Former learner, Victoria Powell, recently returned to the Grimsby Institute to hold a special launch of her recently published first novel, Warchild’s Dreams.
Victoria, who goes by the pen name V Anna Smith, discovered she suffered from Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome at the age of 31 after spending her life not being able to understand why she was unable to take dictation and struggling with spelling and grammar.
Victoria explained: “I always had a fear of writing instead of embracing the qualities I do have. I didn’t know advice and support was available until I joined the Grimsby Institute. Everyone has a right to achieve their goals no matter what their abilities are.
“Being diagnosed opened many doors for me. I wanted to show my children that, even though I had Dyslexia, it wouldn’t stop me from achieving something and supporting them with their education so I enquired at the Grimsby Institute.
“The course was amazing and it brought out my confidence and self-esteem. The tutor made sure everything was right just for me; from making sure I had accessibility for my powered chair to having work printed on coloured paper, which helps with the Irlen Syndrome.”
Victoria came up with the idea for Warchild’s Dreams when she was asked to choose a title for a story by her tutor. Wanting to write something different, Victoria chose to write about a war in present time and the main character, Anna, goes on a journey of self-discovery and learn to conquer her own fears and learns to fight for what she believes in. Now Victoria has published the novel, is available in Paperback and for the Kindle from amazon.co.uk, and is working on the second part of the trilogy.
Victoria recently held a launch in University Centre Grimsby’s Learning Centre, where she took time to speak to students about her experiences and her delight at having her first novel published. Victoria continued: “I wanted to give something back to the Institute which has given me so much. I want to say to everyone if you have a desire for something you should just go for it. I feel so ecstatic.
“People keep saying about the Skint programme on TV. I’ve lived in Grimsby for over forty years and the community is just fantastic. Grimsby is not Skint, it is rich. It is rich in culture, energy and education.”
Victoria finished her visit by donating copies of Warchild’s Dreams to the Further and Higher Education and Grimsby School of Art’s Learning Centres and offering a host of freebies to the learners.