ‘She is not invisible’. How many hidden references to the number 354 can you find in the book?

The strong message that came across from both authors was that writing is something they love and can’t do without. They urged the young people to do something they really enjoy with their lives and then it doesn’t feel like work!

World Book Day – 3rd March 2016 – Drop Everything and Read!

World Book Day 3rd March

Next week is a celebratory time for books and reading. Thursday 3rd March is World Book Day and to demonstrate our commitment to reading across the whole school we are running a D.E.A.R. – Drop Everything and Read event. Where possible we are hoping that all staff, including non-teaching staff, and students will stop what they are doing and read a book for sheer enjoyment at the start of lesson 3 on Thursday. So this will be 20 minutes of engrossed silence from 11.15am! All staff and students are welcome to come to the Library at break to stock up on refreshments and choose books or magazines to read. It is wonderful to see people of all ages enjoying reading and provides an opportunity to share favourites and make reading recommendations. For exam sets, teachers may provide subject specific articles or chapters of books for the whole group to read and discuss afterwards – an opportunity for students to be inspired and challenged in a more curriculum-related way. We have The New Scientist Archive Online as well as The Economist, New York Times, History Today, Philosophy Now and Cambridge Companions Online to name but a selection of our electronic resources which enable whole classes to read the same material simultaneously.

Parents, why not talk to your children about what they are reading at the moment and share your favourites with them? If you are looking for suggestions for Y9 –Y11 the Carnegie Book Award longlist has just been announced and includes some impressive contemporary fiction (many of which we have in the Library)

On Friday 4th March the Y9 are in for a literary treat. They are hearing two author talks in the theatre. Wellington English teacher, Virginia Macgregor has recently had her second novel published – The astonishing return of Norah Wells and will be talking to the students about her inspiration for her books and her writing process. Award-winning young adult novelist, Marcus Sedgwick will also be joining us and discussing his books and writing. Y9 read his novel ‘Revolver’ in the summer prior to arriving at Wellington. There will be plenty of opportunity for the students to ask questions.

Happy reading!

Visit by Author Bali Rai, 25th February 2013

Bali Rai sharing his views on writing, censorship, the value of reading, ideas for books with a group of our 3rd form and pupils from Wellington Academy in Wiltshire.

One reaction from Kelsey who had enjoyed reading Bali’s latest book “Fire City”:

“I thought the talk was an amazing experience. It is such an honour to speak to the person that came up with the story you have just read. I thought it was great as it wasn’t too formal, and I felt comfortable chatting with Bali Rai about lots of interesting topics. He was calm and relaxed and it was a great atmosphere. You could clearly see how passionate he was, which is a great example for us to follow. A great experience- thank you so much for the opportunity!

“I enjoyed it because he didn’t bore us with the detail of the book and how he wrote it and his planning etc… It was mainly about his opinion on society and how we view it.”
Katie

“I found him very inspirational and that he had very interesting views of life.” Georgina.

Hilary:

“I loved his views on multiculturalism. He sees things people wouldn’t normal see and has interesting view points on racism. I’ve learnt both factual things (e.g. how we might all be from the same ancestor) and life lessons (e.g. we should not judge people based on their skin colour or family background). Bali’s life is really inspirational since he had a hard childhood but still managed to become such a well-known author. I’m impressed how Bali tackles serious issues or norms (e.g. rape, abuse, arranged marriage) most authors would rather avoid. In conclusion, I’ve really enjoyed and benefited from this talk.”

Tom:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the talk from Bali Rai, this is because it put a different perspective on communities and religions than I had before and helped me realise what it is like for people living in deprived areas and how religion can control people.”

Lucy:

“I thought that it was great to meet the author of a book I have read, as I was able to ask him questions about why he wrote it an where he got his inspiration from and made the book seem more personal and I was able to understand it even further.”

Imogen:

“He had a spontaneous style of presenting which allowed for interesting and free flowing discussions.”

Tom B.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the talk with Bali Rai and listening to him answer our questions. What I thought was most interesting was seeing the books from his point of view, as the author, and the motivation behind the work he put into his books.

I enjoyed hearing about how he planned his books and how he got inspiration, which I hope will help me with my own writing in English.”

 

Bali’s Books for Christmas Reading

Calling all 3rd and 4th form

We are excited to announce that Bali Rai, writer of young adult books will be visiting us on Monday 25th February 2013. This seems a long way off now but it is the first day back after the half-term break so we need to be ready.

Bali writes thought-provoking, engrossing books and doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects. Many of his books are set in multicultural Britain. “Killing Honour” tackles the subject of honour killings and “Rani and Sukh” is an Asian version of Romeo and Juliet. His latest book “Fire City” is a very different style –  one for fantasy fans – a dystopian fantasy with teenage protaganists fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

We have a good selection of his books in the library so why not take a book out for the Christmas holidays? Who wants to get out of bed on a cold winter’s day when you could just reach out a hand, grab a book and stay warm and comfortable?

Have a browse of the pinterest board to see the range of his books and come and collect one from the library. We welcome feedback and if you enjoy the book why not request to attend one of his sessions in February and hear more about his work?

If anyone wants to help organise the event – show Bali around college, plan what you want out of the sessions, introduce our author please get in touch with Mrs Atherton in the library. library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Of course I don’t approve of bribery but chocolate flows freely in the library at Christmastime! Celebrations! Celebrations! Celebrations!

 

Skip to toolbar