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Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK's best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children's Laureate in 2003. He has written over 120 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke's Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, Shadow, and War Horse, which was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and then, in 2011, for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book, Private Peaceful has been adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and has now been made into a film, directed by Pat O'Connor.Michael was awarded the OBE for his writing in 2006.

A son and grandson of actors, Michael has acting in his blood and enjoys performing live adaptations of his books with the folk singers Coope Boyes and Simpson and the singer John Tams, the author of many of the songs in War Horse at the National Theatre. Recent appearances on stage include performances in Toronto and Dallas and in New York he joined the cast of War Horse on Broadway.

Michael's books have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Bulgarian and Hungarian, Hebrew and Japanese. He travels all over the UK and abroad talking to children, telling his stories and encouraging them to tell theirs.

Michael Morpurgo

With his wife Clare, he set up the charity Farms for City Children, which offers children and teachers from inner-city primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week. Over 100,000 children have visited the three farms run by the charity since it began in 1976. Teachers frequently comment that a child can learn more in a week on the farm than a year in the classroom. HRH The Princess Royal is Patron of the charity. The couple were awarded MBE's for their work in education.


Do you write to help keep history alive for each new generation of readers?

Why did you join and then leave the army?


What do you think children can learn from reading about the past?

What are you working on at the moment?


What influences your writing?

Is there anything you do not enjoy about being a writer?


How does it make you feel to know that your books are read all over the world?

What ambitions do you have for your career?


What impact did World War 2 have on you?

What advice do you have for young writers?


What is your favourite book?

Why do you write about adult problems in books for children?


Have other people helped you to write your books?

What gave you the inspiration for Running Wild


How have your life experiences influenced your writing?

Video Conference Part 1 (2016)


Video Conference Part 2 (2016)

Video Conference Part 3 (2016)


Continue for Michael Morpurgo 2013 videos...


How do you prepare yourself?

Should I plot my story before I start writing?


How do you choose the subjects you write about?

Do you ever get stuck when you are writing?


What inspires you?

Why do you write fables and retell older stories?


What role does morality have in storytelling?

Why do you use war as a context to so many of your books?


Do you plan the endings of your books?

What role do animal characters have in your writing?


Advice for young writers?

A medal for Leroy reading


The Wicked young writers award

Who inspired you to write?


Is there something of you in the characters in your books?

Michael sings a song from Warhorse


How did writing Warhorse make you feel?

Why do you write about war in so many of your books?


How to NOT inspire young writers

Video Conference Part 1 (2013)


Video Conference Part 2 (2013)