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Andrew Symon

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Email a.g.symon@dundee.ac.uk
Local authority: Perth and Kinross
Languages: English
Andrew Symon's headshot

My Shian Quest stories (Black & White) are a contemporary take on traditional otherworld tales within the Scottish folklore tradition. They recount the travels of Jack Shian and his cousins who have to find three Shian treasures the King's Chalice, the Mapa Mundi, and the Destiny Stone - before the evil Brashat do. Set initially in Edinburgh, the quest takes the youngsters to France and Ireland, and eventually around the West and North coasts of Scotland before climaxing in the great hall of Edinburgh castle. They are aimed primarily at 9-12 year olds, young teenagers engage with these too.

I've now extended the otherworld stories to the Scottish Highlands. The Lost World of Balnashee and The Shortest Day (and an as yet untitled third story) see Lachie, a trainee Guard o' Shian - sort of a guardian angel, only not so angelic - and his ward Roddy, the seventh son of a seventh son, battle enchantresses and evil creatures who seek to control the passage of time. Historical and ecological echoes resonate throughout.

As for events, I have mainly talked in schools (P5-S1), libraries and book clubs. These revolve around engaging the reader, story planning, twists and turns, and how to develop characters.

Websites featuring the author

Local authorities can visit

Angus; Dundee; Edinburgh City; Fife; Glasgow City; Perth and Kinross; Stirling

Events can deliver

Reading; Talk

Audience can work with

Reluctant readers; Young people with additional support needs (under 18) (ASN/SEN)

Topics of work

Adolescence; Adventure; Childhood; Fairy tales, folklore & mythology; Fantasy; Island communities; Rural communities

Age groups published for

Children

Age groups can work with

9-11; 12-14

Audience size

0-10; 11-30