Cumbrian poet Katie Hale has spent a day working with creative writing students at Penrith’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.
Subsidised by the Wordsworth Trust as part of an initiative to get writers into schools, Katie worked with two groups of students during the day in a hands-on workshop. The students explored various elements of creative writing including metaphor, simile and personification in fun ways. Katie then used poems by herself and fellow Cumbrian poet Kim Moore to inspire the students to write their own pieces, either about a place that inspired them or in praise of a seemingly random subject, such as an empty crisp packet or sad endings.
A QEGS student herself between 2001-2008, Katie read English at Royal Holloway followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at St Andrews. She now lives in Shap. A book of her poems, “Breaking the Surface”, was published last year and her first novel, “My Name is Monster” is due for publication in June 2019.
Katie said: “It’s really rewarding to be able to come back and work with students who are where I was 15 years ago – just starting out on their creative journey. The students have been really engaged and really enjoyed playing with language. The poetry they wrote has been a mix of inventive, surprising, heart-warming and joyous. It’s great to see such creative variety.”
Dylan Hind (year 9) attended one of the workshops. He said: “I thought it was great. I haven’t enjoyed creative writing much up until now but now I am seeing it in new light.”