Children’s Author Ben Davis Visits Penrice Academy

Penrice Academy welcomed a special guest on Wednesday 22nd February when renowned children’s/teen’s author Ben Davis visited the school.

Mr Davis spent the whole day at Penrice, hosting two assemblies and two creative writing workshops.

The assemblies had the attending Year 7 and Year 8 students full of intrigue with the reading of extracts from his books including ‘My Embarrassing Dad Has Gone Viral’, ‘My Dad is Definitely not a Crime Lord’, and ‘The Private Blog of Joe Cowley’. Each reading was followed by plenty of questions such as ‘How do you go about becoming a published author?’ and ‘How do you come up with your ideas?’

After the assemblies, the workshops focussed on the creation of short stories with Mr Davis sharing his methodology on creative writing, helping students to write using visually descriptive language in order to bring stories to life. There was great focus in the class with students enthusiastically writing, steam coming off their pens!

The Snowball of Inspiration

When interviewed after the workshop, Mr Davis explained:

“I call it the snowball of inspiration. The real-life event is just the start of the snowball that the young writers can base on their own life experiences. It is then up to them to start rolling that snowball down the hill [adding fiction] until it has become a big snow-boulder of a story!”

The main book that Mr Davis discussed on in his workshops was ‘My Embarrassing Dad Has Gone Viral’. The story is written from the perspective of a young boy whose parents have recently divorced. The boy tries to get his parents back together by hatching a plan to make his dad, aka ‘The King of Cringe’, the next viral YouTube sensation with his embarrassing dad-antics.

During the afternoon workshop, Alex in Year 8 had taken Mr Davis’ advice on writing from a ‘Dear Diary’ perspective and was selected to have his story read out by the famous author. The classroom was full of heartfelt chuckles as classmates appreciated the visual and humorous angle of Alex’s story which involved his dad turning up to school to embarrass him with a pink mohawk haircut.

Year 8 students pose for a photo at the end of their workshop with Mr Davis.

Brooke in Year 8 also found the experience useful and said:

“I have really benefited from his [Mr Davis’] advice about writing a plan before beginning a story. The writing process feels more structured.”

Mr Newton, Teacher of English at Penrice, said:

“It has been a pleasure to invite Ben Davis in today. I have come across his writing before and I know that his stories are renowned for turning reluctant readers into bookworms. I was delighted when he accepted our invitation to travel to Cornwall and visit the school!”

The next stop on Mr Davis’ journey was Newquay Tretherras, a Cornwall Education Learning Trust partner school, where he attended on Thursday 23rd February.

Penrice Academy would like to formally thank Ben Davis for his time on Wednesday and for inspiring the next generation of successful authors.

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