On Monday 8 June Shiplake College pupils in Years Seven to Nine received a visit from a special guest – London-based author Andy Mulligan, known for works such as Trash and Ribblestrop. Having previously spent a decade working as a theatre director, Andy Mulligan has gained experience teaching in India, Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines and the UK, and now spends his days writing full time.
Years Seven, Eight and Nine have spent time in class reading and studying Trash, and great excitement greeted the news that Andy would be spending time with the pupils. Andy started the day with an incredibly engaging talk in the Lecture Theatre, during which he explained, using photographs, the story behind and the inspiration for Trash.
Andy had an attentive audience as he told the pupils how he borrowed stories from friends and family, building on anecdotes to create episodes in the narrative of a tale. The students were then given a chance to construct their own novel openings, using dialogue to develop stories and characters. Andy offered the budding authors constructive direction, and the pupils are hoping to share their finished work with him before the end of term.
Teacher Mrs Eleanor Hallam said of the day that she was ‘immensely impressed with the passion that was ignited throughout the day; the students were hanging on Andy’s every word, and we may well have awoken a budding novelist or two! The support that Andy was offering the boys was incredible, and we very much appreciate the time he spent with us.’