Young storytellers take the lead as author and illustrator offer expert advice

Illustrator Liz Million with St Aidans Primary school reception pupils.

Illustrator Liz Million with St Aidans Primary school reception pupils.

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Schoolchildren became storytellers as an author and illustrator gave them the inside scoop on how to write a book.

St Aidan’s Primary School, in Loyalty Road, Hartlepool, welcomed writer Adam Bushnell, who has written 10 books for children, and artist Liz Million for a week of workshops as each class created their own tale from scratch.

The workshop underway at St Aidans Primary School.

The workshop underway at St Aidans Primary School.

The youngsters took on board pointers from the experts as they used topics they were working on as inspiration to mix with fiction to come up with their stories.

The finished works are now being put together as an collection to be enjoyed by others.

Subjects included dinosaurs, the Vikings, knights, castles and dragons, the Greeks, Anglo-Saxons and the North East legend of the Lambton Worm.

A book signing was held at the end of the week, where children could get pieces of work by the two guests autographed.

All the children were really buzzing about their work.

Class teacher Kirsty Lightowler

Adam, who is originally from Hartlepool and is also a teacher and voice over artist, has penned books including Pyramids and Pussycats, Gruesome Ghouls and Devious Devils, Snakes Legs and Cows Eggs and The Secret’s of St Cuthbert, a fictional account of the last days of St Cuthbert’s life.

Liz, who lives in the region, has created artwork for books including versions of Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks, as well as One Fat Cat, dinosaur story Digger and Oh Crumbs Rodney.

They were thanked for their efforts by teaching assistant Julie Rennie, who made a dinosaur cake to share round on their last day.

“Once they had their text, they started looking at how they could draw out what they had written in pictures, and they really got a lot of confidence from it.

Author Adam Bushnall talks to a class at St Aidan's Primary School.

Author Adam Bushnall talks to a class at St Aidan's Primary School.

“They had really good fun and it got them motivated.

“It went so well, we’ve already asked them to come back and make it an annual event.”

Adam said: “Liz and I have had a fantastic week at St Aidan’s.

“The staff and children are a real pleasure to work with.
“Their enthusiasm and motivation has been infectious.

Author Adam Bushnall with St. Aidans Primary school pupil Lily O'Rourke.

Author Adam Bushnall with St. Aidans Primary school pupil Lily O'Rourke.

“I’m delighted with the writing the children have produced.

“I cannot wait to work with everybody again soon.

Liz Million added: “Their attitude towards work was truly inspirational and their artwork was fantastic.

“We’ve received such amazing feedback already and we’re hoping their enthusiasm has reached their families.”