Top Authors Thrill Pupils at Free Glasgow Event

Category: Press Releases

Top children’s authors and illustrators thrilled 2000 Scottish pupils at a celebration event in Glasgow yesterday.

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour Jamboree took place at the city’s Royal Concert Hall to mark the 20th anniversary of the tour. The P4-P7 pupils from 22 local authorities were treated to a free, fun-filled day of reading, writing and drawing. The event is available to view on Scottish Book Trust’s YouTube channel.

Appearing at the event were: Jacqueline Wilson, author of Tracy Beaker; Chris Riddell, former Children’s Laureate; Cressida Cowell, author of How to Train Your Dragon; The Etherington Brothers, creators of comic Money Nuts; and Pamela Butchart, author of The Spy Who Loves School Dinners.

Freya Russell, aged nine, from Kilmacolm Primary School, said: “I liked the Etherington Brothers best because they were funny. When Chris Riddell was drawing it was good, he had all the audience chanting along. I’ve had a really good time.”

Skye O’Neill, aged eight, from Kilmacolm Primary School, said: “Pamela Butchart and the Etherington Brothers were my favourites. Once at our school we decorated a wall with information about Pamela and I really like her, I can’t get her books quick enough. I like the Brothers because of how imaginative they are.”

Lynn McPherson, Deputy Head at Kilmacolm Primary School, said: “It has been a fabulous event, absolutely amazing. The children had a brilliant time. Our school is trying to raise the profile of reading and an event like this is brilliant for that. We’ve been looking at the profile of all the authors at today’s event and the quality is incredible.

“Pamela Butchart is one of our favourites, Cressida Cowell was brilliant as well. Chris Riddell’s illustrations were magic to watch, it was all so inspiring.”

Calum Bennie, Communications Manager of Scottish Friendly, said: “The Jamboree in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall has been the pinnacle event so far of 20 years of this tremendously inspiring children’s literacy programme. The sight – and sound! – of 2,000 school children who got the chance to see, hear and meet some of their favourite authors was all the testament required to see how inspiring these live events are.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour continues to grow, and the Jamboree was the perfect celebration for the 20th anniversary. Pupils from across Scotland were enthralled by authors and illustrators on the stage, and the chance to meet them afterwards for a book-signing was a magical experience that they will never forget.”

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Children’s Book Tour, which is sponsored by Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s leading financial mutuals, and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing.

All of the authors and illustrators performing at the Jamboree have taken part in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour in the past and were reunited for this once in a lifetime celebration event.

Over 70 primary schools from across Scotland applied to attend the Jamboree event, and travel bursaries were offered to help those schools from further afield. Schools across the UK were able to tune in and watch the event via live-stream on Scottish Book Trust’s YouTube channel.

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book tour visits both primary and secondary schools, and has enthralled more than 100,000 children since it began in 1998. The tour will next visit venues in Bradford later this month with Chae Strathie, winner of the 2018 Bookbug Picture Book Prize for Gorilla Loves Vanilla.

Schools in the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland can apply now for a fully-funded event to take place in September with Andy Stanton, an award-winning children’s author and cartoonist. Andy will inspire pupils by talking about his own journey to becoming an author, including hilarious examples of what he wrote when he was at school. He will also give pupils practical tips on using just one idea to start a story and what to do when you get stuck writing a story. The application deadline is Friday 22 June at 5pm.

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, interviews and images, please contact Keara Donnachie, PR Officer at or 0131 524 0184.

About Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s largest mutual life offices, is a progressive and modern financial services group. It provides investors and their families with a wide range of affordable investments.

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 20 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.

Scottish Friendly is very engaged in the community and works with Scottish Book Trust to provide fresh and exciting content on its website:  @scotfriendly

About Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.   @scottishbktrust