A joint initiative between the Classics and English Departments of Loughborough Grammar School and Loughborough High School brought Caroline Lawrence, author of over 35 books including the fabulous Roman Mysteries and Roman Quests series, to visit Loughborough Endowed Schools on Wednesday 15th March 2017.
We were delighted also to welcome along the year 7s from OLCS, pupils from Thrussington C of E Primary School and a local of network of home-educated pupils. Caroline’s visit began with a dozen boys and girls from the Senior Creative Writing group sharing lunch with her and relishing the opportunity to pick her brains about to how to write and get published – she was brimming with anecdotes and helpful tips with her characteristically positive and encouraging manner.
Following on from this, she delivered a highly stimulating session for the Junior Creative Writing group, explaining how to structure a good story by drawing on myriad examples from her – and their – favourite films and books. Hordes of Year 6s and 7s, who had received a free copy of the first book in the Roman Quests series prior to half term, then queued up to get their books signed in the LGS library during lunch break; some had even brought in their entire collection of Caroline Lawrence novels from home and came lugging them into the building puffing and sweating under the weight; Caroline generously signed each and every one of them, inscribing a special different Latin motto in each.
After that, we rushed down to the LHS main hall, where, in her Roman palla, Caroline delivered a talk, informative and entertaining in equal measure, with insights into her stories, analysis of the sidekicks of any good hero (be they in literature or film), and a walk through her writing method – ‘the Seven Plot Beats’. The pupils were hanging on her every word and were particularly riveted by her explanation about what the Romans used a sponge on a stick for!
The day ended with another book signing – this time at the LHS library – and the bustle and excitement was palpable as the pupils queued up to meet her and have the opportunity to ask her their questions. She posed for photos and was very happy to answer any questions they had! All in all, it was a fantastic day, hugely appreciated by pupils and staff alike…