Author Daisy May Johnson on How to be Brave


 

We were delighted to welcome author Daisy May Johnson to the school for a virtual visit on the 8th of July. Daisy’s middle grade debut – How To Be Brave – was published on the 1st July 2021. 

Daisy introduced herself and talked about what inspires people to write and the themes we discover in her book. We learned how to character build and how to create conflict and challenge in a story. We also discovered some very interesting facts about ducks and how food poverty is portrayed in novels throughout the centuries.

The girls took part in an interactive writing activity about a day in the life of the boarding school in the future. The session concluded with a Q & A with questions provided by Romey Y7, Milly Y7, Margi Y5, Louise Y4, Daisy Y4, Eleanor Y5, Berlin Y9 and Emma Y9. Examples included: ‘What would you tell your 12 year old self?’; ‘What books would you recommend to students?’; ‘How long have you been an author and why?’; ‘Who was your role model and why?’. 

Daisy kindly judged the Murder Mystery creative writing contributions from Year 7 for the Creative Arts Festival. The winners were Amelia Murgatroyd, Chloe MacDonald and Izzy Brown with ‘Murder on the Moors’ and they were awarded a signed/personalised copy of ‘How To Be Brave’. 

Here are some top writing tips from the session:  

  • Think about what inspires you … 
  • Tell the story that only you can tell … 
  • Make your characters happy and then take it away from them … 
  • Play against stereotypes/expectations … 
  • Imagination = key … 
  • Allow for the first draft to be messy and don’t edit … 
  • Don’t panic if you can’t think of ideas – remember the things you already know … 
  • Don’t stop writing … 
  • Edit/rewrite/delete … 
  • Let yourself see what happens if … 

We would like to thank Daisy for a truly inspiring workshop. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and it made the end of term very special.