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Carnegie nominated author reveals ‘untold stories’

May 17th, 2019

Best-selling British author and screen-writer Catherine Johnson enthralled pupils from Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth Comprehensive during a special visit last week.

Ms Johnson – who was included in Margaret Busby’s anthology of Black Women’s Writing, New Daughters of Africa – spoke about her novels, revealing ‘untold histories’ and history from a different perspective.

Organised and hosted by Monmouth School for Girls as part of the Monmouth Literature Festival programme, the joint schools event also featured specialist writing workshops for Year 8 pupils.

The workshops focused on exploring creative writing using a simple idea such as ‘a diary’ and a prop. Students then had to create their own story opening using their imaginations.

Speaking about the author visit, Year 8 student Daisy said: “I thought Catherine was really good. The best bits were when she was talking about her books and the gory bits in them!”

Her most recent books are Freedom, nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2019, and Race To The Frozen North. Ms Johnson also writes for film, television and radio – in 2005 she co-wrote the highly acclaimed feature film Bullet Boy, followed by a number of commissions for Century Films, Working Title and Channel 4.

Ms Johnson’s TV work includes Rough Crossings for Simon Schama and Holby City. She is currently working on an adaptation of Miranda Kaufmann’s Black Tudors for Silverprint Pictures.

Summing up the event, Librarian Mrs Lingham said: “It is always good to introduce people to new authors, particularly those with a fresh viewpoint. It certainly creates an enthusiasm to read – her books are now in great demand.

“The workshops also generated some wonderful creative writing and sharing the day across the three schools ensured as many young people as possible could benefit from the experience.”


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