Northumberland writer helps to inspire the next generation

Piers Torday with Cramlington Learning Village students students Kristen Barnard, Tyler Ingram and Millie Love.
Piers Torday with Cramlington Learning Village students students Kristen Barnard, Tyler Ingram and Millie Love.

An award-winning writer has returned to his native Northumberland to inspire students with his own story.

Piers Torday grew up in a family of writers and surrounded by books but started his career in the theatre and television.

After five years and 17 drafts, his first children’s book – The Last Wild – was published, and now he is working on the screenplay.

Piers has written four books for children and, after his father’s death in 2013, he completed his unfinished novel, a political thriller for adults called The Death of an Owl.

It was published in 2016, the same year as Piers’ latest book – There May Be A Castle – appeared to critical acclaim.

During a visit to Cramlington Learning Village, Piers told students about the power of stories to change the way we view the world, and how it is possible to follow a career in writing.

He said: “I believe it is really important for children to see people making a living from making stories,.”

Piers is the latest in a long line of distinguished children’s writers to visit the school, where he also talked to Year 5 and 6 children from Eastlea and Shanklea schools.

Eileen Armstrong, Cramlington Learning Village librarian, said: “We believe it is really valuable for the students to hear the stories behind the stories and also the reason why they decided to do what they do.

“Fiction for young people is as popular as ever and hearing first-hand from the authors will only further encourage them to explore books and write their own stories.”

Piers added: “I come back as often as I possibly can.

“Northumberland remains very unspoiled but I am so glad to see the development of Newcastle and the North East that has happened over the last twenty years.

“I hope there is more to come.”