Originally published 23rd July 2003
On Tuesday 22nd of July 2003, popular comedy fantasy author Terry Pratchett met the young person who will hold the first ever Terry Pratchett scholarship allowing them to attend the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth’s Summer school.
The first Terry Pratchett scholar is 15 year old Adam Birch, of Whitemoor Road in Kenilworth who attends the local Kenilworth School. Adam was looking forward to meeting Terry and particularly wanted to ask him if, after such a long running series as the Discworld, it becomes harder to think of new plots and character variations for new books.
Adam is one of around 550 young people taking part in the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth’s Summer Schools this year. The Summer Schools are taking place at the Universities of Warwick, Durham, Exeter, and Canterbury Christ Church University College.
Terry Pratchett kindly agreed to the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (which is based at the University of Warwick) naming one of their Summer School Scholarships after him. The Scholarship pays the fee of a gifted young person, from a less privileged background, who wishes to take part in the creative writing stream of one of National Academy's for Gifted and Talented Youth Summer Schools.
Terry Pratchett, who was declared to be one of the UK's top 2 favourite authors in the BBC's Big Read Survey - only he and Dickens had no less than 5 books nominated in the Big Read top 100, already has close associations with the University of Warwick. He is an Honorary Graduate of Warwick and has co-written books with two Warwick researchers - Professor Ian Stewart, and Dr Jack Cohen - using his Discworld universe to explain real scientific concepts. Both Ian and Jack participated in last years National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth Summer School.
He said: "I am very pleased to be again associated with this fine university and I am equally pleased to see the scholarship go to someone who is a fan of my work.
"This scheme is well worth doing. Society does a lot for disadvantaged kids, which we should do, but it's also important to support the bright kids because they are often left out.
"One thing that people are often too fixated upon is the fact that bright and gifted people should go down the university route. The most important thing to do with education is to help kids find out where their particular genius lies.
"It could mean they go onto university or they could end up being the best joiner in the Midlands."
Note for Editors:
Parents and young people can find out more about the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at: This link to the Academy's web site