Students learn top author's secrets

Worthing High School was thrilled to welcome former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman yesterday.

British writer and former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman with students. Picture: Steve Robards SR1709853

Students from 15 other secondary schools across Sussex were invited to attend the question and answer session.

They were able to meet the author personally during a book signing session and she took the time to pose for photographs.

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They also discovered Malorie plays World of Warcraft in the Alliance Factions in her spare time, which went down incredibly well with the teenagers.

Amanda Phelan, learning resources manager at Worthing High, said: “Malorie showed us trailers of her books, talking about how she shaped her characters and where her inspirations came from.

“She told us how she had always loved writing and never gave up on her dream to get published, even after receiving 82 rejection letters.”

Students chaired the question and answer session and asked her about her time as Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.

One of the author’s major achievements was the UK’s YA Literature Convention, a celebration of the very best young adult books and authors, which takes place each year as part of the London Film and Comic Con.

Mrs Phelan added: “We heard that she is currently in the process of writing Book 5 in the incredibly successful Noughts and Crosses series and that there is also going to be a BBC TV series, which caused much elation from the crowd.

“Students were keen to hear if there was going to be a follow-up to Boys Don’t Cry, which won the 2012 Southern Schools book award, and this is also in the pipeline, written from Melanie’s perspective.

“The whole event will be talked about for some time as she was so inspirational and the students loved her. This was evident from the length of her book signing queue.

“She spent a great deal of time with each student and posed for many pictures. We can’t wait to hear the release dates for the new books and the TV series.”