The Amazing Book Awards

Shoreham Academy, Kingston Lane, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 6YT

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Friday 21st June 2024 - The ABA Awards Night


Worthing High School in conjunction with Waterstones were thrilled to welcome Andrew Hammond to their school today.  Andrew came to talk to over 300 students about his series C.R.Y.P.T.  The Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team, a top secret section of MI5 that use their innate talents of extra sensory perception and state of the art technology to protect the world from attack from the great beyond.  He told us the best way to write a powerful and gripping read was to write from your experiences.  His first book ‘Gallows Curse’ is set in London which he visited for the first time as a child.   He was travelling on the tube when he fell over, quite spectacularly, onto his head.  He was so embarrassed and trying desperately not to make a big deal out it took a handkerchief off his dad and just held it to his head and carried on as normal.  Once on the tube they came to a stand-still between stations and he took the opportunity to check out his wound.  On taking the handkerchief away he realised that blood was leaking everywhere and ended up being taken to Westminster Children’s Hospital for stiches, a very scary day indeed.  The London tube features on the opening pages of his book from which he read a very gory extract.

His second book ‘Traitors Revenge’ is based in York which he discovered is the most haunted city in the world.  Apparently there are over 600 active ghosts in the city at one time.  His other writing tip was to make sure that you had a really good setting for a book and that is where York came in.  His family used to live in Yorkshire and they lived in a four storey house where every night at about 6.00pm they would smell different cooking smells such as onions.  The smell seemed to be coming out of a cupboard in the hallway.  Their father suggested they look at the floor plans of the Victorian House and they found that where the cupboard was there used to be a staircase which led down the kitchens. And that is where the traces of ghostly smells came from. 

Being an English teacher he decided to ask his class 8S to read his book prior to sending to the publisher and to let him know what they thought.  On the first reading they told him that they loved the ghost fighting gadgets, bikes and helicopters but the book just didn’t have enough blood and guts and needed to be more gorier! (Their words not his).  He then went back to the drawing board and re-wrote some sections and showed them again, they said “it was getting quite tasty but you can do better!”  On the next draft they read they collapsed with fear saying “Sir what have you done, we have gone too far and made a monster out of you!”  And that is why the first book in the series is dedicated to ‘The Muffintops of 8S’.  Muffintops because they all enjoyed a Muffin on Friday registrations.

 It was an absolutely fantastic talk and the students were enthralled throughout.  We all went away keen to read the series and be scared out of our wits!



Worthing High School welcomed author and all round sports enthusiast Marcus Alexander to their school today to talk to over 300 students.

Mrs Phelan, Learning Resources Manager said “Marcus’ school event was energetic and unique; he is a personal trainer and practices gymnastics, Parkour, Capoeira and much more!  He told us how ‘Keeper of the Realms’ was influenced by his passion for travelling, experiencing different cultures –and by sports, in particular K’Changa – a competitive art form incorporating elements of martial arts, dance and gymnastics.  The event was truly inspirational. Marcus dropped in a few competitions throughout the talk and the students were thrilled to win t-shirts, posters and canvas artwork from the books. We are all looking forward to reading all about ‘Charlie Keeper’, the heroine of the book and her adventures in the Realm of Bellania.”

Students asked Marcus a range of questions: When did he decide he wanted to be an author – Marcus said he was about 26 years old and realised that he loved writing whilst he was at school and had won prizes for poetry and creative writing – so he started off writing as a hobby for a couple of years before working on his first book. Another student asked what Charlie Keeper the heroine looked like as there were no pictures of her – Marcus explained that he wanted readers to image what she looks like rather than be shown through a picture.


On Friday 24th Feb. Shoreham Academy played host to another amazing author.

Ed author of the brand new “Daylight Savings” spent the afternoon with over 200 students in year 7 and all the way to year 10. He talked lots about his life and his writing influences and inspirations. Reading from his new book Ed enthralled and entranced the students; with the story of Daniel Lever, a slightly overweight boy, who having to cope with his parents divorce accompanies his dad on a special holiday to Leisure World. Everything seems normal, boring, but normal until he meets Lexi; a girl who has a terrible secret, and whose bruises and cuts seem to get worse every time they meet. Daniels world is about to change, perhaps forever.

“Ed was fantastic!” said Emma Tanner, Yr 9 student, “I can’t wait to get reading!”

“He’s so cool and funny!” said James Mousell, Yr10 student

If you’d like to know more about Ed or read more about Daniel and Daylight Savings why not go to Ed’s website:


Worthing High School were delighted to welcome children’s author and ABA Long-list finalist Curtis Jobling to talk to their Year 8’s. Curtis has written many titles for children and has a background in animation that includes being the designer of the worldwide hit Bob the Builder.  

The students had a fantastic time at the event, Curtis commenced his presentation showing some of the animation he has worked on and then, much to the students delight, did some drawings of some of his characters such as Bob the Builder, The Curious Cow and Raa Raa The Lion amongst many more.  He then went on to tell us about his new fantasy and horror series ‘Wereworld’.  A great morning was had by all.

If you’d like to know more about Curtis check out his website …



Long-list finalist Phil Earle the hugely successful author of Being Billy and Saving Daisy came to play at Durrington High School and Shoreham Academy this week.

At both schools he spent some time with the Year 9s, talking about his writing inspirations and his varied career. It was wonderful to hear Phil speak so fondly of writing, reading and his favourite books. The students loved it and many can’t wait to get stuck in and start reading.

If you’d like to know more about Phil check out his website …

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