Booker prize initiative links to local schools

Stephen Kelman (photo credit Johnathan Ring)Booker-listed author Stephen Kelman came to the University recently to talk to students, pupils and teachers about his acclaimed novel, Pigeon English.

It is the first year that the University of Sheffield has been chosen to take part in the Booker Prize Foundation’s Universities Initiative. The first phase involved all first-year students at the University, regardless of their course of study, being encouraged to read Booker listed novels and engage in related activities. The University then chose to extend the initiative to schools and colleges offering free books, leading reading groups, providing teaching notes and running an essay competition.

Currently ten schools are involved in the initiative: All Saints Catholic High, Brinsworth, Fir Vale, Forge Valley, Meadowhead, Silverdale, Sir Thomas Wharton, Stocksbridge High, Tapton, and Yewlands.

The school writing contest will be judged by Dr Paula Morris, the University of Sheffield’s Writer in Residence, as well as other colleagues in English.

Pigeon English book Cover"Pigeon English is perfect for teen readers," says Morris. "I've visited several schools so far and I'm impressed with their enthusiasm about the book, and about reading and creative writing in general."

The prizes will include a Kindle for the best story. The school with the best overall submissions will receive a creative writing class from Dr Morris.

For more information about Outreach activities in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities contact Kate Smith, Outreach Activities Officer, by email on