My recent visit to Unity Academy

Published on Sunday 10th December 2023 by Griff Hosker

I was invited to visit Unity Academy in Middlesbrough to speak with and inspire the pupils there.

All the children I spoke to were lovely and a credit to their teachers.

The young people were a delight. They asked thoughtful and insightful questions and seemed really interested in my talk. There were a number of them who were actively writing, some were just 12 and I found that really encouraging. One young writer told me of the support given by parents and I know from personal experience that parental support is vital. I was, however, saddened when I found out that the writer’s friends, when they read it were dismissive of the effort. I was discouraged many times, not as a child but as an adult and I really empathised. My discouragement came not from friends but from publishers who, I suspect, did not even read the manuscripts I sent off.  As I told the young people in the audience, self publishing gives a writer freedom and I encouraged them all to use that particular route.

The hardest part of the day was the commute. My commute is normally eight steps. I had rush hour traffic to contend with!

I told the school, and I meant it, that I would be more than happy to visit again and that if they contacted me through my website then they would get a reply.

Thank you Miss Brack, Mrs Westbrook and Mr Daley for organising the visit.

Photo credit to Unity Academy