Last week, I visited two schools as part of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s Education Programme.
I spoke to the Year 7s and 8s at The Oxford School and the Year 7s, 8s and 9s at GEMS Founders Al Mizhar School about what the job of author entails, how to become an author (clue: write a book!) and what sort of characteristics might help you become an author.
It always surprises children to hear that writing is only a small part of the job of author and that, by the time you factor in research, editing, marketing, social media, talks, teaching, networking and so on, the writing often takes a back seat.
Pupils and teachers at both schools couldn’t have given me a warmer welcome – I loved the banners! – and the students asked brilliant questions but my favourite moment was when a boy came up to me at GEMS Founders Al Mizhar.
‘I’m going to be an author,’ he told me, ‘and I’m going to be bigger than JK Rowling. And when I am, I’m going to look back on your talk today and remember it as my inspiration.’ I wish with all my heart that his dream comes true and that, one day, he’ll be signing his book for me.
EAFOL runs from March 1-9. Browse the programme and get tickets here.