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Norwich literature festival inspires young wordsmiths

18:43 14 July 2015

Youngsters and author Alexander Gordon Smith working on "the fastest story in the east" at the Millennium Library as part of the Festival of Literature for Young People. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Youngsters and author Alexander Gordon Smith working on "the fastest story in the east" at the Millennium Library as part of the Festival of Literature for Young People. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

Young people have been having fun with words at a special festival of literature that has swooped into the city.

FLY Festival. Author Alexander Gordon Smith leads a scary story-writing workshop in Norwich Castle's dungeon.
Photo: Peter Everard Smith.FLY Festival. Author Alexander Gordon Smith leads a scary story-writing workshop in Norwich Castle's dungeon. Photo: Peter Everard Smith.

The University of East Anglia’s FLY Festival (Festival of Literature for Young People) is running all this week, and today saw the festival turn part of Norwich’s Millennium Library into The Word Factory.

Young wordsmiths from Sewell Park College, Sir John Leman High School, City of Norwich School and Thetford Academy spent the day taking part in workshops about books, short stories and poetry.

They also worked with author Alexander Gordon Smith and festival producer Antoinette Moses to create what was being dubbed as The Fastest Story In The East.

Dr Moses said: “The whole story came entirely from the students, and the story line is this fabulous story which we feel would make a wonderful novel. It is called The Fall of the Five Clans and is about five clans of wolves in the forest in Scotland.”

FLY Festival. Young people involved in The Great Norfolk Coypu Invasion production at the Maddermarket Theatre.
Photo: Peter Everard Smith.FLY Festival. Young people involved in The Great Norfolk Coypu Invasion production at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Peter Everard Smith.

Mr Smith added: “I am consistently impressed with how imaginative the students are and how many stories are inside their heads waiting to come out. I think everyone is a writer and the wonderful thing about the FLY Festival is that it encourages students to write, and to embrace that talent that is already there.”

Pupils from many different schools are taking part in the festival.

On Monday Norwich Castle hosted a day of FLY Festival events, and pupils from Open Academy and City Academy Norwich also presented a show at the Maddermarket Theatre called The Great Norfolk Coypu Invasion.

Over the next few days there will also be an array of talks, workshops and other events at the University of East Anglia. Writers taking part including horror writer Darren Shan, Goodnight Mister Tom author Michelle Magorian, and the new writer of the Young James Bond series, Steve Cole.

Dr Moses said: “We are very excited about this year’s festival. Every year it seems to get better and better. The enthusiasm of the students is what drives the festival. It is great to see how they react to the workshops and how they are inspired.”

The festival runs until July 17. For more details visit www.uea.ac.uk/fly

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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