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A Lesson in Creative Writing

Senior School

20 October 2023

We enjoyed our second visit from Jamila Gavin, well-known Young Adult author. A Year 9 class has been enjoying her well-known 1992 classic, 'The Wheel of Surya', set in India and England in the 1940s. 

A variety of students asked some perceptive questions, including 'What motivated you to write this novel?'; 'Who is your favourite character?'; 'How does one get into writing?'; 'How does one go about writing a novel?' Mrs Gavin spoke most helpfully to address these questions, giving students some fascinating insights into the writing process, sharing some of her life-story, and mentioning some historical and cultural elements which permeate her novel.

Mrs Gavin also sat in on an A-Level English Language & Literature lesson, in which students had been working on their creative writing skills; vital for success in their Paper 3 examination. Mrs Gavin was very impressed with students' independent, original writing, based on one of two story outlines. She conducted some speed-writing exercises and carefully evaluated the skills needed to become a convincing, compelling writer, using her own writing workshop experience and literary anecdotes in order to enthuse them. She also talked about some of the techniques used by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his iconic novel, 'The Great Gatsby', which is one of the set texts studied in this course.

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