Award-Winning Author Anthony McGowan to visit Aylesbury UTC on Wednesday 5th June 2024

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Award-Winning Author Anthony McGowan to visit Aylesbury UTC on Wednesday 5th June 2024

On Wednesday 5th June, Years 10 and 12 students at Aylesbury UTC in Buckinghamshire are in for a real treat when multi award-winning author Anthony McGowan visits them.  

Anthony’s debut novel was an adult thriller, Stag Hunt published to wide critical acclaim in 2004 with a  sequel, Mortal Coil, out in 2005. In the same year, Random House published Hellbent, which was his first novel for teenagers, described by The Times as ‘a brilliantly nauseating thriller’. A second young-adult book, Henry Tumour, was published in April 2006. According to The Guardian, ‘Henry Tumour is a boisterous, anarchic, frequently vulgar comedy about a boy with a brain tumour. It is very, very funny. It is also a wise, sensitive and questioning novel about the opposing forces that make us what we are.’ Henry Tumour won the 2006 Booktrust Teenage prize, the 2007 Catalyst Award, and was shortlisted for several other major awards. The Knife That Killed Me, was published in 2008. It deals in a hard-hitting, intensely realised way with the problems of knife crime and youth violence. The novel was filmed and released in July 2014.  

His other titles include Hello Darkness, and the Brock/Pike/Rook/Lark quartet (The Truth of Things series). Lark won the CILIP Carnegie medal in 2020. The Art of Failing published by Oneworld in 2017 is a humorous account of the writer’s life. How to Teach Philosophy to Your Dog, an introduction to philosophy, was published in 2019. Dogs of the Deadlands published in 2022 was shortlisted for The Week Junior Book Awards. He has also written feature articles for The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and the Evening Standard, on subjects ranging from the nightmare of being a relative failure married to a superwoman, to travel, and the dangers of hunting rats with a crossbow. 

Anthony will be talking to the students about the inspiration for their own writing, enthusing them about the joy of reading and stimulating their creative writing. Each participating student will also be gifted a copy of one of Anthony’s books, which he will sign and dedicate. A signed book can be a permanent reminder of a special experience and can reinforce the message about the pleasure and importance of reading. 

The visit is part of a Literacy Project funded by the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation working with Authors Aloud UK, taking authors into schools in Southwark, Aylesbury, Wallingford and Londonderry. The aim is that by meeting the authors, young people will be encouraged to increase their reading for pleasure and develop their creative writing skills, and it will support the literacy work that is done in the school.