Posted on 24/03/2010
Award-winning author Diana Evans
Award-winning author Diana Evans was just one of the many names to attend Royal Holloway, University of London as part of this year’s Runnymede International Literary Festival.
Students from nine schools, including Hythe School, in Staines, and Strodes College, in Egham, took part in the one day Creative Media Literary Festival which included workshops by novelist Diana Evans, script-writing with College academics including playwright Dan Rabellato, former BBC Radio Producer Alun Lewis, and post-production sound with Rhys Davies. There was also a Fashion Writing Workshop with Eva Soniake, the Fashion Editor of ‘Elle’ Germany, where students put together their own fashion magazine from scratch, including taking photographs, designing the layout and writing the articles.
Diana Evans, who won the Orange Prize winner for new writers for her novel ‘26a’ said, “These events are so important in inspiring young students and making them aware of the opportunities available to them. Children are generally growing up in a generation where they aren’t as likely to pick up a book so it’s really important to encourage them to read. If we don’t encourage reading, books could become extinct. Everything starts with reading.”
Event organiser and College Outreach Officer, Tanya Popeau, said, “This year’s festival was a great success – we were delighted to host such a great range of exciting workshops and inspirational speakers.”
The event’s popularity was reflected in the feedback from both students and teachers. Anita Chager, a student from Lampton School in Hounslow said, “It was a delight in attending the Literary Festival at Royal Holloway. It has been a truly valuable and exciting experience and I want to thank you for allowing me to come. I have gained a greater insight into the world of creative and fashion writing, and am inspired by the likes of Diana Evans and Eva Sonaike.”
Tracy Mackenzi from Broadwater School, said, “The students thoroughly enjoyed it and were blown away by the university. The staff too were most impressed, so thank you.”