Date Posted... Jun 20th 2023

Writing Workshop with Emily Barr

From developing exciting characters to exploring the writing process, our 3rd Years have enjoyed a stimulating session with local novelist Emily Barr.

Emily, who predominantly writes young adult fiction, has published 21 books and today came to talk to our 3rd Years about her experiences as a novelist and the writing process. The session started with a discussion about what you might need to create a good story. The author then explained how writing has led to many fun and unusual experiences for her, and among other things, she has learned palmistry and street magic as part of her research.

Pupils asked many questions about her book characters, questioning where she draws her inspiration and which have been her favourite characters. She explained that she loves to create flawed characters, and many of her books feature characters that have done bad things, which makes being a writer a lot of fun. It seems curiosity and compassion are some of the critical skills used to develop believable and interesting characters.

Over lunchtime, Emily led a creative writing workshop for the Book Club where she challenged pupils to develop their character – a shoplifter – and how by exploring their characteristics and back story, the character can become likeable despite their flaws.

One 3rd Year said, “It was a fascinating and stimulating session and I have been inspired to think slightly differently about the detail of my characters in future”, with another adding, “It was great and very inspiring”.

Emily’s latest book has just been released; This Summer’s Secret is her sixth novel for young adults. It is a murder mystery and a coming-of-age adventure all set throughout one hot Cornish summer.

Thank you to Emily for coming to School and sharing her stories and experiences with our pupils. And thank you to the Library team for organising the workshop as part of our Festival of Compassion.