Friday, 6 March 2015

World Book Week – Cecilia Busby

It's Friday of World Book Week, and I am currently busy waving my arms and telling stories and answering questions and encouraging creativity in a primary school in Cornwall. (Of course I am writing this in advance, rather than taking time out of my lively interactive sessions to write my blog post!)

I really enjoy doing school visits, and that's mainly because the children seem to enjoy them. There's a huge buzz to be got out of watching thirty children with bits of paper and pencils, busy creating amazing words and ideas - all sparked off by your words, your books and your enthusiasm for writing and for the imagination. It's probably the closest I've ever got to being a celebrity, too - for many primary school children. you're the next best thing to J.K. Rowling, and they are amazingly keen to have you sign their planners, random scraps of paper, even their arms. Who could resist this kind of excitement generated by one's simple presence?!

I also know, having seen a few school author visits from the other side, just how valuable they can be. And as a Patron of Reading I get to hear from the teachers of the longer-term effects of visits. The excitement and chatter generated by a visit, and the increased levels of reading and talking about books, are noticeable for weeks afterwards.

So it's fabulous that this week, all over the country, there are schools celebrating books and doing this by inviting authors in to talk to their children. I have been zipping around like a flea - in Chelmsford on Monday, Devon on Tuesday, Wokingham on Thursday and Cornwall on Friday - by tomorrow I will be lying in a darkened room with a wet cloth over my head.

I do wish, though, that schools thought about books and authors on the other 39 weeks of the academic year. There are lots of us out there who are happy to come and inspire children at any time - whether it's in September, January or July!

Cecilia Busby writes fantasy adventures for children aged 7-12 as C.J. Busby. Her latest book, The Amber Crown, was published in March by Templar.


"Great fun - made me chortle!" (Diana Wynne Jones on Frogspell)

"A rift-hoping romp with great wit, charm and pace" (Frances Hardinge on Deep Amber)


Emma Barnes said...

I've just finished my school visits for the week. Stickiest moments: - realising my memory stick wasn't going to work in one of the schools' laptop, and my SatNav helpfully deciding to send me home cross country rather than by motorway. But the rest was great.

Katherine Roberts said...

Lovely pictures of you, Celia! So many lucky schools have authors in these days. I never saw an author my entire time at school, and there weren't many festivals in those days either so I didn't meet a real, live author until after I was published myself. I wonder if there is a link between school visits and Savita's previous post on dream jobs?