Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of helping staff of Mostly Books man the bookstall at a rather special event at Larkmead School – a secondary school just up the road from me in Abingdon. The event was the launch of an anthology of writing by sixth form pupils called The Blender which was created in conjunction with a charity called First Story. The charity enabled the school to have a writer in residence to work with them and he is Tim Pears, author of several rather good novels including Blenheim Orchard.

The book launch was the culmination of a whole day of wonderful literary events which the whole school joined in. Mark has blogged about it in detail here. It sounds like it was great fun with loads of other great writers for older children taking part including Sally Nicholls and Julie Hearn.

The additional draw for the evening event was that the Headmaster of Larkmead, Chris Harris, studied for his PGCE at Westminster College (now part of Oxford Brookes) when Philip Pullman was teaching on the course. Chris had persuaded him to be at the launch and he signed books for fans, young and old, before giving a short speech. Then Tim Pears introduced some of the contributors to the anthology who read extracts of their work.

On the right is him signing one of my books, (I cropped myself out of the photo!).   I told him how much I’d enjoyed The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (my review here) and that the event at the Oxford Literary Festival at the Sheldonian was very interesting, and he replied ‘It was a good event, wasn’t it.’

It was a lovely evening, and all involved deserve congratulations – well done!

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