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Schoolchildren book their place for Author Week

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Welford Road is opening its doors to more than 5,000 Leicester schoolchildren as part of the city-wide Author Week.

Children from more than 80 Leicester schools have been taking part in a series of readings, practical workshops and question and answer sessions at the home of the Leicester Tigers.

The sessions have been led by a host of top writers including Anthony Horowitz OBE, author of the popular Alex Rider series, Leicester-born Bali Rai and Andy Briggs, writer of Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy.

Other writers taking part include John Dougherty, writer of Finn MacCool and the Giant’s Causeway, Morris the Mankiest Monster writer Sarah McIntyre and  comedian James Campbell as well as award-winning writers Alan Gibbons and Tommy Donbavand, football novelist Dan Freedman, poet David Harmer and Tom Palmer, whose books include the rugby title Scrum!

Horowitz’s morning and afternoon sessions were streamed live over the internet, enabling many more children to be part of Author Week in their classrooms.

Horowitz said: “I do very few events these days, maybe two or three a year, and I go to the ones I think are the best organised and produce the best work.

“The work that is being done at Author Week is extraordinary, very far-reaching and I love the fact that the sessions are being streamed to more schools. I think that value placed on learning is vital.”

Horowitz, who also writes adult fiction and for TV and film, kicked off with a question and answer session before setting the children some creative writing tasks.

“They really rose to the occasion,” he said.

Author Week forms part of the city-wide initative Whatever It Takes, which promotes reading in primary schools. It is supported by Leicester City Council, the city’s schools, libraries, Leicester Tigers and trade unions in the city.

More information is available at www.whatever-it-takes.org.uk