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Alan works in primary and secondary schools around the world. His sessions are usually writing workshops or a mixture of a talk about writing with readings from his work, followed by questions and answers. His main focus is on writing from real life experiences and interests – whatever the genre explored - and he believes passionately in the importance of writing as self-expression. His workshop activities and games introduce children to some of the devices and techniques that have worked for him as an author over the years. Over the past few years he has gained a particular reputation as a motivator of reluctant readers and writers – girls and boys. But he’s happy to work with any age or ability level. He also runs writing workshops and courses for adults who are interested in writing for children. (He is currently running a project on the link between oral and written storytelling in South Africa). He believes that the most important thing with any writing project is that it should be fun and inspirational for everyone involved.
Some feedback from Alan’s work with children in schools:
“I would like to extend to you our sincere thanks and gratitude for coming to visit us at the British International School, especially in such challenging times! Your assemblies and workshops were pitched perfectly for each year group from Foundation Stage to Year Six. We have had lots of positive feedback from parents and staff. You are a hard act to follow! We wish you well in all future endeavours and I very much look forward to working with you again.” Lorraine Stevens, Literacy Coordinator, British International School Cairo
“I would like to share with you the impact yesterday´s visit by Alan Durant had on my son Simon in grade 3C. Simon was struggling with his writing last semester. At one point before Christmas he was in tears over a writing assignment saying that ‘writing is my worst nightmare’.
Yesterday, after Alan Durant´s visit to his classroom, Simon started writing a fiction story. He wrote in school, after school waiting for his Swedish class to begin, in the car going home and at home late in the evening. He was so enthusiastic and happy, he even said ‘Maybe I can become an author when I grow up.’ Simon was so proud of himself. The inspiration and motivation my son got from meeting Alan Durant is invaluable.
Jeanette Runefeldt, mother of a child at GEMS Academy, Abu Dhabi
“Dear Alan Durant, We were happy you came to see us. You made us laugh. We liked listening to your poems. It was fun when you waved your arms about and spoke loudly. We thought it was strange to smell a book, but we might try it for ourselves.” Owen Oddy (8) and James Hoy (9) of Winhills Primary School, Cambridge, UK