Brighton Festival’s Adopt-An-Author Scheme Ends On A Cake-Filled High

Alex Milway and Benfield Primary Year 2

Adopt an Author, the exciting school’s initiative that links local classes with children’s authors, ended it’s 2018 scheme with a series of annual ‘Meet your Author’ Festival parties. With cake, pizza and pet beetles, it was a fun-filled finale to the 15th year of the Adopt an Author project.

This year, 110 children took part from four classes at four different schools – Stanford Juniors, Mile Oak Primary, Benfield Primary and Carden Primary – and four authors, including two returning adoptees, Rob Lloyd Jones and Alex Milway. For eight weeks, classes adopted an author, writing them weekly emails and completing tasks set by them while they read one for their books, with the project culminating in the ‘Meet your author’ finales full of fun activities for both author and adoptive classes.

Rose Muddle author Imogen White took Team Carden on a historical journey around Brighton and Hove before dress-up, performance and a quiz, whilst Benfield Primary were treated to a live drawing session of the loveable Pigsticks and Harold with their brilliant author Alex Milway. Stanford Juniors welcomed Beetle Boy author M. G. Leonard and her very special insect guests and Mile Oak were taken on a mysterious journey with Wild Boy author Rob Lloyd Jones.

Imogen White, Adopted Author for Carden Primary School says: “The Adopt an Author project has been my most rewarding author experience to date. Having the opportunity to really get to know a class of mixed abilities, and watch their writing skills progress throughout each task, has been simply amazing. It really is such a special project, one that reaches children in the community that might otherwise miss out. It has been a total privileged to take part.”

Alex Milway, Adopted Author for Benfield Primary School says: “Adopt an Author is always so enjoyable to be a part of. Setting tasks for children and receiving feedback from the schools and teachers involved makes you feel that you are making a difference, no matter how small. And most importantly, for what could be quite a complicated scheme, everything always runs so smoothly. There really is nothing like it.” 

And it wasn’t just the Authors who enjoyed their time on the scheme! A Year 5 participant said: “I loved Adopt an Author because I loved doing the tasks each week” whilst another from Year 2 told their author: “You have meant so much to me. You are the best author in the entire world.” Many of the participants expressed their new-found excitement in reading: “I can’t wait to read the next book, they’re really hooking me in!”, and a want to start reading and writing more often.

Adopt an Author is a Brighton Festival initiative that began in 2003, designed to develop relationships between classes of students and children’s authors with the aim to promote literacy and encourage writing. Adopt an Author is produced and delivered by Collected Works CIC, an award-winning reader development organisation based in Brighton.

The organisation specialises in delivering innovative projects, events and activities based around shared reading. Its largest projects are City Reads and Young City Reads which it delivers annually, alongside Adopt An Author.

Find out more: www.adoptanauthor.wordpress.com