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Award-winning author to host Children’s Writing Event

David Almond web Award-winning author David Almond is to host the University of Hull's second Annual Children's Writing Event week commencing 16 May 2011.

The winner of multiple awards and best known for the novel Skellig, David Almond will hold a session with local schoolchildren on Thursday 19 May. During the event he will talk about his work, read passages from some of his work and take questions from the assembled audience.

Skellig, the winner of the Whitbread Children's Novel of the Year and the Carnegie Medal in 1998, depicts the life of a young boy who befriends a fallen angel. The novel achieved critical acclaim and was voted as one of the ten most important children's novels of the past 70 years. The story has been adapted for a play and opera which is currently being performed on Broadway in New York and also hit television screens as a feature film starring Oscar nominee Tim Roth.

The evening will be hosted by pupils from Sydney Smith School in Hull who have been trained by the University to ask their own questions and open up the conversation to the audience.

In addition to the assembled audience in Hull, the whole event will be streamed over the internet allowing people to watch the proceedings. The Philip Larkin Centre for Creative Writing which is hosting the event, has also linked up with the Zion Arts Centre in Manchester and will allow them to interact and take part in the event. It's hoped that partnerships will be formed in future years with groups around the country to allow a wider participation.

The event will also see youngsters from Eastfield Primary School in Hull given the opportunity to showcase their work. The University has worked alongside the school in a series of workshops which culminated in a poetry competition; the winners will receive a prize and also read out their winning piece.

The Annual Children's Writing Event aims to inspire children in their work and encourage the local community to be actively involved in the University. The first event was headlined by Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson, who captivated the audience with her personal experiences of being both a writer and an actor. Drawing on inspiration from the Nanny McPhee film series, the star encouraged the children to put pen to paper, unleash their imaginations and create their own stories.

Professor Martin Goodman, Director of the Philip Larkin Centre says: 'The work of David Almond is truly exciting and appeals to a wide range of people, I'm sure those attending will really benefit from his insight and experience. Last year's event was really popular and this one is shaping up to be just as successful. Children always ask some very interesting questions so it's going to be fun to see what ideas come forward.'

'The partnership with Manchester is going to provide a new, innovative aspect to the event and allow many people to experience it. We are very proud to be hosting an event like this. Hull has been fortunate to shape the careers of many famous writers and hopefully we can inspire the next generation to also recognise their talent and develop it to the full.'

[Image: Courtesy of University of Hull]

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