Popular Scottish author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick is set to be the star of a fantastic free event on Thursday 28 November, which will be broadcast live over the internet to tens of thousands of pupils across the world as part of Book Week Scotland 2013.
Young fans of Mairi’s Katie Morag series of books are invited to listen to Mairi telling her favourite Katie Morag story, giving an exclusive insight into what it is like to see Katie Morag being brought to life for television and explaining how the landscape inspires her writing.
The free Authors Live event, run by Scottish Book Trust and BBC Scotland Learning, is suitable for children aged 4-7 and will be streamed live from the BBC Commonwealth Class website to schools across the world on Thursday 28 November at 11am.
Mairi will also take part in an online Q and A session on the website after the event. This series of Authors Live events is funded by Creative Scotland and is part of The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.
A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Mairi Hedderwick was a teacher before she started illustrating children’s books, with her most popular character, Katie Morag, created in 1984. Katie Morag’s home on the fictional Hebridean island of Struay is not a million sea miles away from her author’s life-long association with the Isle of Coll.
Mairi has also written and illustrated many other books for children and adults, all with the backdrop of the Highlands and Islands. She was awarded an Honorary Degree from Stirling University in 2003 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to writing and illustration in Scotland, especially for children.
Commenting on the upcoming event, Mairi said: “This is a great thing that Scottish Book Trust is doing and I am looking forward to sharing Katie Morag stories with children all over the country and further afield. She is a great wee ambassador for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.”
Jasmine Fassl, Head of Schools at Scottish Book Trust, said: “With her affinity for the Scottish islands, sea and landscapes, Katie Morag is a much-loved Scottish ambassador and her creator Mairi Hedderwick is a literary treasure, so it’s fitting that this event is a central pillar of Scotland’s national celebration of books and reading. ”
The award-winning Authors Live programme is an exclusive series of authors’ events streamed live over the internet to provide young people, parents and teachers with the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s leading children’s writers. Run by BBC Scotland Learning and Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing, the programme was the first of its kind in the UK. Anyone can sign up to watch and it is completely free.
Over 800,000 people from 153 countries across the world have tuned in to watch the Authors Live events. The programme began in March 2010 with poet Michael Rosen, followed by author of The Gruffalo and Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson. The programme has also seen events from world class authors Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon.