Award-winning author inspires young Woodford Green pupils

SF Said with the children at Bancroft's Preparatory School.

SF Said with the children at Bancroft's Preparatory School. - Credit: Archant

An award-winning author answered questions from enthusiastic pupils during a school visit.

SF Said, whose 2003 debut novel Varjak Paw won the Nestle Smartie Book Prize, dropped in to Bancroft’s Preparatory School in High Road, Woodford Green, to speak to the youngsters who have been studying the book.

The Year 4 children listened as SF spoke of the long process involved in writing books – including the 90 rejections he got for Varjak Paw, which took five years to write.

His latest novel Phoenix took seven years, and he whetted the children’s appetite with a reading.

He said: “This is a big epic book. It is the book I have always wanted to write. It’s very different as is about an intergalactic battle between humans and aliens.”

Nine-year-old Lottie Gillett, said: “It was really fun leaning about how he writes books and to learn it isn’t all fun and games getting books published.”

Charlie Day and Leona Dixon, both eight, agreed the visit was inspirational.

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“He told me how I can get lots of ideas for characters,” said Leona.

“The talk helped me if I wanted to be a book writer when I grow up,” added Charlie.