Monday, 2 November 2009

Catherine Forde: Virtual Writer In Residence

Catherine Forde, our Virtual Writer In Residence, takes over the blog for her monthly update. Read on to find out what she's been up to lately...


This is the high life indeed! On Tuesday I was chauffeur-driven by Jasmine and Chris of Scottish Book Trust from Edinburgh to Monifieth in Angus. I was visiting Monifieth High School to give my first ‘live’ talk in my role as Virtual Writer in Residence. It was not a promising start; the journey there had to be one of the wettest on record, and I was very glad I wasn’t behind the wheel on the motorway. But thanks to Jasmine’s unruffled driving we arrived a bit drookit, but in good time and to a lovely warm welcome from the pupils and English staff at the school. Thank you all, if any of you read this!

I gave a talk to the whole of First Year about where I find ideas for stories. There were so many hands up to ask questions that we ran out of time, which is always a good sign. Before Chris ‘chauffeured’ me back to Edinburgh, I talked to a group English teachers from Angus about some of the approaches I might use now if I was trying to encourage pupils to write creatively. It was actually quite scary talking to the teachers. The last thing I want them to feel was that that I was telling them what to do. They’ve enough on their plates with a curriculum to follow.

Over the last year I’ve been writing a play for the National Theatre of Scotland, (which I’ll talk more about in future blogs.) As I’ve never written any drama before, and wasn’t up to scratch on contemporary work, mostly anything I’ve read recently has been a playscript. (I’ve also been going to see lots of plays and loving it. I have a season ticket for the weekly plays that run in a series called PLAY, PIE AND PINT in Glasgow’s Oran Mor, although I only go for the PLAY – honest) Because I’ve been so steeped in drama it’s been ages since I’ve read contemporary Young Adult fiction. However, my Virtual Writer in Residence appointment has given me the perfect excuse to check out what’s been written recently, and I have just finished two incredible novels that I can’t stop thinking about: EXPOSURE by Mal Peet, and BOG CHILD by Sioban Dowd. They had everything I want in a novel: believable characters I cared about, and page-turning pace. Highly recommended.
You can find other recommended reads in our Teen Hit Lists. If you have any suggestions for new Hit List categories email teen@scottishbooktrust.com.

You can find details of Catherine's second creative writing task in the Virtual Writer In Residence section of the website.


Other news:

There are new reviews in our Your Reviews section of the website. If you'd like to have your book review featured online please take a look at the website for further details.


Nine titles have been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2010. Three titles have been shortlisted in each category; Best Book With Facts, Book I Couldn’t Put Down and Most Fun Story with Pictures. For more information check out the Blue Peter website.


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