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‘What if I hadn’t bought the hat?’

Added 6 years ago

Report by Carlie Englefield - Year 9

Meg Rosoff is a multi-award-winning author who is famously recognised for her unique focus on characters’ voices when writing. This week, some Richard Lander students had the pleasure and opportunity to learn about Meg’s incredible life journey, her ideas and how she became a writer. This culminated in an inspiring talk at Truro School on Wednesday 4th February and a workshop the following day.

During ‘An Evening with Meg Rosoff’ students were able to find out more about the Carnegie Medal winning author and how her life experiences have influenced her when writing novels. Just in Case, Meg Rosoff’s second novel, was inspired by her thoughts about fate, which was highlighted in her talk when she spoke about a peculiar event in her life, before she moved to live in London. Whilst shopping in a department store Meg was drawn to a collection of hats. After trying on one particular hat, she was complimented by people nearby, including a woman who told her that if she bought it, it would ‘change her life’. Intrigued, Meg bought the hat and wore it to a friend’s party in London, where she met a man who noticed the hat and then began talking to her. This man later became her husband and father to their daughter. This experience later left Meg captivated by the thought of fate and what would’ve happened if she hadn’t bought the hat. The idea of fate inspired her to write ‘Just in Case’, an exceptional story with a fascinating character, David (Justin) Case and an intriguing storyline. ‘Just in Case’ became another one of Meg’s most successful novels, winning the 2007 Carnegie Medal. 

Meg described her writing process as firstly waiting for ideas to come to her, then creating and developing these ideas/characters, which leaves the plot to follow. These characters and ideas sometimes come unexpectedly and are just sudden thoughts in her mind. She will continually write and draft, leaving the story to go into its own direction as she continues. The outcome is even sometimes not what she expects herself. 

Some Richard Lander and Penair School students had the opportunity to take part in an inspiring workshop led by Meg Rosoff. The workshop with Meg included her reflecting her writing focus of thinking about characters and their voices. She asked various questions (some very obscure and peculiar) and gave students the opportunity to think about their own voice as a character, which led to group discussions and students finding out new ways of thinking.

Meg Rosoff, throughout this experience, inspired students with her witty personality and also by teaching us that you don’t always need a plot for a story, you can create something just as captivating through interesting characters and by letting writing take you places you never imagined. 

Richard Lander School