Happy World Book Day Everyone!

The 23rd of April is the day that William Shakespeare, arguably the most famous playwright of all time, died. Nowadays, it is known as World Book Day, a day where book lovers, libraries and book shops alike, celebrate books, writers, and storytelling. 

Organized by UNESCO, World Book Day was started to promote reading, publishing and copywriting. It started in 1995 and has been celebrated every year since.

Maltalingua is celebrating World Book Day with an exciting story writing competition, headed by our Assistant Director of Studies, Kirstie Attard. Here at the school, she manages the academic department, offering support to teachers and students. However, Kirstie is a published author herself under the pen name ‘Penelope Read’. 

We sat down with Kirstie to talk about her journey as a writer, and what World Book Day means to her.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve always loved stories and reading, from a very young age. I would always have a book in my hand and would devour them, and because of this love for reading, I did my BA (Hons) in English, and my MA in English Literature, specifically in Romantic and Victorian English Literature.

Loving to read the way I do, it was hard to not step into writing. I have always had a vivid imagination and it seemed completely natural to me to put the ideas and stories down on paper.

I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen for a school project. Though I never published this book, the experience cemented my love for writing and made me realise that I wanted to continue to write.

What are your published novels about?

My two published novels are part of my fantasy series the Lyssian Chronicles, a Young Adult fantasy series about the fictional land of Lyssia. It has magic, action, mystery, love, betrayal, and cliffhangers that will leave readers on the edge of their seats!!!!

As I mentioned, the first two books, Beyond the Crystal Mirror, and, Beyond the Broken Shards, in the series are out so far, and the third book in the series will be out very soon.

Which writers have inspired you in your own writing?

So many, that I couldn’t name them all! As a fantasy writer myself, I was greatly inspired by writers such as Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Cassandra Clare, to name a few. However, as a lover of classical literature, I’ve also been inspired by Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontë Sisters, and Shakespeare.

Why is it important to celebrate World Book Day?

It’s important to celebrate World Book Day because books and literature are part of our culture, and a way to gain knowledge of the world. World Book Day makes books more accessible with events and deals. It’s a day that celebrates knowledge in a fun way, and I have very fond memories of the day.

Do you think it is important for English students to read in English?

Definitely! Reading gives students the opportunity to expand their vocabulary. Through reading, the students will encounter words that they wouldn’t have met before, and the story gives them a vast context of when to use the vocabulary. I always tell my students at Maltalingua to read as much as possible, both during their course, and after they go home. We also have a lending library with books for all levels at the school and a Take a Book, Leave a Book concept around the school. You can find books everywhere! 

I cannot wait to read the stories that our students will come up with during this competition. We will be sharing the best stories with you, so keep an eye out for it!

Check out Kirstie’s books in the Lyssian Chronicles Series under her pen name, Penelope Read here

Follow Penelope Read for all latest news on her books on Instagram