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St. Cenydd Community School

St. Cenydd Community School

Aspire & Achieve

On Friday the 24th of May 2024 we went to Hay-on-Wye; it truly felt like a once in a lifetime experience to be there. We all had a breathtaking opportunity to listen to three authors give us a speech about their books and the story behind them. The three authors were Sarah Crossan, Ashley Hickson-Lovence and Frances Hardinge, and they were truly amazing. We heard that other groups went to see Phil Earle, AM Dasu and Anthony Horowitz.

We first went to see the author Sarah Crossan. She talked about her new book “Where the heart should be” which seemed very interesting. It is a mix of romance and the history of ‘The Great Famine’ in Ireland. She made a lot of jokes and even got other schools to sing. This was to show us that poetry is everywhere and part of everyday life.  After we went to her show, we had a small break, to stretch our legs and get something to eat.

The next author we went to see was Ashley-Hickenson Lovence.  He talked about his brand new book as well. His book interested my friends a lot.  ‘Wild East’ is written in verse and is based on true events of his friend being stabbed and how that impacted him. He read from his book but didn’t even look at the pages - he just knew the words!

The last author we got to see was Frances Hardinge. Her brand new book was a Fantasy book. This was different from the other authors as her book was a totally made-up world where people could curse each other from far away. 

They made each moment of the show really engaging and attention grabbing. But I think the part that made the speeches most special was how each author spoke with such confidence, and they made it very entertaining for every school watching because they were very engaged with the audience and asked us for a lot of our thoughts and feelings throughout to keep our attention. 

They also had a range of stalls that were extremely pleasing, you could purchase all sorts of merchandise for the Hay Festival. They also had some absolutely delicious food stalls. They had one big food court near one of the stages. My friends and I personally enjoyed the chips and crêpes, the customer service skills of the staff were some of the best I've ever seen. They were extremely polite and very helpful.

In conclusion to all of this I thoroughly enjoyed myself and everyone I know who went did as well. So I think that if there are any pupils considering going in the future I would 100% recommend going and not missing out on this experience. 

Demi & Nimmi, Year 9