Author Danny Weston leads creative writing workshop with visually impaired students

Press Release | 22/09/2016

Aspiring young writers at the Royal Blind School were taught some tricks of the trade by one of their favourite authors during a creative writing workshop.

Children’s fiction writer, Philip Caveney, led the event with a group of eightAuthor Philip Caveney pupils aged 11-17 at the school in Morningside, Edinburgh, today.

The Edinburgh-based writer of the Sebastian Darke novels was invited to the school to help the students hone their writing skills ahead of National Braille Week in October.

He also performed a reading of his new novel, The Haunting of Jessop Rise, which was released under his pen name, Danny Weston.

It was the first time Philip has visited the Royal Blind School and the author said he was ‘thrilled’ to lead the workshop for the students.

Philip said: “I was really pleased to be invited into the school, I know that several of the students are passionate readers and storytellers.

“The aim was to give the pupils a few ideas and get them writing. Students are often astonished at what they are able to write once they get started.”

During the workshop the students were asked to write the first chapter of a story about a supernatural encounter.

The pupils were also invited to take part in a writing competition to be judged by Philip. The winning entry will be performed at Royal Blind’s National Braille Week reception in October.  

Philip, who is a winner of the Scottish Children’s Book Award 2016, is the guest speaker of the event which will showcase students’ talents and celebrate the history of Braille.

He added: “I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was 13 years old and I read a book that I just couldn’t put it down. All authors are readers first, and most of them will tell you that it was a book that made them want to be a writer.

“That’s why it’s so important that all children have access to literature and to encourage them to read as much as possible from an early age, and why it’s such a pleasure for me to be involved with National Braille Week.”

Royal Blind School English teacher, Beth Laughlin, said the students were very excited to attend the workshop.

She added: “I know several of the students are huge fans of the Sebastian Darke books so it was really exciting for them to hear the author himself perform a reading.

“Many of our students are very interested in writing so this was a fantastic opportunity for them to speak to a published author about his creative process.”