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Author visit: Matt Dickinson

Gimnazija Vič Book Club was thrilled to welcome the author and film-maker Matt Dickinson who came to our school to give a presentation about his many adventures.

In preparation for this visit, members of the book club took the time to read his novel “The Everest Files” which was made available through the English department of our school library. This book proved a very popular choice with a great deal of demand for a chance to enjoy the story of an Everest adventure.

Students from our own school were given the chance to attend this presentation and we extended the invitation to some local primary school book clubs who have worked with us on other book-related projects. It was great to have pupils and mentors from Bičevje, Dobrova, and Kolezija primary schools with us for this special occasion.

To begin the event, students from our book club and schools promotions group spoke about Slovenia and Ljubljana as a way of welcoming our international visitors. With Matt’s area of expertise in mind, the students added some information about Slovenia’s mountains and most famous mountaineers.

For his main part of the presentation, Matt gave a talk which covered his expeditions to locations like Mount Everest as well as dealing with his life as an author. He gave an exciting account of a journey up the world’s highest mountain, telling the audience what it was really like to go through such an experience as well as giving lots of information about working as a film-maker in such difficult conditions.

Through the presentation and for some time towards the end, Matt was happy to answer questions from members of the audience. This was important to the students who attended as they got to find out more about the different topics in which they were most personally interested. Matt covered a wide range issues from dealing with a young writer who asked for hints about writing novels right through to giving advice to a student from our school who has plans to scale Everest himself!

We were joined for the presentation by the award-winning author Ruth Eastham who has established herself as a great friend of the Gimnazija Vič Book Club since her visit to our school for World Book Night 2015. She was happy to sign some of the new copies of her books which we have in our library and chat to students about her work.

At the end of the event, prizes were awarded for a creativity competition which had taken place in with the Mount Everest theme in mind. Students had been asked to prepare a short story, poem, photograph, or piece of art based on the general theme of “Adventure”. The standard of work was very high with the judges ending up selecting four short stories to win prizes. The writers of these stories were all awarded with a signed copy of “The Everest Files” and everyone in the audience was given a booklet with all the entries which made the shortlist.

Everyone had the chance to get their books autographed and have photos taken before leaving having learned a lot about Everest and what people can achieve through hard work and determination. We certainly hope there will be the chance for many other such events in the future.

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