17th March 2020 — On 11 March pupils in Year 5 at St Mary’s School, Cambridge were lucky enough to attend a book talk by author and TV presenter Dermot O'Leary at Storey’s Field Centre in Cambridge. Dermot discussed his series of children’s books 'Toto the Ninja Cat' and explained how he got the ideas for the exciting plot of these books from his own pets. He captivated his young audience with tales of how he began writing stories and selling them at a young age at his local newsagent, and inspired them to begin writing their own stories.
The girls from St Mary’s, as well as pupils from the University of Cambridge Primary School, were excited to have the opportunity to ask Dermot questions about being an author and then had the chance to buy his books and get them signed. They returned to school thoroughly enthused about reading and writing.
Dermot is one of many authors who have become role models for the girls at St Mary's. During the recent Book Week, pupils were thrilled to get top tips from two female authors. Author Louisa Reid shared a range of great techniques for writing stories with Year 8 and Year 9 students and St Mary’s creative writing scholars on 5 March, leaving them brimming with enthusiasm for creative writing. All the pupils at the Junior School were treated to a visit from author Lou Treleaven on 6 March. The girls picked up inspiring tips for writing and listened in suspense to exciting snippets of Lou’s books, including Snugglewump and Turns out I’m an Alien.
Author Louisa Reid commented: “It’s amazing to be back at St Mary’s to work with young people who are so passionate about writing and fiction on World Book Day 2020. I’m sure their words will change the world.”