Michael Morpurgo gives writing tips to St Albans and Harpenden students

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BUDDING writers from St Albans and Harpenden have been treated to a creative masterclass with literary legend Michael Morpurgo.

Among the 117 pupils from across Hertfordshire were Susie Williams, Emily Wright, Rose Picciuto and Pippa Jeffs, all Year Seven students at St Albans Girls’ School (STAGS).

They met the author of more than 100 books, including War Horse, at the Herts county council creative writing masterclass at Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted.

Assistant head teacher of STAGS, John Doyle, said that Mr Morpurgo started the session by speaking about his career and introduced themes pupils would be working on at the masterclass.

Mr Morpurgo, whose book Shadow has recently won the Red House Children’s Book Award 2011, told the pupils he drew inspiration to write creatively from objects and the inferences that can be made from them.

He said a trip to the Imperial War Museum and a toy dog on display there, made by German Prisoners of War, inspired his latest book, entitled Little Manfred.

Rose asked Mr Morpurgo who was his favourite author was as a child, to which he responded, Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote Treasure Island.

Margaret Chapman, head teacher of STAGS, said: “We are very pleased that such a deservedly famous author as Michael Morpurgo is able to give up his time to inspire the next generation of writers.”

Schools across the county were invited to send nominated students to the masterclass, with pupils from local schools including Beaumont, Francis Bacon, Loreto, Marlborough, Roundwood Park, Sandringham, Townsend and Verulam attending.

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