Big Write guest has historic links to women’s vote

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A descendent of one of the most famous feminists in history, Emmeline Pankhurst, will be the guest author at Harrogate International Festivals’ Big Write.

Kate Pankhurst, author of Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders, will feature at the Big Write, which is hosted in association with Ashville College.

The biggest children’s creative writing workshop of its kind in the North will take place at the Royal Hall on May 20 and has become the highlight of the education calendar across the Harrogate district.

Kate’s book asks the big question children – what do you want to be when you grow up? She looks at go-getting and brave women, from scientists to hot-air balloonists.

Kate Pankhurst said: “Stories can take young readers to places they’ve never been before, allow them to experience the world from the perspective of others and to think more creatively. Childhood reading and writing experiences form part of the jigsaw of who children will become as adults.”

Last year 622 children attended the Big Write across 22 schools, penning over 311,000 words.

Simon Asker, Director of Prep School at Ashville College, said: “Kate Pankhurst promises to be inspirational, not just as an author but as the living descendent of a woman who shaped history.

“We’re incredibly proud of our ongoing support of the Big Write and the huge success it’s become.

“Partnering with Harrogate International Festivals aligns with our vision to develop not just a love of writing and reading in our school, but the life-affirming benefits of creative expression that’s proven to boost confidence and communication skills.”

Development Manager at Harrogate International Festivals, Lizzie Brewster, said: “Demand for 2019’s Big Write has outstripped every year to date with places filled in just four days. It’s set to be a record year with 805 children booked to attend from 22 schools across the district. It shows how valued live literary events are by educators, and has become the must-attend event of the year for schools in our community.”

Part of the Festival’s year-round educational programme, The Big Write is delivered by the Festival’s education partner, Pobble, a global literacy initiative that offers resources and ideas for schools around creative writing. It is open to children in school Years 4 and 5 of all abilities and backgrounds.

Simon one of the Pobble co-founders said: “As a former Deputy Headteacher in the town, I am proud to once again be working with the Harrogate Festivals team. The Big Write has grown into a flagship literary event. School libraries reported huge demand for author Tom Palmer’s books after he starred at the 2018 Big Write. It shows how live events and authors can really impact, excite and engage young minds.”

Lizzie added: “We deliver leading literary festivals and host iconic authors in the town. The team is passionate about building on this reputation and inspire the next generation with our outreach work, offering unique opportunities that can make a lasting impact on young people’s lives.”