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Author Candy Gourlay Visits Blatch

As part of our World Book Day celebrations, popular teen fiction writer, Candy Gourlay, visited Blatchington Mill on Friday 1st March.

Candy, who was recently shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award, spoke enthusiastically to all of Year 7 about her childhood in the Philippines, what made her want to write, and how she finally got published.

Students were intrigued by her life in the Philippines and the sort of English and American books that inspired Candy to write. She spoke honestly about the development of her own identity and her uncertainty about whether it was even possible for her to become an author.

Once she started writing and trying to get her work published, students were enthralled by her stories of repeated rejection yet inspired as to how she overcame so much disappointment. One student said ‘I liked how she said that you should never give up. She had her book rejected 17 times but kept on trying.’

Many of her anecdotes about being a child, moving to England and having her own children were hilariously funny and the audience clearly did not want the talk to end. Another student said ‘I loved how she talked about her books and her own life.’

Teachers were also extremely positive in their feedback. One of our English teachers said ‘The opportunity to hear professional writers is so important and many children won’t get this sort of experience outside of school. The chance to see an ordinary person behind all those published books can be really encouraging.’

candy gourlay