Famous author visits Hawick High School

Hawick High School was visited by a very special guest on Tuesday, 20 October. Michael Morpurgo, author of over than 100 novels, spoke to S1 pupils. Some of his most notable works include ‘Private Peaceful’ and the film adapted ‘War Horse’ (which has now been translated into over 50 languages!). He was also met by many students from the local primary schools, who gave him quite the loud and warm welcome. Michael gave the pupils tips on how to be a successful writer. His biggest piece of advice? Write about what you are interested in.

The sinking of the RMS Lusitania in WW1 became an inspiration for his latest novel, ‘Listen to the Moon’, from which Michael read an excerpt. On the books web page from his website michaelmorpungo.com, Michael writes: “It is a story of love and loss, of family and community fractured by war, of the power of hope, and above all of the will of the human spirit to survive.”

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At 72, after 42 years amounting to 138 amazing picture books, children’s and adult novels, Michael hasn’t given up on his passion. His passion for writing really began when he was a primary school teacher in Kent. He had run out of stories to read to his pupils, so he started writing his own. On a good day, Michael can manage a staggering 2-3000 words, and said it can take him anywhere between 3 months and a whole year to complete a piece.

A winner of many awards including an OBE for ‘services to literature’ on the 17th of June 2006, and the British Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005. Michael’s favourite award is his French Chevalier des Artes de Lettres – he’s so proud of it, in fact, that he wears the medal on his pyjamas!

After speaking to pupils, Michael went outside to have a book signing, even some of the English teachers were a bit giddy meeting such a prestigious author.

Article written by Mitchell Frood.