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Archway School

Carnegie Medal Review  

     Where do I start? This year the Carnegie Medal was a Cheltenham Literature Festival award that we took place in. The books that have previously won came back to fight for the winner of all winners.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival was like a patchwork quilt of literature. We arrived on a coach and walked into the gates; I felt a breeze of excitement! There was so much to see.

     We were first ushered into a small, pointy, white tent. We had no idea what to expect; we took our seats and had a briefing. And, when we least expected it, an author came out, bright and bubbly, ready to share her writing experience! I was astonished. I love reading and to hear her inspiring story made me feel like I could connect to what she was saying, and I am sure many more people could too.

     After the speech, we had lunch and the author that had talked to us was signing books. We had a talk with her and I realised that she didn’t set out to be a writer; she had other jobs before her writing career.

     After we visited the author, we had a look round Waterstones bookshop and there were some amazing books, and – even better – signed by the author.

     Finally, we made our way down to the town hall to debate. The town hall was stunning and filled with so much history and beautiful designs. We were all very nervous as it was our first time; we took our seats and our main debater, Eden, took to the stage! I was shaking but I smiled and made eye contact with her.

     All of a sudden, Archway School was called out – this was it, our moment to shine! Eden read the speech out with confidence and passion and made us all proud. The other contestants were so good and their books were very well known; it was a tough competition. Once all the contestants had finished they were then asked several different questions, for example ‘how is the setting presented?’ and ‘are the characters different?’. These are just a few of the questions that they used, there were so many more! It finally came to the voting time; we were hoping that, with all the students we bought with us, we would get a great vote but, unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to vote and we ended up only getting one vote. We were really disappointed that we didn’t get many votes, but we realised we were so proud of what we have achieved and to get that far was such a result. Eden got choose a book of her choice from the Waterstones bookshop.

     The Cheltenham Literature Festival was an amazing experience and I would definitely go again. It was an unforgettable time; it was so much more than just a school trip; it looked amazing and was amazing!

 (Minnie, Year 8)