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News story

In conversation with Patrice Lawrence

12 Dec 2018


The latest instalment in our podcast celebrating our 25th anniversary is now live!

In this series, our team of National Literacy Trust interviewers chat to well-known authors and literary figures about all things books, reading and literacy. For this episode, our Young Writers Programme Manager Fay sat down with author of young adult novels, Patrice Lawrence.

Patrice’s debut novel, Orangeboy, won the Waterstone’s Book Prize for Older Readers and the YA Book Prize, and her second novel, Indigo Donut, won the Crime Fest Best Crime Fiction for Young Adults and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize. Her third novel is publishing in summer 2019. Her new book, Snap, is on the book list for this year’s World Book Day.

Patrice and Fay spoke about why diversity in children’s publishing is so important, the inspiration behind characters in Orangeboy and Indigo Donut and how she got started on her careers as an author. Patrice also shared her top tips and suggestions for budding young writers.

On encouraging children to write:

“[I love] being able to say to young people: look, I’m from a working class background, I was the first generation of my family born in the UK and I never saw myself in books, I never saw writers like me writing books, […] but actually I got to be a writer. So to encourage young people I say you’re not reflected the current curriculum, the way I wasn’t reflected in mine. That’s not to say the work you study isn’t good, it’s fantastic, it’s great storywriting, but actually you’ve got fantastic voices as well and you could write your stories, your way.”

You can listen to the interview with Patrice by pressing play below, or you can also listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

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