Philip Pullman, The Oxford Literary Festival

‘Many times I saw how liberating it is for young people to be allowed and encouraged and enabled to write about the things that really matter to them. To write not to get a grade, or pass an exam, or to help their school tick some silly little box, but simply because writing is the most personal, the most truthful and the most intellectually and emotionally involving activity you can imagine. I saw boys and girls making discoveries about themselves, about their lives and their friendships, their families, about their own abilities, that were really life changing. They learned a respect for craftsmanship, a respect for themselves and their own histories that would have hardly been possible otherwise. First Story is about precisely that.’

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