World Philosophy Day

By celebrating World Philosophy Day each year, on the third Thursday of November, UNESCO underlines the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual.

As some may know, the Year 9 English group had recently gone on an excursion to Reading boys school to take part in the BBAs. First, what are the BBAs? The BBAs stand for Berkshire Book Awards and it’s a children’s book contest. Unlike other book awards (like the Carnegie Award) where all the judges who vote for the best books are librarians, the BBAs is voted by children from the ages of 9-14. Every year there is a host which explains the book awards and the pros and cons of being an author. The 2018 BBAs was hosted by Ali Sparkes, a popular children’s author who has written many books for children aged from 10+. At the beginning of her presentation, Sparkes talked about how she couldn’t read very well. Her KS1 teachers had taught young Sparkes the alphabet, however, they had done it in such a way that she still had no idea what she was reading. Although she couldn’t read very well, she had gotten into reading books by Enid Blyton (she had written Malory Towers, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven). That was the start of her passion for writing exciting childrens novels. Now that she’s a renowned author, she had given a few tips on becoming an author.

Firstly:

  • Try to make your first sentence of your story as interesting as possible. Do this to catch your readers eye
  • Be persistent! Never give up trying to publish your books if you think that your story is extraordinary
  • Accept rejection. It took Sparkes roughly 4 years before she published her first book.
  • Keep your audience in mind – if you’re writing for children make sure you keep your sentences rather short and punctual, and if you’re writing adult fiction, remember to write more complex sentences laced with figurative speech

Remember these tips to improve your writing!

Written by Jessica Crabbe, Year 9