Literacy Studies

Posted at 4:23 pm on 13th March, 2020

Flixton Girls School year 8 students with an interest in creative writing and publishing, were selected to participate in an author workshop with Holly Smale, the award winning author of Geek Girl.

Holly’s work has been enjoyed by students across the school and is amongst the most loved young adult literature in the UK. The ‘Geek Girl’ series has won many awards, including the Waterstones Book Prize, and has been translated into seven different languages.

In a number of workshops, Holly guided our students as they developed their own young adult fiction story and educated them in how to approach publishing a finished manuscript. The year 8 groups brain-stormed three wonderful ideas including a gruesome, horror themed novel that took place at a school disco in the seventies and a romantic jaunt between a poor, young musician and a rich, private school attendee.

Holly’s personal favourite was the concept of a dystopian society with people who were genetically designed to be perfect. The heroine of the story was to discover that she, in fact, was not amongst the perfect, and sets off on a mission to take down the corrupt government that insisted on genetically modifying babies for their cruel, secret plots.

           Holly Smales visit Darcey-Mae Gage.jpg    Chillyfest prize.jpg  Holly Smales workshop.jpg

Year 8 student Darcey-Mae Gage was personally selected by Holly, after showing true aspiration, empowerment and excellence, to receive a fully signed and personally dedicated set of Geek Girl books. Darcey commented, ‘Being taught by an actual author brings out the creative side in me, because you can explore new ideas to create new stories. I was pleasantly surprised at being gifted with the full collection of signed books -it made my day.’

Year 9 students Serena Parkinson and Namumba Kawala also made sure to stop by the school library to meet Holly before she made the journey back to Brighton. Serena commented, ‘Holly is amazing! She’s my favourite author, and I’m so lucky to have the chance to meet her. She’s signed my book for me and I couldn’t be happier.’

Holly also recognised the girls’ warmth and efforts, enthusiastically stating, ‘Thank you for having me as part of my tour! The girls were awesome!’

Mr Owens, LRC Co-ordinator/Teacher of RS said, ‘We were lucky to be able to procure a visit from Holly Smale. Her workshops were informative, warm and filled with enthusiasm that modelled the school ideals of aspiration, empowerment and excellence to our students. It was wonderful to see our students fully investing in the workshops and developing high quality book pitches, all of which fully demonstrated the range of talents on display here at FGS.’