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Author Dave Cousins with pupils from St Leonards C of E

Author Dave Cousins with pupils from St Leonards C of E

Children’s author Dave Cousins brings his Crime Writing Tour to Hastings!

Children’s author Dave Cousins has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust and ALCS to bring his exciting Crime Writing Tour to St Leonard’s Church of England Primary Academy in Hastings, as he makes his way across the country reports Alex Wright.

Dave Cousins, author and illustrator (15 Days Without A HeadCharlie Merrick’s Misfits), gave Year Five students an insight into the world of creative crime writing by helping them plan a fictional robbery!

Dave Cousins with pupils

Dave Cousins with pupils

Dave took pupils through a series of fun and creative activities that gave them a flavour of what it is like to develop and write a story – from lively discussions about what the pupils wanted to steal and why, to pupils ‘casing the joint’ and drawing plans of how they were going to pull off the robbery. With ideas and enthusiasm overflowing, Dave then helped pupils get their stories down on paper.

Dave’s Crime Writing Tour celebrates the Ruth Rendell Award 2019. The Award was launched in 2016 by the National Literacy Trust and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) in honour of crime writer Ruth Rendell and is given to the author or writer who has made the biggest difference to literacy in the UK in the past year. The winner will be announced at an awards event held by ALCS on 3 December 2019.

Dave Cousins with pupils

Dave Cousins with pupils

Over the course of two weeks, Dave will be taking his Crime Writing Tour around the country, visiting primary schools in National Literacy Trust Hubs areas. Dave’s visit to St Leonard’s C of E Primary Academy was supported by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Hastings, which was launched in January this year to improve the literacy outcomes of children and young people in Hastings and promote a love of reading throughout the town.

Dave Cousins with pupils

Dave Cousins with pupils

Author Dave Cousins said: “I had a fantastic time meeting Year Five at St Leonard’s C of E Primary Academy. Thanks to all the staff and pupils for making me so welcome, and for the excellent effort everyone put into their writing – and robbery plans! The group was really engaged and I was impressed and inspired by some of the great ideas they had. I think Ruth would’ve been impressed too!”

Mrs Mally, Year Five Teacher, said: “We’d like to thank Dave for coming in to work with our pupils, it’s been a great way to explore the genre of crime writing with them. The class particularly enjoyed starting their stories, planning their robberies – all of it! Dave was engaging and shared his writing expertise brilliantly!”

Graeme Quinnell, Hastings Literacy Hub Manager, said: “When children get to meet writing role models, it can have a hugely positive impact on their enjoyment of writing, their writing skills, and how they view writing as a career choice. Dave certainly brought the writing process to life and inspired pupils to develop some truly exciting and gripping crime stories. The day perfectly captured the spirit of the Ruth Rendell Award, by celebrating the fantastic work that authors and writers are doing across the nation to boost children’s literacy.”

For more information on the Ruth Rendell Award visit:

For more information about the National Literacy Trust Hub in Hastings visit:

For more information on Dave Cousins visit:

Press release and images supplied by Alex Wright, Media & Communications Officer at the National Literacy Trust.
For any older children or adults reading this who have an interest in writing crime novels, please see: How to write a crime novel, a recent Bookchat post.


Posted 20:07 Thursday, Oct 3, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat

Also in: Hastings Bookchat

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