Writer has words with a star author

First published in News

A YOUNG writer from Oxford had the thrill of a lifetime when she got to recite poetry with world-famous children’s author Philip Pullman.

Oxford Spires Academy pupil Rukiya Khatun was at a tea party featuring the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House when she spotted her chance to talk to the creator of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Rukiya, 16, from Rose Hill, had been invited to the event, which celebrated the fifth anniversary of writing charity First Story, on Tuesday, along with headteacher Sue Croft.

Rukiya said: “It was just amazing. We talked to the Duchess of Cornwall and she asked about what I am doing, and how First Story has helped me.

“I actually got talking with Philip Pullman and we decided to recite some poetry to each other.

“It was quite a small, intimate group so I could speak to everyone. It was very nice to meet various different people and talk about how First Story had helped them in different areas.”

The duchess is patron of First Story, which arranges for writers to run creative-writing workshops at schools where more than half the children are considered to be deprived or where GCSE results fall into the lowest third nationally.

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