Foul Play: Brazil

The National Literacy Trust World Cup story starts tomorrow (Wednesday 11th June). Twenty-five episodes to be read aloud at school, in the library, or at home. With a lot of cliff hangers.

It is called Foul Play: Brazil. And this is the first chapter.

During the World Cup I will be writing each of the episodes the evening before publication. Then – less than twelve hours later – it will be available free on the National Literacy Trust website. It will be published on weekday mornings only. At 8 a.m. It’s free.

I am writing it so late in the day so that the story can be influenced by events in Brazil on and off the pitch. I want it to feel live and relevant, so that it feels like it is really happening.

But I am nervous. There are a lot of schools following it. Thousands of children sat in classrooms listening to my story. What if it’s not good enough?

I’ve never been so nervous about writing something.

I had some feedback from chapter one (the only chapter written in advance) from a school earlier today. Most of the feedback was good. But one girl said:

Urg. The football hasn’t even started and I am sick of it already. This story is going to have to be really exciting and dramatic to keep me interested.

That remark shook me, to be honest. What am I doing? This could go so badly wrong.

Then – after while – I thought again. I want to write a story that is as exciting as that girl needs and as relevant as it can be to those following the football.

It’s a challenge. A challenge I intend to take up. Or to try to.

I hope you enjoy the story in your school or library or home.

Thanks for reading.