15 March 2016

Author Tim Bowler visits Lower School

The Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler spent two days at Sevenoaks as writer in residence last week.

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Last week, the renowned author Tim Bowler came to visit the Lower School. Mr Bowler has won various awards for his children’s books such as the prestigious Carnegie medal for River Boy, a novel that explores coping with life and death in a gripping and haunting tale. He has written around 20 books, with his first novel being Midget published in 1994, and continues to write.

Mr Bowler first gave an assembly to both year groups in which he told us about how he began writing, his motivation and his continued passion for writing. He told it in a very funny and engaging way that inspired many people.  

A Year 7 pupil said: ‘He was very interesting and nice. Also he was extremely amusing and has inspired me to do more creative writing!’

One of his themes was that anyone can do it as long as they are keen and don’t give up. He gave a special viewing of his first story he wrote when he was around five or six years old which went along the lines of: Francis Drake decided to attack Philip of Spain. So he did. The end. I honestly think that surprised quite a few people, how he started from such humble beginnings but grew up to become so famous!

Over two days he came to Lower School English classes. This gave him a chance to explain in greater depth and answer more questions. He read out the second chapter of his book Buried Thunder by popular demand, as he had read the first chapter in the assembly. He then told us how he had come up with the idea and how he then wrote it out; three bodies in a wood and a pair of fox eyes.

Mr Bowler said that the first time he puts his pen to paper it is never right, he has to keep on redrafting and rephrasing sentences and even paragraphs until they are perfect, or near enough! As well as that, sometimes his publisher does not accept his books or wants him to change small things. What was surprising about this was that, although he started quite early, he only got published when he was roughly 40.

He also gave a workshop for keen writers, and gave hints and tips about how to make their writing better. Mr Bowler told us that he is not the kind of author to plan out a plot, every chapter and every paragraph, but just thinks of a place and an unexpected object, or person in that place. For example: a frozen lake and a dead body. Next he told the students to start writing a paragraph on something similar, which produced some very original pieces of work.

We really enjoyed his talk and we hope that he will inspire writers for many more years to come!

Anya Bache, Year 7

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