Children’s author shares top story writing tips with Chilton pupils

Children’s author Zoe Antoniades at Chilton

Children’s author Zoe Antoniades has passed on some of her top story writing tips to pupils at Chilton Primary School in Ramsgate.

During her visit Zoe encouraged pupils to explore their writing skills and construct a new adventure using her story writing process.

Working with Year 3 and Year 4 classes, the writer explained how she worked on a range of ideas, developing them around characters and situations to produce the books that have won young fans around the country.

Zoe’s most recent book is the last adventure about a girl and her twin brother who has ADHD. They always seem to be in double trouble. In Cally and Jimmy – Twintastic, the pair are up to more mischief and their double trouble lands them in all sorts of scrapes – thankfully their Greek granny is usually on hand to help, or add to the mayhem.

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During an assembly session with both year groups Zoe discussed her methods of writing and also read extracts from some of her books to illustrate her top tips. This was followed by workshops with Year 4 classes.

And with her stories having twins at the centre of their plots, Zoe was delighted to meet sets of twins from Chilton’s Year 3 and 4 groups.

Head of School Kate Law said: “Zoe was so engaging and the children found her and her stories so relatable. After school she also did a book signing which was really well received.

“Her visit was clearly inspiring for our pupils and they loved finding out first hand from an author just what sort of processes she goes through to weave her stories onto the page.

“Literacy is a vital cornerstone of learning and engaging with an author like Zoe adds yet another dimension to their education – and she was great fun to be with too.”

The visit was arranged through the Margate Bookie literature festival and the Moon Lane book shop in Ramsgate – although the 2021 festival was rescheduled to 2022 due to the pandemic, there was still the opportunity to deliver author events in schools.

About Zoe Antoniades: Born in West London of Greek Cypriot parents, she graduated from the University of Hull with a degree in English and Drama and trained as a teacher at the Institute of Education.

She has taught maths, English and the arts and worked on a wide range of creative projects in partnership with the Southbank Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Young Vic and the Polka Theatre.

Zoe also writes collaboratively with young people and has published four anthologies of short stories. Her memoir, Tea and Baklavas, won the Winchester Writers’ Festival Memoir Prize.

Cally and Jimmy – Twintastic is illustrated by Katie Kear and is published by Andersen Press, ISBN: 9781839130168

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