Leading author visits Felpham school

Gareth P Jones, author of Space Crime Conspiracy, at Felpham Community College.
Gareth P Jones, author of Space Crime Conspiracy, at Felpham Community College.

A leading children’s author was the guest of honour at a school event held to mark this year’s West Sussex Book Awards.

Gareth P Jones, author of Space Crime Conspiracy, has been shortlisted for this year’s prize.

He took time out of his busy schedule to join Year 7 students from Felpham Community College and Year 6 students from local primary schools in an interactive education session.

Mark Anstiss, headteacher, said: “The children enjoyed a brilliant afternoon finding out what the life of a children’s author involves and discovering where Gareth gets his ideas from.

“A few brave volunteers even joined in when he put on a musical performance designed to add a new dimension to the weird and wonderful characters in his book.”

The author hosted a Q&A session with the students before signing copies of his book.

The West Sussex Book Awards have been running since 2002 as a partnership between the Schools Library Service and the County Library Service.

Local school children from years 6 and 7 collaborate in the selection process, which begins in the autumn of each year. Groups of schools meet to select a shortlist and to vote on the winning title.

During the year a number of the shortlisted authors visit schools around the county to talk to the children.

This is the second cluster meeting Felpham Community College has hosted this academic year. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, author of Timecatcher and another of the shortlisted writers, visited Felpham last term.