Bishop’s Stortford College has hosted a literature festival for a number of years and, undaunted by the lockdown this year, they proceeded with a festival that was entirely online.
Buoyed by the success of signing the Juniors up to the excellent Old Vic production of A Christmas Carol at the end of last term, the English department bought tickets for the First to Fourth Forms, to listen to a range of authors talking about their craft, their experiences as authors and their books. The festival website was navigable, the arrangements ran smoothly and we enjoyed a series of informative and well-thought talks in the run-up to Half Term.
Joseph Coelho captured the imaginations of the First Form with his presentation of his verse novel The Girl who became a Tree, and on the back of his talk, the department has decided to run a creative competition with three copies of the book as prizes for the best entries. They will run a similar competition following the energetic and inspiring talk to the Third Form by Anna McNuff about her experiences cycling across America and walking the length of New Zealand, among many other extraordinary adventures.
The Fourth Form enjoyed a joint discussion with two authors, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison, who write fiction jointly, mostly based on their experiences as young adults in a relationship, and the Second Form joined a talk by the author Anthony McGowan about his dark novel for teenagers, Lark. The initiative of attending the festival was well worth doing, particularly as no-one had to drive to Bishop’s Stortford to enjoy it!