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Children’s Author Brings Love Of Story To Edinburgh

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Former actress and storyteller turned children’s author Vivian French has more than 200 books under her belt, including the hugely successful Tiara Club and Tales From the Five Kingdoms series. Now, she’s drawing on her own problems at school to bring story-writing to children, who like her, struggle to find their niche.

Once believing she wasn’t good at anything, French has gone from an “I can’t attitude” to an “I can” attitude and wants to help children facing a similar struggle to do the same. In the past, she’s held frequent workshops with adults and children and mentored new writers and illustrators. Now, as a guest selector for the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s RBS Children’s Programme this summer, she’s made it her mission to prioritize children who struggle with reading and writing. Included in the programme is a discussion called “The Gift of Dyslexia” aimed at children who often have brilliant imaginations but find putting them down on paper incredibly hard and daunting work.

Her book festival selections encourage these children to help create stories using various means, employing fellow authors and artists to help her tease out story ideas from the audience as well as create music and lyrics on the spot. The goal is to demonstrate how they can be a part of that creative process with the hopes it will help break down some of the barriers they currently feel exist which discourage and prevent them from doing that.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs August 11 through 27 in Charlotte Square and French’s selections will run throughout.

For an interview with Vivian French, click here:

For more on the Edinburgh International Book Festival, click here:

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignal, Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at Connect With Bryan On Google+

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