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CTS students enjoy writing workshop with award-winning author

Award-winning author Tamsin Winter led a workshop with students at Corby Technical School, where they wrote compelling opening paragraphs and learned about story structure.

The Year 7 and 8s were given vocabulary to incorporate into their work and encouraged to be as creative and experimental as possible.

Tamsin said: ‘My job is making things up; it is a really lovely job to have. When you are a writer all you need is a pen and your imagination.’

Her debut novel ‘Being Miss Nobody’ tells the story of Rosalind Banks, a girl with selective mutism:  ‘A picture came to mind of a girl sitting silently in a classroom with people ignoring her and all these words tumbling around her mind. I remember thinking “What if she could find a way to speak?” That is how Miss Nobody started.’ Her second novel, ‘Jemima Small versus the Universe’ was inspired by a newspaper story about body image and is being published in the summer.

Tamsin said: ‘Ideas come from different things. Mostly I think how would I feel if I was in that situation? The story has got to come from your feelings and from the heart.’

She told the students about ‘world building’ where she imagines believable characters and scenarios.

 ‘I drew the entire town including the pier, where my character lived and a map of the school so I knew her exact route. It is a crucial part of being a writer, building up a world in your mind. It has got to feel real to you, because if it doesn’t feel real to you, it won’t feel real to your readers.’

Teacher Angela Brown said: ‘We wanted students to enjoy the session, develop more confidence in their own abilities and to see that creative writing is fun and relaxing.

One student said: ‘It gave me more chance to actually express myself. Thanks to Tamsin it has given me an opportunity to write. It gave me lots of different ideas and I really enjoyed it.’

Hope H from Year 8 said: ‘I really enjoyed it when we were given words and had to make a phrase out of them. I do a lot of creative writing and was pleased with what I wrote.’

Tamsin, who is writing her third book, said: ‘I wanted the students to experience the power of their own imaginations and how powerful it can be when they let it go free. They had a map, pencil and paper and the rest of it came from me guiding them to explore an imaginary place. A very normal part of the writing process is deleting, scribbling out and trying again. A lot of people think they are not a good writer if they can’t write perfectly the first time. I certainly enjoyed this session, the students have really brilliant imaginations!’

To see more pictures click here.

The students with Ms Winter.