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Pupils visit Kent College for Page Turners book awards

On a very wet and windy evening eight pupils celebrated their reading by attending the Page Turners gala event at Kent College.  

The annual book award was formed many years ago by schools in the South East joining together to create a shortlist of books for pupils to read and discuss but ultimately to try and read a different book to their normal genre. We are now part of this book award. 

On arrival at Kent College we were given the chance to look at the books on offer to buy. Each attendee receives a £5 voucher to go towards their choice.

Apart from reading the participants are given a chance to be creative. These could be either poems, reviews, a painting/drawing of a scene from a book, cakes, or even costume designs. There were some fabulous entries, and we were proud of our pupils entering their responses into the competition. 

At 6:30pm the main event started with a Q&A by Susin Nielsen who lives in Canada. She answered some pre-arranged questions, but she also took questions from the floor. Her video chat was inspiring, especially when she spoke about her writing development and how the first draft is always terrible (one is not to be hoodwinked into thinking its written in a first attempt!) and it takes many, many rewrites to get to the final draft worthy of publishing. Something we must remember with our own work is that it is always best to read, improve, read, and add more if we can, because we can always develop our work and ourselves.

After break for tea we reconvened in the theatre and continued with our online presentations. There were short five minutes videos from, Jaco Jacobs with ‘A Good Day for Climbing Trees’, Robin Talley for ‘The Lies We Tell Ourselves’, Tom Palmer for ‘Armistice Runner’, and A.M. Dassu for ‘Fight Back’. This year’s theme for Page Turners was ‘Bravery’, so the authors spoke about that either referencing their book or where their inspiration came from. 

Our next live author was Neil Grant. Once again he answered our prearranged questions and he gave an inspiring talk about the diversity of Australia and how multicultural it is, and how he hopes it will continue to be welcoming. 

To top off an already wonderful evening, we finished with a drum roll to announce our chosen winner and the winner of the creative response. The overall winner was, ‘No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen’. A great book with a moving story and a great message and the first place winner for the creative response was Sebastian B from year 8! We were so pleased that his painting won, it was truly deserved!