Students at Denbigh High School were treated to a series of creative writing workshops led by an award-winning playwright as a reward for the impressive work they had submitted into a competition.

The group of 30 students from years 8, 9 and 10 had taken part in the Quirky Quilling competition, as part of the Harry Potter themed events organised in the summer term by Denbighshire County Council’s Education and Children’s Services’ Curriculum Enrichment team. The events were held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of JK Rowling’s debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Entries for the creative writing task from Denbigh High students were judged to be of a very high quality, and Erin Davies, aged 14, was highly commended for her story. As a result, the students won the opportunity to work with a professional writer.

Alan Harris, a critically acclaimed Welsh playwright, has written numerous works and won the Playwriting Judges’ Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for his play How My Light Is Spent. He has also written several plays for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3 and is part of the BBC Drama Room scheme for 2017.

Mr Harris worked with the students to look at the fundamentals of writing, discussing with them what makes a good story, where they might get inspiration from and how to build and develop a character.

Using the knowledge they had gained, the students put pen to paper to write up short stories and, at the end of the session, they shared extracts from their work with Alan and each other.

Christine Suarez, curriculum leader modern foreign languages and skills co-ordinator,at Denbigh High School, said: “The students took an active part in the workshop showing a real interest in Alan’s work and building on his ideas in order to create their own characters. They had a sense of humour coupled with a positive and enthusiastic approach which resulted in wonderful characters being born.

“This has been an excellent opportunity for these students to gain invaluable skills and techniques from an esteemed writer.

“I would like to thank Alan for his time, it has been a very successful day.”