Author's school visit takes the biscuit

Offwell School children

Offwell School children were inspired to become story tellers and novelists - Credit: Offwell School

How do you eat your custard cream? Any rules for how you should demolish your Bourbon?
If not, then you may not have heard of ‘Biscuit Laws’, as introduced to the children of Oak and Beech Classes at Offwell School, near Honiton, by new author Jen Carney. 
This was part of a virtual schools event organised by Authors Aloud UK. The event was a Zoom meeting with author Jen Carney, who has recently published her first book, The Accidental Diary of B.U.G.
Apparently, any cream filled biscuit MUST have one side removed and the cream filling scraped out with your teeth!  This was just one of the ideas Jen used to engage the children. She shared descriptions of her writing journey and how she wrote her first book at the tender age of four.  The children also followed her step-by-step instructions on how to create a cartoon hedgehog character.
Jen gave the children three important tips to writing.
The first was to keep practising – it does not always work the first time so you have to persevere.
The second was to look at lots of different books – see how the author has written their sentences, look at their pictures (and try copying them).
And the third was to read. Read anything, whether it is a book (fiction/non-fiction) comics, magazines – anything you find interesting and engaging.
The children were keen to share their impressions of the event, with several now committed to becoming best-selling authors and illustrators!
Isla said: “I liked how informal it was and how easy she was to listen to. I love drawing so I found it encouraging to think I could draw as a career.” 
Hattie said she enjoyed it because Jen was funny and she felt she would enjoy the book.  Noah said it had encouraged him to become a writer.  
Headteacher Lorna Legg said: “We welcome contact from authors and other professionals, who can inspire children to dream.
“As the Times Education Supplement says, ‘The impact of an author visiting shouldn’t be underestimated. These are the types of things that people talk about when you ask them what they remember about school’.”

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