A Fantastic Workshop with MMU Graduate and Children’s Author Ruth Fitzgerald

Children’s Author Ruth Fitzgerald
Children’s author and graduate of Manchester Writing School, Ruth Fitzgerald came to the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day to talk to children about the second in her hilarious Emily Sparkes series: Emily Sparkes and the Competition Calamity.
Hosted by festival partners, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the workshop began with Ruth telling the children about how much she has always loved reading and writing stories. Ruth said, “The reason I love books is because you have to make the pictures yourself in your head. I love writing for young people because young people are the best at making pictures.”

Next, Ruth told the children the story of a dragon that stole her sandwich, asking them to think about what the dragon looked like. The very enthusiastic audience came up with some brilliant ideas including a dragon with extra-sharp teeth, one with very long eyelashes and even a rainbow-coloured one!

Then Ruth, wearing her ‘writerly’ glasses, went on to read an extract from the first book in the series: Emily Sparkes and the Friendship Fiasco. She kept the children entranced as she told them about all of Emily’s childhood dilemmas such as losing her best friend, Bella, when Bella moved house, and having a boring name! Ruth then asked the children about their own names and talked about how names can say a lot about characters in books and about people!
At the end of the workshop, the children had the chance to make origami cats that looked just like Emily’s favourite wavy cat from Ruth’s books! She also gave all the children a bookmark to take home. After the event, Ruth said,
“I did the online MA in Writing for Children at Manchester Writing School and I love coming back. This is the third Manchester Children’s Book Festival I have visited and I love it because it has such a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and there is such a lovely mix of ages amongst the children.”
To find out more about Emily Sparkes’ adventures, visit ruthfitzgerald.co.uk
There are lots more exciting and inspiring MCBF 2015 events still to come! For the full programme please click here.

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