That’s the headline I have *ahem* borrowed, from one of the children who attended the First News session this morning. It’s pretty great isn’t it!

Charlie, from the First News team trekked across London this morning, to deliver a fascinating session on the world of news. He talked about the ways in which the delivery of news has evolved from the Town Crier, to social media platforms, before asking the audience to match up headlines with images, emphasising the importance of both to draw in readers. The audience were completely engaged, firing questions at Charlie, all eager to learn more about media (adults included).

It was really interesting to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes, to get a paper printed each week. The huge list of possible roles was aspirational. I think that we may have some budding journalists amongst us. Charlie finished by inviting the audience to contact the news desk with ideas and articles, so who knows…perhaps one of our visitors will get published. In particular, they are looking for positive stories, to combat the doom and gloom. The #FNLoveWins Campaign is certainly worth exploring. What are you waiting for? Get writing!







This afternoon’s session was completely different. Enter Ruth Fitzgerald, who is a whirlwind of energy. Ruth’s Emily Sparkes series is the fruition of perseverance and talent combined. Ruth spoke about her childhood in Wales, desperately trying to avoid rugby, in order to write and create bizarre crafts. (Often involving loo rolls and pretend brides). Just when Ruth thought that no-one would understand her, the town opened a library. Glorious. This is where the audience were asked to sing an angelic ‘Ah-a-a’. As fellow readers, we all understood Ruth’s joy.

Ruth took a gamble and it paid off. She also took rejections on the chin and that paid off too! As she quite rightly told us, ‘Never confuse struggle with failure’. Absolutely. And read. Yes, read lots and lots and lots. After Ruth’s highly entertaining talk, Ruth answered questions from the audience and even gave us a sneaky peek into the book she is currently working on. I’m not telling though. You’ll just have to wait and see.







What a great start to what promises to be a wonderful week.

Here are some quotes from happy visitors:

‘Great session this morning Natasha! Thanks for organising. #buddingjournalistinthefamily #brentwoodliteraryfestival’

‘Opening session of @bwdlitfest with Charlie from First News #buddingjournalists’

‘The children found it v inspiring, thank-you.’