Bumper Year for the Wessex Schools Literary Festival

Author Sita Brahmachari with L to R Sophie Lambert, Jo Lajeunesse, Jasmine Grosscurth, Maisy Sykes and Fiona Grantham-Davis

Author Sita Brahmachari with L to R Sophie Lambert, Jo Lajeunesse, Jasmine Grosscurth, Maisy Sykes and Fiona Grantham-Davis

More events than ever have taken place at this year’s Wessex Literary Festival.

The Romsey School, one of 7 participating secondary schools, has received visits from popular authors, Steve Cole, Sita Brahmachari and Gabriella Lepore. Steve spoke about his books and in particular, his Young James Bond title, Shoot to Kill. Sita’s talk was greatly enjoyed as was the writing workshop she did based on her book, Kite Spirit. Teen author, Gabriella Lepore, ran creative writing workshops.

There have also been several creative activities this year, which have included a paper sculpture workshop, a comic book master class led by Beano illustrator, Kev Sutherland, a Festival Bake-off, and a talk and workshop by pop-up book author and artist, Jennie Maizels. Author and theatre director, Jane Prowse also visited for a day, talking about her books, leading some writing workshops and working with the Drama Department.

The ever popular Punctuation Show visited again this year, giving Year 7 pupils the chance to learn about punctuation in a fun and engaging way.

Librarian Fiona Crowther who organised the events said, ‘We hope that pupils were inspired and enthused by the events this year, they certainly enjoyed taking an active part in the Festival’.

The inter-school Poetry Slam was once again a highlight. Romsey School had six pupils in the final, chosen from workshops held earlier by performance poet, Matt West. Pupils competed against other Festival schools for the individual and school prize. For the second year running Romsey School won both the individual and school prize, with Isabelle Lajeunesse taking first place with her poem about a First World War soldier.

A group of pupils enjoyed a visit to Thornden School to see author, Chris Bradford talk about his ‘Bodyguard’ series and lots of pupils came along to enjoy a showing of The Maze Runner at the Festival Film Night.

Throughout the Festival pupils could be ‘caught reading’ by teachers, take part in a tutor-time quiz and having a go at the Alice in Wonderland Treasure Hunt.