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Malorie Blackman virtual author experience

Posted on: 19/02/2024

On Monday 19th February 2024, a group of students were treated to a national author event featuring Malorie Blackman, streamed live from the British Library. Malorie is a much loved British author who has written over 70 books for children and young adults, many of which have been adapted for stage and screen, most notably 'Noughts and Crosses'. In 2008, she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature and held the position of Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.

Malorie spoke about her inspiration for writing, her process and the barriers she faced to publishing her first book, which resulted in 82 letters of rejection! Her message to students about writing was, "To never give up, and keep going," and on the power of reading, said, “There’s no limit to where you can go and who you can be when you read”.

Prior to the event, the Library Ambassadors submitted some questions for Malorie, and we were delighted that two questions, written by Anna in Year 11, were selected. The first was, “In the Noughts and Crosses series which character was the most difficult to write?” to which the reply was, "Callum, who was based on [Malorie] as a teenager, as it was a painful but also cathartic process". The second question was, “Are there any characters who never made it into the final book?” to which Malorie replied, "A brother for Sephy".

At the end, the Library Ambassadors, members of the Year 8 Book Group and a group of Sixth Form library helpers offered their thoughts about the event:

It was super inspiring to hear her story, and the process and details behind both her books and her career.” Annelies, Year 12

It was an amazing experience, really inspired me as a person who wants to be an author myself.” Frances, Year 8

It was a brilliant experience to meet an author whose book made me think so deeply.” Aoife, Year 11

This was a very memorable event, Malorie has really inspired me and is the voice of black women across the UK.” Aysha, Year 9

It was a very interesting and thought-provoking talk. I enjoyed hearing about Malorie’s writing process and books she is inspired by, as well as her important discussion about institutional racism.” Lucy, Year 9.

For further information about becoming a Library Ambassador, joining a Book Group, or to find out which Malorie Blackman titles we stock in the library, please speak to our librarian, Mrs Miller.

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