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Posted on December 11th 2018
Fantasy author Taran Matharu Inspires Years 7 and 8
Fantasy author Taran Matharu visited our academy earlier this month to talk to boys in years 7 and 8, give a writing workshop and meet students in the library at lunch time.
Taran told students how reading has been key in his life, not just in his education (he has a First Class Business degree) but also in starting his career. He experienced racist bullying at school and found reading was a way of escaping into other worlds and seeing how different people defeated their problems, he said. He started writing his own stories because he couldn’t find books which had characters who looked like him. His books explore the tensions and alliances between different races.
Taran explained to boys how they can use the things that are important in their lives to structure their writing – in his case, other books, films, video games and a love of history – as well as your own feelings and experiences. He showed the online storytelling platform Wattpad and told students how he had originally uploaded a few chapters of his story The Novice and received many positive comments from other readers. After only a few weeks a million people had read his story online and the numbers continued to grow. He was approached by an American publisher and his Summoner series is now a New York Times bestseller and was chosen as one of the promoted books for World Book Day this year. Taran’s books have been translated into many other languages and his new series will be out in May next year.
"He really inspired me"
Taran is successful enough to be able to earn his living from writing, and he travels around the world visiting schools, book shops and events and meeting his fans. His message is that anyone, anywhere can do what he did, and he told the students that several people who are writing the shows they see on Netflix are teenagers not much older than themselves.
Yvan in Year 7 said: “He really inspired me to become a writer. I looked at Wattpad at lunch time and I feel that I could do that.” Joshua also in Year 7 agreed: “He was so awesome. I’m definitely going to read more of his books.”
The library is holding two competitions following Taran’s inspirational visit which will run over the Christmas holidays. One is to write your own fantasy story and the other is to create your own fantasy creature. Full details from the library.