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07 February 2018

Authors inspire students at inaugural Fiction Fest

Successful authors inspired Wiltshire College students as part of a novel event to encourage a love of fiction and literature.

Fiction Fest saw three published authors talk to students in the Arc Theatre at the Trowbridge campus about the creative writing process and their own personal journeys.

Matthew Harffy, author of The Bernicia Chronicles, Alison Knight, who wrote Rosie Goes to War and Off the Record and Sian Davies, who is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, captivated students with their advice on where to find inspiration, characters, plot and summary, writing to build tension, narrative and planning.

Maria Harffy, is Senior Team Leader of the Learning Resources Centre, which organised the event.

She said: “Our mission is to promote students curiosity in their search for information, reading and supporting them with their learning and with this first ever Fiction Fest I would say it was mission accomplished!

“We are all thrilled at how successful it was and as well as inspiring anyone with a love of writing, this event was to support English GCSE students with their assignments in preparation for their coursework.”

Students from the Lackham, Chippenham and Salisbury campuses were able to Skype into the talks on Wednesday 31st January so that everyone in the College could benefit from the session.

Matthew Harffy has written five action packed historical fiction books as well as co-authored seven academic articles.

Speaking about his involvement with Fiction Fest, he said: “It was great to spend time in such a vibrant, energetic atmosphere at Wiltshire College.

“I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to students and wish them all the best for their future writing.”

As well as writing her own books, Alison Knight teaches the part-time Creative Writing courses at the College, helping others to tell their stories.

She said: “There were a good variety of speakers who all had different perspectives on the craft of writing.

“Some of my adult creative writing students attended a well as GCSE students and their feedback was excellent.

“My hope is that everyone who came went away with more ideas and fresh confidence to tackle their assignments.”

In addition to the talks, the LRC organised Photoshop sessions with the Learning Technologies team where students could create a book cover, there were virtual reality activities and an external book sale.