On Monday 30th April, we welcomed award-winning author, Sally Gardner for a talk about her life as a writer. Her story is one of success but also of great determination to succeed.
Sally was diagnosed with dyslexia and only learnt to read at the age of 14. However, despite being bullied, she gained 5 O-Levels (similar to today's GCSEs) and went on to attend art college at the age of sixteen. At school she had always felt the need to be the class clown or do outrageous things to fit in but at college she was free at last.
After finishing her education, she went on to be a stage and costumes designer. Then, she started illustrating young children's books and soon she was writing them too! She says that she is so grateful to her editor who especially helps dyslexic writers and who encouraged her to write books for older children too.
Her books have won many awards, including I, Coriander which beat Philip Pullman to the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award. They have been published worldwide in many different languages and delighted millions of children with their intriguing plots and amazing characters.
Sally believes that dyslexia is a gift and not a burden. Though it took her awhile, she finally found how to cope and deal with it. She has not let dyslexia get in the way of her writing even though she can't spell Tuesday! She says that we should believe we can do anything and we shouldn't let anything hold us back from achieving our goals.
Look out for Sally's new books, Maggot Moon and The Double Shadow. Arriving on bookshelves soon!
Article: Margaret Peng, Yr 9