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Back 30.03.23

World Famous Visiting Author, Steward Foster


The author Stewart Foster visited College on Wednesday March 29th, 2023, to speak to Remove and Lower Four students about his writing process. ‘Checkmates’ is a popular class reader in Form III in Melrose and was familiar to the students. His other books are aimed at older readers, his recent book ‘Can you feel the noise?’ deals with a very personal issue of hearing impairment as Stewart Foster was diagnosed with this condition when he was five years old. He also talked about the process of writing and editing with OCD and ADHD as his best friend and editor have supported each other over the years as they live with these conditions. He gives copies of his books to his grown-up children, whether they want them or not, hisdaughter has only read the parts of ‘Can you feel the noise?’ where the character is based on her.


Removes and Lower Four asked pertinent and engaging questions, especially Lottie Colmer and Amelie Little.

Stewart gave this advice to budding authors who may or may not have neurodiverse tendencies-

  • Do not read back what you have written, otherwise you will delete it.
  • Set yourself a time limit, 20 mins to write and stop.
  • Even if you are at an exciting point, stop after your time limit, it will make you want to write more the next day.
  • Set up a goal or a reward system, (not necessarily chocolate), after you complete your 20 minutes.
  • Do not be discouraged by an editor’s comments, it is their job to make the book better.
  • Approach reading a book as you would a pizza, too much to eat in one piece, read a few pages at a time, cut it into small slices and it is soon finished.


He also talked about his future publications including a trilogy and a stand-alone novel and his hope to be able to branch out into fiction for older teenage readers of 15-16yrs in young adult fiction if his publishers approve. Stewart signed the library copies of his books and showed copies of his books in different languages including a Chinese edition of Bubble Boy.


Thank you to the staff who supported this event and for the use of the Leaf Centre to host it and to the Guille-Allès school’s library team for offering us this event.

Mrs V Thompson




Listen to Stewart talking on the BBC Radio Podcast - 18 minutes into the programme Lizzie Roper - 25/03/2023 - BBC Sounds