On Friday 27 September 2013, 11 pupils from Years 8 and 10, along with two members of Staff, attended a workshop as part of Aspects Literary Festival. The venue was the beautiful Walled Garden and the event was attended by a wide range of Schools as far a field as Belfast and North Down.
Children’s author, Eoin Colfer, famous for the Artemis Fowl adventure series, awarded prizes to winners of a Primary School Creative Writing Competition and entertained the audience with stories from his family. His Irish Story telling gift was in evidence as he recounted tales from family holidays, demonstrating that any material is valid as a source of inspiration for writing.
After speaking to the children for half an hour, he answered a range of interesting questions ranging from where he found the name for his literary hero. Answer, Artemis, is the name of the god of hunting while a fowler is also a person who hunts winged creatures. Artemis Fowl hunts a group of high-tech fairies in first book of the series.
Another question from the children in the audience asked how long it might take to write a novel. Eoin Colfer relied that any budding authors should be prepared to start small with two or even five page stories. He likened the process to running a marathon, where stamina had to be built up gradually. He did, however, encourage would-be authors to keep writing.
After meeting the author himself, our pupils returned to School armed with a signed copy of Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception, enthused and inspired to become writers themselves one day.