Award-winning author Phil Earle visits local schools for 20th Anniversary of Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

Phil Earle
Category: Press Releases

Tour dates are included in this release. If you are interested in an interview with Phil Earle or would like a reporter or photographer to attend one of the events please contact: or 0131 524 0184

Award-winning author Phil Earle will visit schools in Moray, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Perth & Kinross and Angus from 5-9 November as part of the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Phil will visit Elgin High School, Lochside Academy, Montrose Academy and more, working closely with pupils who have additional support needs.

The Children’s Book Tour is supported 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. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools, and has enthralled more than 100,000 children since it began in 1998.

Phil Earle has worked as a care worker and as a bookseller and these two fields inspired him to pursue a career as a writer, the former influencing some of his novels. Being Billy won the 2012 WeRead Book Award, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and was shortlisted for both the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and Branford Boase Award.

Not afraid to tackle difficult and thought-provoking subject matters, Phil is one of the most exciting and engaging writers for young adults. Due to his previous experience working in care, Phil is passionate about supporting young people with learning difficulties. During the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, Phil will work closely with reluctant readers and pupils with a wide range of additional support needs. 

Phil Earle will discuss his novel Mind the Gap, inspired by a moving true story: in 2013 the widow of actor Oswald Laurence noticed that Embankment station had stopped using a ‘Mind the Gap’ announcement recorded by her husband more than 40 years before. Not only did Transport for London staff agree to make a CD for her, they were so moved by her story that they undertook to reinstate the announcement at Embankment.

The novel explores love and loss, and Phil will use the story to engage with young people and explain how he gains inspiration from real life stories for his books. The author will also discuss his other titles Bubblewrap Boy, Heroic, Being Billy and Saving Daisy.


Commenting on the tour, Phil Earle said:

“I feel very lucky to be working again on the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Touring the West Coast of Scotland a few years ago was undoubtedly a highlight of my writing career, so to be asked back is just brilliant. The opportunity to travel, working with a diverse range of students, including those with additional needs, is something I will relish. I can’t wait to get stuck in and to show our audiences that we are surrounded by stories, every day of our lives.”


Calum Bennie, Communications Manager of Scottish Friendly, said:

“As his tour with us four years ago proved, Phil really knows how to engage young people in reading and writing.  Pupils on this tour will similarly find Phil’s presentations on his own books, as well as practical and inspiring tips on writing, stimulating and entertaining.”


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, added:

“Scottish Book Trust is thrilled that Phil Earle is able to join the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour for the 20th anniversary celebrations. In 2014, Phil had a memorable tour of Falkirk, East Ayrshire & South Ayrshire, inspiring over 1,500 S1 – S3 pupils. We are sure this tour will be just as memorable, and that Phil will leave a lasting legacy in the schools he visits.”


Notes to Editors

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

After every tour, Scottish Book Trust’s website features case studies and resources to show the impact of the tour on the pupils we visit:

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour Jamboree celebration event is available to watch on YouTube.


Tour dates


Monday 5 November

9.15am – 10.15am: Milnes High School

2pm – 3pm: Elgin High School


Tuesday 6 November

10am – 11am: Buckie High School

2pm – 3pm: Ellon Academy


Wednesday 7 November

10am – 11am: Orchard Brae School

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Lochside Academy


Thursday 8 November

9am – 10am: Hazelhead Academy

2.10pm – 3.10pm Montrose Academy


Friday 9 November

9am – 10am: Perth Academy

2.20pm – 3.20pm: Perth High School


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


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