18 May 2022

Author shares her secrets with Oakgrove kids

A well-known author has visited a Derry school to share the secrets of her success.

Author shares her secrets with Oakgrove kids

Visiting author of ‘Flying Tips for Flightless Birds’, Kelly McCaughrain, pictured with Oakgrove Integrated College’s Year 9 students.

A well-known author has visited a Derry school to share the secrets of her success.

Junior School students at Oakgrove Integrated College were given a ‘World Book Week’ treat last week with the visit of triple award-winning Belfast author Kelly McCaughrain.

Kelly read extracts from her book and gave tips to the students on how to become an author.

The visit was set up by school librarian Mairead Henry, who after reading Kelly’s first book ‘Flying Tips for Flightless Birds’ made contact with the Belfast writer asking her to come to speak to the college’s students.

A packed assembly hall was treated to an hour of extracts from the book, discussion on the story and characters, a powerpoint presentation and good advice on getting involved in the literary world.

Mairead said she was delighted to get Kelly to come to the north-west and talk to the students.

“After having read the book I decided to get in contact with the author and try and get her to visit Oakgrove.

“I was absolutely delighted that after only a few emails she agreed to come during World Book Week.This is something I have been trying to do since taking up my post at Oakgrove. Getting a renowned author to the school, and to get one such as Kelly is amazing.

“Creativity is so important to students, and hopefully she will help inspire future young writers.”

Describing how the students loved the many different formats the event took, the librarian continued: “The circus theme of the talk went down a storm. Students loved the' real or fake' 'freak show' characters, with lots of gasps and laughs.

“The hall fell wonderfully silent as Kelly read aloud from her book, leaving the pupils wanting more.

“And, more important, she was happy to answer all the student's questions and received a rapturous applause at the end.”

Kelly McCaughrain was last year’s recipient of Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year, the Eilis Dillon and Children’s Choice Awards 2019 winner for her ‘Flying Tips for Flightless Birds’ novel.

The author said she enjoyed her first journey to the north west.

“I’m grateful to Mairead for asking me along here today and hope the students got as much fun and learning out of it as I did.

“This is one of eight visits to schools across Northern Ireland over this week and it was lovely to visit Oakgrove Integrated College. Indeed, I hope to be asked back again in the not too distant future.”

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