AN historical novelist has visited a prison near Uttoxeter to promote a scheme to get less confident readers back into the books.
Lindsay Davis, author of The Silver Pigs and The Accusers, visited Dovegate Prison, in Marchington, as part of a partnership between the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education (NIACE) and Quick Reads.
The well-known author held workshops for three groups on the day with members each having the chance to read her Quick Read book A Cruel Fate.
Quick Reads are bite-sized books specially written by bestselling writers and celebrities, using short sentences and clear language.
As well as talking about her life as a writer, she also read extracts from her book, signed copies and answered questions from those who were keen to know about writing skills.
Ms Davis also spoke about how she started writing and what had inspired her to do so.
Tricia Odell, programme manager at NIACE, said: “Her visit was a huge success and it is clear that all the learners are now even more motivated to put their thoughts on paper and complete their stories and poems.”
The aim of the Quick Reads project in prisons is to engage offenders in literacy learning in order to develop their writing and interest in reading for pleasure.
NIACE is working with three prisons and they each have recruited around 10 participants and have set up a creative writing group.
The workshops are led by an expert literacy teacher who is helping the participants develop their confidence and skills in writing.
Each of the workshops is working towards producing a collection of stories, poems and even song lyrics that will be edited and published as a free e-book on the NIACE website.
Ms Odell added: “We know that one in six adults have difficulty with everyday reading and writing, so NIACE’s literacy projects aim to help adults develop their skills and apply them across a range of settings in life. We believe reading for pleasure is a lifelong pursuit. It is for everyone, but can be important for prisoners to help them re-build their lives.”