Author visit

Recently I was asked to do an author visit to two primary schools near Knaresborough. There I had the privilege of meeting some wonderful young people.

It was good to share my books with them, hear their views and answer their questions. Children can always be relied upon to give you an angle you’ve never thought of, an opinion you’ve never considered and their forthright opinions!

We had been discussing both A Tree in Time and Mist in Time.  One of the children pointed through the window. We all looked. Outside the mist was swirling. Across the field a lonely tree stood by a fence, half concealed in the mist.  “I’m sure I saw a figure by the tree!” he exclaimed. We all peered through the window, commenting on whether the figure was there.

 “It’s just like your book,” another child noted.  

“How amazing that it’s misty today,” said another.

Children are wizards at noticing things and creating a magical moment from them.

 We discussed writing in general and then they had an opportunity to write themselves. Their teachers very kindly gathered their thoughts and comments and sent them to me, with the permission to quote them.

In the younger classes we worked on poetry and in the older classes they focussed on prose. As a former teacher, it was such a treat, after years of working to government guidelines, to be able to encourage children to write freely from themselves and their interests. I think the children, from their comments, relished the chance to write with fewer restrictions as well.  

One day, it’ll go full circle to where it was when I first started teaching. The powers-that-be will recognise that children need the freedom to express their wonderful creativity. Their imaginative wings shouldn’t be clipped by concern about grammatical technicalities and trying to write to a particular genre. That should come later, in secondary school, when their love of writing has been established.

Enough of my rant! I’ll let the children’s and teacher’s comments speak for themselves.

Year 5/6 children’s comments:

“I really liked Pam’s travelling stories and the links they have to the book, being lost in the rainforest” 

“Your books are very imaginative and magical.”

“Your visit was really nice, I enjoyed every part of it.”

“I felt like you were energetic and gave off good vibes, she inspired me to write more of my story.” 

“The work we did was really fun, I hope we can see her again when her 3rd and 4th books get realized.” 

“Thank you for the bookmark.”

“It was really interesting to see how much research goes into writing a book.” 

” I liked the free writing lesson where I got to be creative and let all the words in my head spill out onto the paper like Pam said.” 

Year 3/4 teacher’s comment:

Thank you for an amazing session Pam! The children loved it and were clearly motivated to write. They created some amazing poems, all individual and unique to them. They had so much enthusiasm and came away positive about what they had written. 

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