A Tale of One City, Six Schools, Three Libraries, A Conference and A Birthday

On the 7th of July 2015 I travelled to London to promote my book Ways of the Doomed (The Sun Song Trilogy). Here’s what I got up to.

The preparation and inspiration. I never did manage to play my whistle.
The first of my many school visits

“Moira explained her method of writing and what inspires her. Students asked a lot of questions, for example her top tips for aspiring writers: Always aim to finish a text. Always get feedback on a text. Always read many other books to get inspired. In the end students felt very encouraged to continue their own writing, we are looking forward to reading some great new stories!”  Ulrike Kohnen-Zuelzer, LRC Co-ordinator, Harris Academy, Peckham

I hummed the theme tune to The Good Life all the way to Surbiton.    

” We felt honoured to welcome Moira McPartlin in our School Library to talk about her new book ‘Ways of the Doomed’. The students enjoyed her workshop and they participated with interest and enthusiasm but most importantly it made them think about words and language and how they are used to influence people.”   
Mareke Martens, School Librarian, Stepney Green Maths, Computing and Science College

Harris Academy Bermondsey. The Harris Federation was set up by Lord Harris of Peckham, the CEO of Carpetright, to provide good quality education to the children of London. There are now over thirty Harris Federation Schools in London. 

“It was one of the best author visits we have ever had. Thank you especially for the enthusiasm, your positive outlook and most of all the time you were able to give to our students, which is what many of our students are deprived in.

The students were really engaged with what you had to say.  You really connected with the groups, especially the Year 9 students.  The cracking powerpoint, the evocative film, and your own story which was somewhat different from the career orthodoxy preached at the school.

I have spied badges have been on lapels all week and the books will form basis for Year 9 book groups next year and prizes for the more resilient readers and writers.”   Sean Delaney, Lead Librarian, City of London Academy, Bermondsey

  Easy transport too – door to door to Walworth Academy on the Number 168 bus!

Plane, train, underground, overground, DLR and foot.

My last school visit was to Walworth Academy where I was made to feel very welcome indeed.

 It was an excellent presentation.

… a joyous experience – definitely for me and for most of the students too! After your visit the students have been happily borrowing books, totally enthused. Your visit also encouraged our students that reading can be hugely enjoyable.” Cecilia Johnson, Librarian, 
Walworth Academy

One of the highlights! My London book launch at The Barbican Library.  The Library is situated in The City of London and is the largest lending library in London.  I ran a lunchtime writing workshop for adults there earlier in the day.

The very funny and talented Candy Gourlay interviewed me in front of an audience of family, old acquaintances (some I hadn’t seen since primary school) ex work colleagues and many writers I’ve met through SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators). 

The brand new Greenwich Library where I met many Celts.  One was the grand nephew of Francis Ledwidge.  What an honour.  Makes me want to go to Ireland.

Victoria Library in Westminster.  I met a genetics student who was intrigued by WOTD’s book cover.  He was persuaded to read the book. I hope he likes it.  

YALC – The Young Adult Literature Convention,
held exclusively at London Film and Comic Con, Olympia.

‘Apocalypse now’. With Virginia Bergin Marie Rutkoski, Francesca Haig, Moira Young, Teri Terry and Gemma Malley.  I asked what the panel thought of the term CliFi. They agreed the genre of dystopian fiction was limiting, adding another term like CliFi was even more limiting.

‘YA: The next generation’. With Alice Oseman, Lucy Saxon, Helena Coggan, Taran Matharu and Samantha Shannon.  Very impressive. Nearly all these young writers had great book deals before they reached the age of twenty. Taran Matharu told a great example of how Wattpad and NanoWriMo can work.

No YA Convention would be complete without Judy Bloom to admire and some fun writing pals, Christina Banach and Chitra Soundar, to share the events with. 
Good craic with Christina Banach and Chitra Soundar
I skipped the last day of the conference because it was my birthday!   My birthday treat was a trip to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to see Richard II.  What an amazing place.  The acting was fabulous  and the actors interaction with the audience in the pits was hilarious.  A real treat indeed. 
The globes of Shakespeare’s Globe with Tate Modern in background
I was in London for 15 days. It was hot and muggy. I travelled to places I had never been to before by tube, bus, train, DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and foot.  I met hundreds of enthusiastic kids and many hard working and generous librarians. I’ll be back.
I saw this in use on the day of release. The user held up the queue a nanosecond longer than usual.
#LoveLondon

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