By Jemima Corcoran, 6.1
Aspiring writers and journalists in Sixth Form and Block 5 were given the opportunity to hear from Teddy James, author and father of Old Bedalian Emilia Barnsdale-Ward, last Friday as part of our Creative Writing course for the Sixth Form Enrichment programme.
With a clear enthusiasm for history, Teddy spoke to us about his new book Relique of the Sunken Day. His first published novel, it centres around the nuclear testing carried out by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and the long-term effects this had on those directly involved. Although the historical accuracy of his fiction is fascinating in itself, Teddy has also managed to intertwine a motif of descriptive imagery that takes inspiration from the great English poets – particularly Coleridge – as well as exploring the ethical and moral dilemmas surrounding communism, authority and patriotism.
Overall, our session with Teddy proved incredibly useful and inspiring, as we learnt all about the world of writing, how to find a publisher, and what can provide us with inspiration – which, for Teddy, ranges from the work of other authors (such as Evelyn Waugh) to real-life scenarios and historical events. Most apparent, however, was his strong passion for reading, and his advice to us about the importance of literature, and how our imagination and creativity can develop by passing our time engrossed in books.
A huge thank you to Teddy James for taking the time to answer our questions, offer professional advice and inspire us all, and to Head of English David Anson for arranging this amazing opportunity that will benefit many of us in our future writing endeavours.