Hundreds of Norwich schoolchildren hear from top authors at literature celebration at Norwich School
Hundreds of children have come together in Norwich to share their love of reading.
Norwich School in Cathedral Close provided the venue yesterday for 15 Norfolk schools to take up the invitation to celebrate a shared appreciation of the novel.
About 600 youngsters picked by each school heard talks from authors and engaged in creative writing sessions.
Jarrolds were selling the authors' latest releases at a discount, and the young readers got to meet the authors and get their copy signed. Authors giving talks included Simon Scarrow, Lindsey Barraclough, Chris Priestley and Chris Radmann.
Norwich School librarian Cheryl Wood, who organised the event, said: 'I used to take pupils to the Edinburgh Festival when I worked in Scotland, so this is my own Edinburgh Festival.
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'I think Norfolk is quite isolated, and I do not think children here get the opportunity that schools in central locations do to go to things like this.
'We wanted to bring as many as possible together and create some fun around reading and books.
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'There are so many research studies that show a link between literacy and academic achievement, the onus should really be on schools to get out there and insure that children read.'
Ros Lunny, personalised learning manager at Sewell Park College, said: 'My pupils have really enjoyed the surroundings, they have enjoyed all the speakers and felt very welcomed.
'I cannot put a price on being able to meet a real author and hear about their work, because hopefully that will engender a love of reading and enthuse them.
'But it is good for them to have the opportunity to meet children from other types of schools, to get out there and broaden their horizons.
'That is the main reason I wanted us to come today.'
Christie Greenacre, English teacher from City of Norwich School on Eaton Road, said: 'Our pupils are just sitting their taking it all in. They have asked some really perceptive questions.
'Sometimes it is a struggle, I think in all schools, trying to get children interested in reading.
'I would like to see pupils who are not interested in reading have something like this.'
It is now hoped the event will become an annual feature.