School welcomes trio of authors

Author Liz Million pictured with English Martyrs pupils(left to right) Emma Temperley, Coran Grays, Amy Kelley(cor) and Anna Isgate.
Author Liz Million pictured with English Martyrs pupils(left to right) Emma Temperley, Coran Grays, Amy Kelley(cor) and Anna Isgate.

STUDENTS got an insight into the life of an author during a second annual literary festival.

Teenagers at English Martyrs Roman Catholic School and Sixth Form College, in the town, were treated to a visit from Bob the Builder creator Curtis Jobling, Liz Million, who has created various books for pre-school children and West End star Tommy Donbavand, who also writes novels and pantomimes.

The event, organised by Gillian Hasan, deputy in the school’s art department, gave students the chance to question the authors on their work and how they first got involved with the world of literacy.

Mrs Hasan said: “The students get an awful lot out of an event like this.

“To be able to talk to people who have been successful in the industry and worked with some real big names is a fantastic opportunity at such a young age.

“It’s also a chance to say to the youngsters that they can do this themselves, they can reach their dreams and do what they want to do, it isn’t impossible.”

As well as designing children’s TV hit show Bob the Builder, Curtis Jobling has also worked on various children’s books including Frankenstein’s Cat which has since been turned into a television show and aired on channels around the world.

Liz Million, from Darlington, has illustrated a number of children’s books such as Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs.

Tommy Donbavand has written a series of non-fiction books as well as writing, producing and directing a number of theatre productions.

The first ever literary festival was held at English Martyrs last year and was hailed by staff as a huge success.

Mrs Hasan decided she wanted to carry it on this year and got the go-ahead from the school’s headteacher.

“After last year I thought we had to hold the event again this year,” she added.

“The students get so much out of it and most important of all, they really enjoy it.

“We started from scratch this year so to get Curtis, Liz and Tommy here was absolutely fantastic and they helped to make the event a big success again.”