The Wirral Book Awards are held every year for students in Wirral's Secondary Schools. There is a shortlist of 17 books and each year the students taking part at Bebington High Sports College are invited to meet some of the authors from the shortlist. There were 6 authors meeting with the students.
Kicking off the day was Jon Mayhew, a local author from Neston who has previously won the award with his book Demon Road. He explained that all the authors we were meeting were normal people like you and me and he spoke of his childhood in Eastham and at Heygarth School.
Rhian Ivory was up next with her book "The Boy Who Drew The Future". Rhian is an English teacher and explained that her book had come about from, what started as, a classroom activity.
Joe Delaney, a personal favourite with a lot of our male students, was speaking about his book "Arena 13". He also talked about his experience of dealing with Hollywood after one of his books," The Spook's Apprentice", was made into a film.
When Kathryn Evans was 16 she was told by her Career's Advisor that the only job she would be able to get when she left school was in a factory. She has gone on to be a successful actress, a fruit farmer (supplying fruit to the Royal Palaces), a belly dancer and an award winning fencer, managing to slot in time to write her nominated book "More of Me". She said "You can achieve anything with hard work and determination".
"Lifers" by Martin Griffin is a book about teenagers trying to escape from a prison. Martin gave the students a quiz on world famous prisons and also suggested 3 story ideas, telling the students they could use his idea as a starting block and if they got published he would only want 5% of the royalties.
The teenage crime writer, Anne Cassidy, was last up. Her book "Moth Girls" is about the strange disappearance of 2 teenage girls after they enter a mysterious house. Anne is a prolific writer of crime fiction but said the only crime that had ever happened to her was a bump in a car.
All the authors were extremely inspirational and impressed on the students that if they wanted to be authors and they have ideas they can achieve their goals with hard work, determination and persistence. Our students were able to buy the books at the end of the day and the authors signed copies and chatted with students for an hour.
A wonderful and inspiring day.