Dave Rudden Author Visit | Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 25th February 2019

Knights of the Borrowed Dark

On Wednesday, February 6th, award-winning author Dave Rudden returned to Clongowes to talk to the boys in Elements about his very popular novel, ‘Knights of the Borrowed Dark’ after which he ran a workshop to help them do some writing of their own. College Librarian, Ms Jane O’Loughlin takes up the tale (so to speak)…

When Dave Rudden last visited Clongowes in early 2017, he was already establishing himself as a new light in Young Adult  writing, having achieved The Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year 2016: Senior at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards, The Great Reads Award 2016: Most Read Award (Junior) and being selected as the novel for the 2017 Dublin UNESCO Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.

Dave has since completed his trilogy Knights of the Borrowed Dark (film rights have been bought by Ideate Media) and the first novel has been listed by the Department of Education as a suggested reading choice for First Years Junior Cert English 2018 – 2023. More recently he has written a book of  Doctor Who short stories for the BBC, entitled Twelve Angels Weeping.

Rudden made an impact on his previous visit and in a similar way his booming voice, presence, self deprecation, funny story-telling and dramatic reading of his novel Knights of the Borrowed Dark endeared him again to a new audience, all from Elements.  A number of them were inspired to write reports… a result! Positive feedback from students, endeavouring to develop their own writing skills and have work published. One couldn’t ask for more from an author’s visit!

Sam Dowling:           Dave Rudden is the hilarious and enthusiastic author of Knights of the Borrowed Dark, which our class is reading at the moment. He truly inspired all of our year to write by giving us great tips including my favourite: ‘Writing doesn’t just come from one idea’. He taught us that there is no special ability that you need to write; you don’t need any crazy stories or scary experiences.

After his presentation, some of us got to go to a writing workshop, where Dave told us the four important parts of story writing. First, you introduce the characters and highlight their personalities before the complication – when something crazy happens that affects your main character’s life. The climax should leave you on the edge of your seat with your heart pounding, wondering what’s going to happen next before the resolution at the end of the book – when the ‘dust settles’.

Matthew Kelly:         Dave Rudden is a remarkable author with a passion for writing as we discovered when he visited to talk to us about why he writes and to help us improve our own writing, whether it is a two page essay or a 300 page novel.The energy in the room was fantastic with his booming voice and powerful, compelling presence, while his unusual and hilarious sense of humour made the presentation interesting and relaxing.

Dave provided a workshop for those of us interested in writing and literature. He told how paragraphs and proofreading are essential before explaining the importance of introduction, complication, climax and conclusion. The point that stood out for me was that a story is not based around one big idea but it is loads of little ideas together.Dave Rudden’s visit was certainly a change in our average daily school routine but of immense value particularly for students with a love for writing, like myself.

Matthew Ruddy:       On Wednesday February, 6th, visiting author, Dave Rudden captured the minds of 52, thirteen year olds which was nothing short of incredible. He delivered a very enthusiastic, encouraging and inspirational presentation that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Although writing may be difficult, Dave assured us that everyone can do it if they try. He referred to writing as a muscle that must be flexed and used frequently in order to obtain the ability to use it to a high standard.

Dave also talked to us about the hard time he had getting an agent, and how 25 rejected him before the 26thfinally agreed. After the presentation on his debut novel ‘The Knights Of The Borrowed Dark’, he gave a writing workshop, where he talked about knowing what you’re writing and keeping with the formula: introduction, complication, climax and resolution. For me the stand out moment was when he inspired us all with one simple line – that ‘ideas come from everywhere’.


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