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8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
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Story time at St Paul's as authors come to visit

Two of the UK's leading children's authors have given their top tips on how to write a good story to two classes of 10-year-olds at St Paul's.

H L Dennis (Secret Breakers) and Christopher William Hill (Osbert the Avenger), paid a visit to the Cathedral to take part in two special Story Days, organised by the Cathedral's Schools & Families department with leading publisher, Hachette Children's Books.

50 budding authors from Year 5 at St John’s Highbury Vale and St Mary’s Islington, both Church of England primary schools, listened intently as both authors discussed their work, told how they became writers and what inspires them, and revealed how they go about actually writing a story or poem.

The groups then toured the Cathedral, looking at the history of the building, its art, and how it acts as a place of worship. They got to find out about and touch monuments and tombs, discover beautiful spaces such as the quire and soak up the amazing atmosphere of the Cathedral’s dome. 

After the tour, the young writers then got a chance to put pen to paper themselves to write either a short story or poem, all under watchful eye of their author mentors. During some fast paced, fun filled classroom workshop sessions, the children learned about the craft of writing stories as well as finding out how the authors hatched their plots and developed characters.

Janet Marshall, Head of the Schools & Families department, said: "We wanted to offer a unique day of exploration, fun and learning and we are delighted that Hachette could offer us two successful children’s writers to spend a day each at the Cathedral.

"These were two wonderful days.The enthusiasm and ideas children came up with were phenomenal. It is wonderful to see how children can respond to our wonderful sacred space and rise to a challenge such as this.The children have taken their stories away to finish and I can’t wait to read them."