Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Taking the Write Course; A-LEVEL STUDENTS INSPIRED AFTER MEETING BBC PLAYWRIGHT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Taking the Write Course; A-LEVEL STUDENTS INSPIRED AFTER MEETING BBC PLAYWRIGHT

Article excerpt

Byline: NICOLA JUNCAR

STUDENTS at a Tyneside school have pushed their study skills to the limit to complete Open University courses on top of completing their AS and A-levels.

Four students at Newcastle Church High School, in Jesmond, have found time to complete OU creative writing qualifications. To celebrate their achievements, award-winning BBC playwright Fiona Evans dropped in to meet the girls and answer their questions about starting a professional writing career.

Fiona is currently working on a new play, The Price of Everything, for The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and in turn had some questions to ask the students.

Upper sixth students, Harriet Johnston, from Gosforth, and Kate Thompson, from Dinnington, were amongst those lucky enough to meet Fiona and hear how she began her incredibly successful writing career.

Fiona has written for hit TV shows such as Casualty and EastEnders, as well as for Newcastle Live Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival and London's Royal Court Theatre.

The writing qualifications are extremely fitting as Harriet hopes to go on to study English Literature at Glasgow University and Kate is also hoping to study English Literature, having accepted a place at Sheffield.

The girls began their OU study in 2009 with Level 1 Start Writing Fiction, which saw them learn about the different styles of writing as well as submitting pieces of their own fiction.

Their success inspired the girls to continue their OU qualifications this academic year.

Kate completed "Start Writing Plays" and achieved a distinction with a highly impressive 85% pass rate.

She said: "Although it has been tough balancing my A-level study with my OU work, I've really enjoyed learning more specialist information about playwriting.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to meet Fiona and ask her how she began her career as a playwright. All of us who discussed our writing with her found it extremely motivating."

Harriet, who has also passed her "Shakespeare: An Introduction" course, said: "It has been great learning more in-depth information about Shakespeare's work. …

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