Sunday 21 December 2014

Luna Lovegood's a wizard with words

Patricia McDonagh

Published 25/07/2007 | 00:00

Actress Evanna Lynch, who is currently starring as Luna Lovegood in the new Harry Potter
Actress Evanna Lynch, who is currently starring as Luna Lovegood in the new Harry Potter film ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’, pictured yesterday at the Centre for Talented Youth at Dublin City University.

TO millions of Harry Potter fans she's the enigmatic Luna Lovegood, but in real life Evanna Lynch has a secret of her own.

For off-screen the young Irish actress has shown a touch of magic with a pen in her hands; and her talent has won her a place in an academy as prestigious, if perhaps not as famous, as Hogwarts.

Yesterday, Evanna was embarking on her second week as a student writer at an elite summer school for talented teenagers.

The bright-eyed star - originally from Termonfeckin, Co Louth - laughed off any suggestions that she could compete with JK Rowling when it comes to churning out spell-binding page turners.

"The second week is easier but you do still have to work very hard. I'm doing speculative fiction and it's very challenging but it's very good," said Evanna.

"I don't think I would be good enough to write a book like JK Rowling though. Her way of writing is so brilliant. She is my idol.

"It's nice to have a challenge like this. I do three to five hours of part-time tuition on the set and it's quite hard because it's very intense."

At the end of the course, students will have to complete one full story or chapter that will be read to submit for publication.

The Speculative Fiction course covers a range of modern writing - from short stories, to novels, to screenplays. But its main focus is on teaching aspiring writers how to write fantasy or science fiction and to "build, detail and populate their own believable worlds".

Run by the Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI), the summer school allows students to sample a range of different subjects taught at college level.

To even be considered for the programme students must take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) - a widely-used test for college entry in the United States.

And they must score in the top 5pc of their age group to get in. Students who perform well on the PSAT exam can net one of six 300 merit scholarships.

The 15-year-old student - who studies in the all-girl's Catholic school, Our Lady's College, Greenhills, Drogheda - is set to start filming the second last film in September.

However, she said she is still recovering from the "madness" of the premiere from the last film.

"I loved the madness. There were loads of premieres and I went to JK Rowling's launch of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'."

She was cast as Luna Lovegood in 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' after beating 15,000 hopefuls in an open audition in London last year.

The star was one of hundreds to meet with Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin TD during her tour of the summer-school.

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