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When dreams come true

On Friday 6 July, Rebecca from our Southway Thursday after school club met the illustrator and author Nick Sharratt, fulfilling a dream that began many years ago.

Rebecca joined Inkpots when she was in Year 3. As an avid reader, she was a huge fan of Jacqueline Wilson’s books and read each one the moment it was published. Rebecca’s also a keen illustrator, so when we found an online step-by-step guide to drawing Tracy Beaker by Nick, she was absolutely thrilled.

Rebecca is a diligent and determined young person and for some time, she worked away at her drawings, using Nick’s illustrations for inspiration.

One of the activities we regularly do at Inkpots is to contact favourite authors and artists and last year when we did this, Rebecca chose to write to Nick and via a beautifully illustrated letter, invited him to Inkpots.

And Nick agreed!

To say that Nick is a busy man, is an understatement. Not only is he astonishingly busy illustrating Jacqueline Wilson’s books, he’s also an author in his own right with The Shark in the Park series among others. This means that Nick travels the country attending book festivals and running workshops too, so his diary is absolutely packed.

But as Rebecca is in Year 6 now, she’s leaving the Southway group soon and Nick promised to visit before she left. With a lot of support from Mr Newbold and the school office, we were able to arrange for a visit on 6 July when Nick had a small window of opportunity for a visit.

It happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, but we filled a room at Southway with bags of energy despite the heat, as many of the Inkpots joined Rebecca in welcoming Nick.

Not only did Nick give up his time, he also ran a masterclass guiding the children through step by step drawings of Tracy Beaker and the dad from Shark in the Park. He also answered questions and signed books and postcards; one of the best bits though was that Nick asked the Inkpots ideas for a new book – and they really enjoyed coming up with  creative suggestions.

Thank you to Nick for sparing your time – especially in the heat and being so kind and generous too. Rebecca will be leaving Inkpots at Southway with many memories, but this visit must be the absolute highlight.

Thanks also to Mr Newbold, Headteacher at Southway Junior School, Burgess Hill and the school office staff, especially Mrs Worth.

Author visits always make a huge difference to a child’s experience of reading and creativity. If you’d like to read more, please have a look at our blog on the subject:

If you would like to know more about Nick’s books, please visit his website:




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