We had the pleasure of meeting Hazel Gaynor on Friday the 19th of January when she spoke to us about the process of writing a novel. Hazel congratulated all the TY students who recently took part in the inaugural Hazel Gaynor TY Writing Competition. The overall winner was Kaytlyn Walsh and the runner ups were Aoife Lee Park Sullivan and Eoghan McGrath, all producing amazing work.
Ms Gaynor started off by explaining the steps that she takes when writing a novel. She told us about all the different people that are involved in creating the finished piece. Most of us were quite surprised by how long it takes for an author to actually get to the finished piece when Hazel told us that it takes her approximately two years to get her novels finished. It takes her around six months to get the first draft written but a further eighteen months to go through the process of publishing it.
Once Hazel Gaynor had explained about the processes, she announced the winners of the writing competition. Every English class in TY took part in the competition and so not everyone’s work could be read by Ms Gaynor. Fourteen of the participants were short listed and so their work was read by her. She said the work was “very moving” and “outstanding”. Ms Gaynor was very impressed by the standard of work done by those on the shortlist and so she found it very tough to pick a winner. In the end, Hazel announced that she had picked Kaytlyn Walsh to be the overall winner of the competition with her work called “My Little Spinning Top”.
We asked Hazel questions about her books and also the processes of writing. One of the questions was asked by Tia Burke, she asked if Hazel had ever started a piece of work but it didn’t feel right and thrown it away. She replied to this by saying that she never throws ideas away as they can always be used. She said that ideas come to her and she would either start expanding on them straight away or she saves them for a later date.
I think the visit from Hazel Gaynor was very beneficial for us as TY students who enjoy writing. She gave tips and tricks for writing and also told us the different processes that our work would have to go through if we ever published something. It was a very informative visit and I think everyone who attended, enjoyed it.
by Jayden Adams