Cathy MacPhail visits Torry Academy

Cathy MacPhail Visit

Monday 7th March 2016

Having successfully secured live literature funding from Scottish Book Trust, we were lucky to have Cathy MacPhail, author of books for young people, in school for a day to run creative writing workshops with two S3 English classes, and to speak to all S1 pupils about her writing, where she gets ideas from and her books.

Cathy spoke to 3.1 and 3.2 English about how she writes. Cathy finds she gets ideas for her writing everywhere. For example, a snatched overheard conversation and graffiti on a wall have both let to books for Cathy. She stressed the importance of, when writing, getting something written down that you can then edit and work with, making the process much easier. She quoted Roald Dahl, saying that “once you have something written, you have something to change”. Cathy also emphasised the importance that in order to have a great idea, you need to have lots of ideas, so ideally you should be jotting down ideas all the time – there will be a good one in there somewhere! By the end of the workshop, each pupil had created the start of a creative piece of writing using “information through action”. As Reece noted, “I learned about information through action and I will use her strategies because they were simple and effective. I’ll use them to improve my own creative writing.” Cathy was delighted with the work produced and some pupils are looking forward to carrying on with their piece for their folio.

cathy 1

All S1s enjoyed hearing Cathy speak about where her inspiration for writing came from, hearing about her books, especially her latest one, “Devil You Know” which has a fantastic twist at the end, and enjoyed watching the trailer for one of her books, “Another Me”, which has been made into a film and looks really creepy! The session ended with lots of really interesting questions from the pupils to Cathy.