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Sarah Crossan visits Northern Ireland

Friday 26th January 2018 at 3pm 0 Comments Literature

Author Sarah Crossan visits St Patrick's Academy, Lisburn. L-R - Pupils: Ralph Orong and Cassie McGann, year 10. With Liz Canning, BookTrust, Damian Smyth Head from Arts Council NI and Grainne McCann, Head of English. Image: Author Sarah Crossan visits St Patrick's Academy, Lisburn. L-R - Pupils: Ralph Orong and Cassie McGann, year 10. With Liz Canning, BookTrust, Damian Smyth Head from Arts Council NI and Grainne McCann, Head of English.

Earlier this week, Sarah Crossan, the author of YA books such as BREATH, The Weight of Water and Apple and Rain visited students in Northern Ireland as part of the BookTrust NI author tour.

Sarah met with students from six schools (on 22nd and 23rd January), entertaining over 450 pupils with her poetry and reading extracts from her new book Moonrise.  The tour, organised by BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity, is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland Lottery Fund to help young children develop a love of reading, sharing stories and books.

On her two-day visit, Sarah held workshops with 465 year 8, 9 and 10 pupils from St Patricks Academy in Lisburn, St Malachy’s High School in Castlewellan, Assumption Grammer School, Ballynahinch High School and St Coleman’s in Ballynahinch and Killicomaine Junior High School in Portadown. As part of the joint project with BookTrust and ACNI, the students received their very own copy of Moonrise personally signed by Sarah. Each school also entered a creative writing competition, winners will also get copies of One, Apple and Rain and The Weight of Water for their school.

Sarah said

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been able to tour schools in Northern Ireland and meet new young readers and writers. I was there reminding everyone that poetry belongs to us all.”

Mary Fettes, Head of English St Colman’s High School said:

“St Colman’s High School would like to thank BookTrust for organising such an uplifting and inspirational event.  Sarah Crossan’s talk was the best author address that I have ever attended as it was perfectly pitched for her teenage fan base and full of interactive fun activities and heartfelt anecdotes.  My students loved every minute.”

Year 10 pupil, Annie McWilliams said of the visit:

“It was really inspiring to hear that Sarah was once shy and she conquered her fears and became a writer.”

Liz Canning, National Development Manager - Northern Ireland said:

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity for Sarah to visit and help encourage students on their reading journey. Reading enjoyment can drop off as students get towards their teenage years, so having someone as inspirational as Sarah to get them excited about poetry and sharing stories is an incredible honour. Her sessions were fantastic, really informative and she made an impact on the pupils she met.”

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:

“Artist visits like this are a fantastic opportunity for children to meet a successful writer and hear a story brought to life in the author’s own voice.  An event like this is not only great fun for young audiences but hugely valuable, inspiring the imagination, and perhaps even encouraging children to start thinking about developing their own stories. The Arts Council is pleased to support Booktrust NI in promoting the value of reading to young people across Northern Ireland.”

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