Sats are nothing to do with writing well, children’s authors tell pupil who is ‘in bits’ after the tests

They rush to convince an aspiring writer that the Spag test has nothing to do with his ability to tell stories – as most of them would probably fail

Once upon a time, there was a Year 6 boy who dreamed of becoming an author.

As in all the best stories, however, his dreams were threatened by a seemingly insurmountable evil: key stage 2 Sats.

Friend’s yr6 pupil in bits over SATs bc he wants to be an author. Any authors out there with message of hope? I’ll collate & send. Pls share

— Rhino Reads (@CarmenHaselup) 13 May 2016

But, if there is one thing authors know how to do, it is to ensure a happy ending. And so they took to Twitter en masse, to provide our hapless hero with the ending he deserved.

Tom Avery, author of Not As We Know It and My Brother’s Shadow, said that he “stil carnt rearly” spell. He added:

@CarmenHaselup I didn’t know the difference between there and their till I was at university. Did it stop me? No. Read. Love writing. Dream!

— Tom Avery (@teamavery) 13 May 2016

Joanna Nadin, who has previously spoken to TES about her belief that overly pedantic adherence to the rules of grammar stifles creativity, backed this up:

@CarmenHaselup Real writing is about imagination, not rules. If anything, the best writing breaks rules. Also I just got 4 out of 10 on SATs

— Joanna Nadin (@joannanadin) 13 May 2016

And Matt Haig, bestselling author of A Boy Called Christmas, was among those failing to see the point of tests:

Exams mean nothing. I got an F in science GCSE and now I write science fiction. Mind you, I wrote it then. That was the problem.

— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) 13 May 2016

Authors were unanimous in their belief that it is ideas, stories and words that matter, rather than grammatical terms. This was summed up by Philip Ardagh, author of the Grubtown Tales and Eddie Dickens series of books:

@CarmenHaselup …when you’re writing, what REALLY matters is choosing the words that work best for YOU telling YOUR story… [cont]

— Philip Ardagh (@PhilipArdagh) 13 May 2016

…and also by young-adult author Non Pratt:

@CarmenHaselup and authors universally agree that SAT language and writing language have nothing to do with each other whatsoever.

— Non Pratt (@NonPratt) 13 May 2016

Adult authors chimed in, too. Award-winning romantic novelist Julie Cohen said:

@CarmenHaselup Tests mean nothing. What makes someone an author is their burning desire to tell a story…and to write and write and write. xx

— Julie Cohen (@julie_cohen) 13 May 2016

And Waterstones bookseller Leilah Skelton left the boy with the words that every aspiring author longs to hear:

@CarmenHaselup Let’s hope so. Tell him I’m not a writer myself, but I hope to stock his books on my bookshop shelves one day. X

— Leilah Skelton (@Leilah_Makes) 13 May 2016

Read the full list of author tweets here.

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