Author Visit – Xi’an Hanova International School

I was lucky enough to be invited to visit Xi’an Hanova International School in central China for a two-day author visit in late March.

This was actually my second time visiting Xi’an, although the first time I was there as a tourist, gawking at the Terracotta Warriors and pedalling on a rental bike atop the incredible city wall.

While it is always interesting to speak to students about my own writing, what was really exciting about this particular visit was the opportunity to lead two days of intensive writing workshops:

  • Day One involved an introductory session called “So You Want to Tell a Story?” with Grades 7-9, followed by grade-level workshops entitled “Starting a Story, Ending a Story” in which the students learned about way to improve these two crucial, but difficult, parts of their stories.
  • Day Two involved workshops entitled “Editing is Everything” in which students shredded some examples of bad writing and brainstormed ways to add, delete, change or move language to make a story better. This was pretty hilarious. We finished the day with everyone together for a final session called “Follow Your Dreams: Everything Starts as an Idea” which dealt with writing, sport and inspiration.

The students at Xi’an Hanova had some great ideas they wanted to develop, so I hope that I was able to provide some tips to help them bring their stories to life.

Thank you to the wonderful teachers and students at Xi’an Hanova International School for inviting me to speak with you.

Oh, and thank you to the teachers and admin staff who treated me to this interesting fish/duck/whatever it was. The meat was very tasty (though the deep-fried fish nose was a bit of a surprise!).


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