Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Arvon Talk with Melvin Burgess and Lucy Christopher





Today I'm returning to The Hurst in Shropshire to talk about Infinite Sky to a group of YA writers on an Arvon course led by Lucy Christopher and Melvin Burgess.

I met Lucy last year when her book The Killing Woods was shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards alongside Infinite Sky, and I'm really looking forward to talking more to her about writing and books over dinner. Lucy also won the Branford Boase Award, for her debut novel, Stolen, which won the Printz Medal too in the US. Visit her website for more info.

Image result for the killing woods lucy christopher


I have met Melvin before too, at The Hurst, when I did a course he was running with Malorie Blackman about Writing for Young Adults. At which the lovely Simmone Howell (author of the marvellous Everything Beautiful) was the guest tutor. Melvin wrote one of my favourite YA books (and one I actually read as a teenager) Junk, and has written lots of books since. Have a look at his website to find out more.

Image result for melvin burgess junk


He was a great teacher, and fun too, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again. He led us in a workshop exercise in which we interviewed each other, while channelling our teen selves, and it was one of the best writing exercises I've done, because of the way that it connected the group. The writing I got from it was fine, but the stories I listened to, and the emotions people came up with as a result were quite amazing.

I am really delighted to be going back to the Hurst again, and to have the opportunity to meet writers and talk books, in such a pretty setting.

2 comments:

  1. That does sound like a cool exercise. Can I interview my teen self, or do I need to get another person to interview me?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can interview your teen self. Write a list of questions, and then try to channel teen you as you answer them. It gets easier, the more questions you answer. Start with simple ones, and build to more complex ones. Melvin's exercise focused on the people we spent time with, as teens, in particular the dynamics of our social groups.

    ReplyDelete