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Shell talk by award winning children’s author

Shell talk by award winning children’s author
Karen Smith

The English department was delighted to welcome William Hussey, author of the Shell class reader Jekyll’s Mirror, to English lessons on Tuesday 1st December (through the medium of Teams) to give a live reading from one of his best-selling books Haunted.  Many Shell pupils have studied one of his books in their first half-term at Canford so it was exciting to actually meet the author and have the chance to ask him about his work.

William Hussey also delivered a Gothic masterclass for our Sixth Form pupils, exploring the Gothic genre from its origins through to the Victorian era and finally the modern day. As an author of his own Gothic work, he gave us all an insight into his view of the Gothic as a genre in which you can examine real world fears through the safe space of fictional forms. We look forward to seeing if his idea of ‘pandemic’ literature will become a reality in years to come.

Richard Redwood, Head of English, commented: “Many thanks to William for his weird and wonderful stories. It was exciting to hear from the author himself as it really brought our shared class reading to life. We will all now be wary of anyone who offers us a sandwich in the woods (Hansel and Gretel), who asks us to use the sink (Thomas Edison) or who urgently needs to borrow a bell (Edgar Allan Poe). Having had the chance to ask questions about the writing process to a well-known author, we hope several pupils feel inspired to go onto produce their own masterpieces (Gothic or otherwise). We are launching a Christmas creative writing competition this week to give Shells an opportunity to show us their own ideas.

Thanking William for his time, one Shell pupil wrote: “I would like to thank you on behalf of the class for your inspiring talk this morning. I loved meeting with you today and enjoyed listening to your background in writing and the extract from ‘Haunted’.  I am very glad we had the opportunity to read ‘Jekyll’s Mirror’ and it made me want to read ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’.”

For more information about William’s books, please visit his website


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