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Sally Green

Sally Green

Meet the Author

Why do you think dystopian/fantasy series are so popular with young readers at the moment?

These stories mix heroic characters and exciting plot with moral issues about society and how we treat each other. There’s usually a bit of a love story in there too, so they have a lot to offer if they’re done well. The dystopian theme, like the vampire theme before, is reaching saturation point and it’s becoming harder for each writer to bring something unique to the genre. However, I still see so much opportunity to say more, for example in the case of Half Bad I’ve created a world of witches not wizards, the male protagonist is bisexual and I try to be unflinching and ‘realistic’ in showing the brutality of this world (my pet hate is the glossing over of violence in YA). Most of all I’ve tried to highlight the complexity of the world – things aren’t simply black or white.

Do you think there are enough positive, non-stereotypical gay characters in children’s and YA fiction?

No. I’d like to see more lgbt+ protagonists where the story isn’t a coming out story or isn’t about some issue to do with being gay/lesbian. I love Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle, which has a bisexual lead, and David Levithan’s novels are wonderful for showing truly three dimensional, non-straight characters. However, there’s still so much scope for more stories with lgbt+ characters, which is really exciting as I’m sure these will be written.

What are the benefits of creative writing for teenagers?

There are two main parts to the creative writing process – writing and editing. In the writing bit you develop empathy with characters different to yourself, confidence in your views and how to express them, and yes, you can learn to be more creative. Possibly even more important, and often completely overlooked in schools, is the editing process. This involves receiving feedback and working on a piece for days or weeks to improve it (in the case of a novel this process lasts months). Teenagers would benefit too from being editors - giving feedback is a great way to learn about writing as to do it well means analysing what is right and wrong with a manuscript and finding a way to communicate that in a supportive way. That is where you really learn about empathy!

Should schools make more space in the curriculum for it?

It would be great if that were possible.

Books by Sally Green

Articles by Sally Green

Resources by Sally Green