A successful children's author returned to her old school to inspire students.

Yarrow Townsend used to work as a teacher at The Sir John Colfox Academy in Bridport.

She returned to the school during the Bridport Literary Festival to give young students a fascinating talk about her adventures around the world.

Yarrow explained how her travels around the Amazon rainforest and her childhood living by the woods and water in the New Forest helped inspire her first novel ‘The Map of Leaves’.

‘The Map of Leaves’ is an exciting, action-adventure story for young people set in a world where plants talk, friendship is hard-won, and adventures lie around every bend in the river.

Luke, 11, said: “I found it amazing how she’d been to the Amazon and used the things she’d seen in the book, it made me want to read it, I am glad we got the book.”

After working as a teacher, Yarrow completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.

Yarrow now lives on a narrowboat, travelling the canals with her garden on the roof in search of being closer to the outdoors.

Still holding a desire to help and inspire children, Yarrow held an exclusive talk with around 30 students, aged 11 and 12, during the Bridport Literary Festival.  

This was a topic of conversation during her chat with the students.

Enid, 11, said: “When I got home, I drew a picture of Orla, one of the characters, in a boat going down river.

“I’ve always been a fan of writing stories, mine have been about 1,000 words though, I haven’t done 65,000 words like Yarrow yet!”

Lucy Wright, Head of English at the Sir John Colfox Academy, said: “It was lovely to see Yarrow again. It was brilliant to see students asking very insightful questions and sharing their own ideas for stories with Yarrow.

“Thank you to the Bridport Literary Festival for helping to arrange visit and thank you to Bridport Town Council too for supporting these enriching author visits to schools.”

Signed copies of 'The Map of Leaves’ are available at Bridport Book Shop.

Lucy Wright said: "Thank you to Antonia Squire from Bridport Book Shop, who gave us a discount on Yarrow’s book, which allowed us to buy copies for the students who came to the talk and several more for our school library.”