We a had a very successful video conference event last week with Barry Hutchison using Google hangouts.
Barry connected via Google hangouts with 4 of our schools and spoke to the children in year 4
- Biddick Hall Juniors – Mrs Lynn and Mrs Givens classes
- West Boldon Primary – Miss Bett
- Marsden Primary – Miss Hewitson
- St James RC Primary – Mrs Scott
Many thanks to those schools who participated. This was a pilot project in association with South Tyneside Libraries as part of the Northern Children’s Book Festival.
Each year they run a two week festival of book related activities working with schools and communities across the whole of the North East region. Over the fortnight they deliver a programme of visits by authors, illustrators, poets and other storytellers within and for schools. The book festival culminates in a free Gala Day celebration event where children and their families are able to meet and get actively involved in creative sessions run by the inspiring creators of their favourite children’s books
Barry is an author, screenwriter and writer of comics. Barry has written over 60 books for children, had several movie screenplays optioned, written more than 30 episodes of the CITV children’s comedy series Bottom Knocker Street and writes regular comic strips for The Beano, Angry Birds Comic and Adventure Time Magazine.
Check out his website here!
In October 2008 Barry signed a six-book deal with Harper Collins to publish his Invisible Fiends horror series for the 9+ age group. Barry’s first book – Mr Mumbles – was published in 2010 in the UK, with various other territories – including Canada, Germany and Australia – publishing the book soon afterwards.Book two –Raggy Maggie – was published in August 2010, with book 3 – The Crowmaster – hitting shelves in early 2011.
Barry regaled us with tales of his childhood and his journey to becoming a successful children’s author. He really conveyed his passion for writing stories and brought his characters Benjamin Blank and Paradise Little to life. He told us the inspiration for his characters such as the Shark Headed Thing. I’m particularly scared of the Squirrel headed thing!
After Barry’s introduction each of the schools had the opportunity to ask him some questions.
The children came up with some fantastic questions for Barry such as…
My favourite question was… do you have any tips for young authors on getting started?
Barry pointed the children towards a fantastic website http://www.schoolofwriting.co.uk/
The children thoroughly enjoyed the session.
“The children really enjoyed the conference. It inspired them to want to be an author, they realised you don’t have to be good at everything to succeed.”
S. Hewitson (Marsden Primary School)
Thank you very much to Barry for joining us on this Hangout. It was a great success! This was the first time Barry had delivered a session to multiple schools at the same time using Google Hangouts. As he lives in Fort William, Scotland it is a great alternative to a long drive for him to connect with schools.
We hope to run video conference style similar events with authors in the future.