Bolton School Senior Boys

Adventurous Author Shares Experiences

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Author, adventurer and film-maker Matt Dickinson visited the Boys’ Division at Bolton School to speak to pupils about his books, the writing process and his experiences climbing Mount Everest.

Matt spent the morning speaking to Year 7 boys both in the Great Hall and simultaneously over Zoom. He talked to them about the books he has written, including ‘The Everest Files’ and ‘Lie Kill Walk Away’, the ways in which he develops characters, and how the editing and drafting process works.

In addition, he described some of the mountaineering adventures he has taken: he said that climbing a mountain is ‘the ultimate test of resilience, because things will turn against you.’ He showed pictures and slides from his Everest expeditions, which really captured the boys’ attention. He asked the audience in the Hall for suggestions about the kinds of challenges they might face in climbing Everest or similar peaks, and talked about their responses: exhaustion, cold-related injuries, avalanches, and giving up. Relating it back to the boys’ experiences in sport and clubs, he talked about the importance of being able to depend on the rest of the team. In addition, he discussed the impacts of large-scale expeditions on the mountains and for indigenous populations, for example visitors leaving litter behind, and about climate change.

Matt also talked about some of the documentaries he has worked on and the experience of making them.

At lunchtime, pupils in Book Club were excited to spend some time chatting with Matt while he signed books in the Lower School Library. The boys asked him some really interesting questions about being an author, what inspires him to write, and about his books and characters.

Matt also presented a book to the day’s Christmas Advent Reading Calendar winner! Each school day in December, the School Library and English Department have been sharing a reading recommendation with boys to inspire holiday reading, and gifting a copy of the recommended book to a pupil. Matt presented a copy of ‘EverDark’ by Abi Elphinstone to Yasir in Year 7, who is the top borrower in Year 7 and uses the library almost every day!

In the afternoon, Matt continued the hybrid in-person and Zoom talks presented from the Great Hall, with pupils in Year 8 and Year 10.

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