50 stalls | 2 outdoor stages | Live Bands | Balsall’s Got the Voice Finals (winner gets a recording contract) | bouncy slides and rides | Arena Displays | Dog Display | Dog Show | Children’s Go-Karts | Fun Run | Mini Fun Runs | Pop-Up Diners | Licensed Premises | Ice Cream | Children’s and Toddlers Entertainment | — Saturday 20th September (The Lant)
17 year old ex-Heart of England student Jessica Lee has been accepted for professional dance training at one of Europe’s premier schools for dance training and education, Central School of Ballet (CSB) in London which in 2013 celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Jessica has been dancing since she was four years old. She recently completed her first term at CSB, one of only 39 pupils accepted for a place on this three year degree course, a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (accredited by the University of Kent). CSB is the only dance school in the UK to offer this unique qualification. Jessica was selected from 400 applicants who applied to CSB last year.
It’s the first thing they teach you when you start school. But they don’t need to; your parents tell you when you’re first learning how to say your name. It’s drummed into you whilst you’re taking your first stumbling steps. It’s your lullaby. From the moment it first appears, you don’t tell anyone the name on your wrist.
Talented 19 year old author, University of Sheffield philosophy and ex Heart of England school student Helen Hiorns national award winning debut “The Name on your wrist” is a dystopian fiction which follows young Corin’s journey as she struggles to accept the idea of her perfect soul mate being predetermined for her.
The novel was selected by Malorie Blackman as the winner of Sony Young Movellist of the year award. Malorie is a distinguished British writer and Children’s Laureate for 2013–15.
Helen succeeded in securing a publishing contract with Random House Children’s Publications despite only entering the writing competition eight days before the deadline.
BalsallCom.Com’s latest writer Jenny Dempster caught up with Helen during the summer back in Balsall Common to find out more.
Where did you get the idea for The Name on your Wrist?
I’d read a few stories about soul mates before but I wanted to do something a bit different. I don’t really buy into the idea of soul mates, I think it’s rubbish, so the idea for the book just stemmed from there.
I’ve been writing since I was 13 and have previously written quite a few books for my own enjoyment. I had had the idea for The Name on your Wrist since last August but hadn’t written that much before I found out about the writing competition. I only had eight days left before the deadline so I wrote 42,000 in the eight days left so I could submit it. This was whilst I was studying at Sheffield University, so I kind of had to hibernate for a bit until I finished the book and then caught up on my work.
Where do you believe your passion for writing comes from?
I’ve always loved writing, but I only started to love writing stories when I discovered fan fiction. I began to write my own fan fiction and I finished my first book when I was 16 but that was a ridiculous length. It was 45 chapters and each one was 10,000 words each. I don’t know how I found the time to write it but I completed it! You can vent a lot in writing and creating characters and plots I find is a really interesting thing to do.
What would you say is the hardest thing about writing a book?
Determination to get through writing it as you don’t necessarily get to the write all the fun bits straight away. You just have to have the motivation to push through it and get to an end. For me, having the competition in mind and knowing there was a deadline was helpful as normally you don’t have that.
Did you take inspiration from your environment around you for the book, will there be any characters in there we might recognise from Balsall Common?
The characters all feel real to me. I hope people don’t trace them back to themselves. Names are probably more likely to come to people I know but I would hate people to think it was based on them.
What would be your advice to any potential authors reading this out there in Balsall Common?
I would firstly say definitely keep writing! Keep going with a book idea even if it doesn’t work out straight away, everyone gets better the more they write. However good you are it really helps to just keep going. Try new things and just go for it!
“The Name on your Wrist” is available in print and e-reader form from stores such as Amazon, Kobo, Nook and Sony e-reader.
What reviewers at Amazon are saying:
“The name on everybody’s wrist should be Helen Hiorns” “The Name on your wrist is a unique debut and certainly worth checking out” “I really, really enjoyed The Name on Your Wrist, it was fast paced, interesting, different and all of the characters were far from perfect, which to me made them more than perfect! Well worth a read!”
Balsall Common’s Centre Stage are holding a presentation for their next production Cinderella and the Magic Beanstalk this Thursday evening at the Heart of England School. The New Year pantomime – written by Centre Stage’s own Yasmin Zahran, writer of last summer’s ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme and idea!’ and Co-director of this summer’s hugely successful interpretation of Madness-inspired West End musical ‘Our House’ – is open to new faces both back and front of house.
This Thursday’s presentation will discuss the storyline, characters, job roles needed, read through the script and explain the audition process, as Chairman Carl Hemming explains: