We were delighted to welcome another author into Northgate recently, with the visit of Julia Edwards. Mrs Gill, Head Librarian, tells us a bit more about the visit.

Historical author Julia Edwards gave a detailed step by step process of creating a well-rounded character in her creative writing workshops with selected Year 7 and Year 8 students before giving an insightful and engaging talk to the whole of Year 8. Her talk engaged students from the start with disgusting descriptions of toilet conditions throughout the ages, before focussing on her novel set amidst the Slave Trade. Students were given an insight into Julia’s extensive research on this, her favourite novel, with detailed facts and information about how slaves were kidnapped, transported, sold and treated by their ‘masters’. It was a deeply thought-provoking talk ending with the recent events surrounding Edward Colston’s toppled statue and his controversial legacy in his hometown of Bristol.’

Daisy and Jemima, Year 8 attended one of the workshops and give us their take on the afternoon session: ‘During Period 4 we went to the hall to meet a historical author, Julia Edwards. She talked to us about seven of her books which were written in chronological order. All her books are located in England. She based her talk mainly on her favourite and hardest book to write, Slaves for the Isabella.’

‘Julia talked about the conditions of the ship, along with diagrams and a description of them. Her books are about what it was like in history, including an amazing feel of life back then! She also talked a bit about being an author and how the first thing you write is always a draft but you can always come back to edit it and improve your work. She even said her favourite thing to do is edit her work! She let us ask questions about her and her books too.

Her visit was very inspirational and interesting!’


Kyra, Year 8, also attended the workshop and has previously bought all of Julia’s books. She added, ‘Julia also talked about the racial inequalities and treatment of black and African people. After researching the information, Julia found out that the slave owners were paid compensation for their “loss” and it was put into the surrounding buildings, like the Colston Girls School. She supports protests such as the Colston statue protest.’

A big thank you to Julia for giving such an insightful talk and workshops. We can’t wait to hear who the next visiting author might be – Northgate students really have been spoilt this term!