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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2017 > THE STYLE & TECHNIQUE OF michael morpurgo

THE STYLE & TECHNIQUE OF michael morpurgo

Tony Rossiter looks at ‘a national treasure of a children’s author’

‘The most solid, classical of children’s authors,’ is how Anthony Horowitz has described him, with ‘books… [that] have a strong social conscience and an honesty that makes them universal.’ One of our best-loved children’s authors, Michael Morpurgo has written more than 130 books. I’ll concentrate in this article on just three of them.

Beginnings

As a four-year-old he loved listening to his mother reading to him. He believes that the stories and poems she read then she sowed the seed that gave him a love for the music of words. But unlike most well-known writers, he did not enjoy either reading or writing when he was a child. Any love of reading was wiped out when he went to prep school, where pupils, forced to stand up to read, were ‘taught by fear’. His stepfather gave him a copy of Oliver Twist, but he preferred to read comics and the books of Enid Blyton. The first book he read and enjoyed was Treasure Island. Interest in literature was reawakened at university:

‘I remember at King’s College my old professor sitting on a desk in a dusty room and reading us Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He read it as if he loved it. And a little echo came into my head because the last person who had read to me like that was mother.’

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WIN!! More than £500,000 of writing prizes in your free Competition Supplement, with information about hundreds of writing competitions for you to enter in 2017 Find out how you can apply the winning formula to your writing: • How to win writing competitions • Short story structure made simple • Reach 'The End' of your novel Also in this issue, read our star interview with bestselling 'Me Before You' author Jojo Moyes on writing romance the modern way, and find out if crowdfunding might be the smart new way to publish your book. • Writers News is 20 packed pages of news you can use, including 30 paying markets and 51 opportunities to get your writing into print. asasaasasasass

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