Category Archives: Alex Milway

AAA KNOW HOW TO PARTY!!!!

DID ANYONE SAY PARTY?????!!!!!

Yes, yes we did! We’re at the end of the brilliant 2018 Adopt An Author. Carden, Mile Oak, Benfield and Stanford Juniors have all read, written, illustrated and taken care of their adopted author’s superbly, so it is now time to celebrate all the amazing adoptee’s who have worked so hard throughout the project. And what better way than meeting their authors over a bit of cake?!!!

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First up Rose Muddle author Imogen White took Team Carden on a historical journey around Brighton and Hove before a bit of dress-up, performance and a quiz!

FINGERS ON THOSE BUZZERS…..

Team Carden presented Imogen with their very own books they’d worked so hard on creating!

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Huge congrats Carden on an amazing project and well done on your superb books, we are all so impressed!

Next up Harold headed to Brighton……

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Benfield Primary had spent a fun 10 weeks enjoying the company of the loveable Pigsticks and Harold and it was now time to meet their brilliant author Alex Milway.

With tummies full of yummy Pizza Face pizza, lots of live drawing and many lols – this was a party that would always be remembered!

Huge congrats Benfield on a fantastic Adopt an Author, we have loved seeing all your fantastic email exchanges and all the amazing work – the characters you created were superb!!!

 

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Mile Oak had been engrossed in email exchanges with Wild Boy author Rob Lloyd Jones throughout the project and today was the day that they finally got to meet him! And what a wonderful welcome he had!!!

Massive congrats Mile Oak on all your hard work and excellent questions – we love that you enjoyed Wild Boy so much! Rob is delighted too!

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Stanford Juniors welcomed Beetle Boy author M. G. Leonard and her very special guests to the Brighton Dome…. (the clue is in the title of her book…)

Stanford have worked so hard throughout the project, have loved the book and even created their very own special beetles! A BIG BETTLE BRAVO!!!!

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A massive thank you and HOORAY to all 2018 adopted authors. To all the schools involved; the teachers, teaching assistants and parents. A big, big up to Brighton Festival for another fantastic year – thank you!

BUT the BIGGEST CHEER and ROUND OF APPLAUSE is for all the children who worked so hard and created the most fantastic work – we are all so proud of you – you should be too!

Until 2019!

Team AAA xxx

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Hurrah for a Huffy Shark!

This week Alex has been busy answering some of Gecko’s and Iguana’s burning questions…. he also set them a pretty cool challenge too!

Hello Geckos and Iguanas!

Let me answer your questions!

What month is your birthday? Is it the same as any of ours in December (Eirmyas), March (Dougie), and July (Martin)
 
My birthday is in February!

How old are you? I think you are around 33 (Martin).

I was born in 1978, which makes me…

Which is your favourite type of pizza? (We are really looking forward to eating loads of pizza when we meet you for lunch in Brighton!)

I love pizza. My favourite is pepperoni and sweetcorn (very odd) but I do love a tomato and mozzarella pizza, especially with fresh basil.

What football team do you support?

I used to support Tottenham Hotspur, though I don’t really keep up with the team these days. I used to love playing it more than anything else.

Which is your favourite book that you have written?

My favourite is probably The Alien Moon, which is a Mythical 9th Division story. Though I must admit to really liking Pigsticks & Harold Lost in Time.
 
And so onto this week’s challenge. And this looks quite simple, but it’s not that easy. What I would love for you to do is create a new character to live in Tuptown. As you saw in the picture last week, there are many types of animal that live there. I would like you to choose a different animal from those, and turn it into a character that could live in the Pigsticks world.
 
I’ve attached a number of pictures from my sketchbook which will show you how different Pigsticks looked originally, when I first imagined him. You can see how he transformed (and Harold) until becoming something like we see him today in the books.
So pick an animal that you like, and have a good try at designing a new character – oh yes, and don’t forget to give it a name!
 
Hope you’re all enjoying the sun!
 
Speak soon, 
Wow, how cool to see some pictures of Pigsticks in his early days! We love his transformation and it looks like Gecko and Iguana found it very useful for their task! Check out some of the newest Tuptown residents below! Who would you like as a neighbour?

We think all these fab character creations would be a brilliant fit in Tuptown and would love to get to know them all over a cup of tea!

Hello Alex, Pigsticks, and Harold!

Thank-you for your last challenge we loved creating our own Tuptown characters! We hope you enjoy our variety of different animals!
Here are some more questions we’d love answers to:
  1. What’s your favourite colour?
  2. What’s your favourite country in the world?
  3. Who’s your favourite Tuptown character?
  4. When is ‘Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Sports Day’ coming out? We loved designing illustrations for that piece of writing!
  5. What is your favourite film?
We hope you are enjoying the sun. We spent our weekends going to the park, swimming at the beach, trampolining, and eating lots of barbecue food!
We are looking forward to the next challenge – hopefully it will be the hardest one yet!
See you soon,
Geckos and Iguanas!
Until next time when Alex will have answers to your brilliant q’s and what we’re sure will be the hardest task yet!
Team AAA
x

 

Alex Milway: “I stay young by eating all my greens and vegetables!”

Gecko and Iguana classes have really enjoyed drawing Pigsticks – they got in touch with Alex with some comments on their last task.

Dear Alex,

Thank you for your email.

Here are some things we loved about drawing Pigsticks:

C : I love how we could draw our own clothes

S : I loved how simple it was so we could all make it look like him!

We LOVED your drawings of Pigsticks in his own clothes too!

The classes sent Alex some brilliant questions last week and never one to shy away from being quizzed, he responded….

Dear Gecko and Iguana!

Some answers to your questions.

How do you stay looking so young (we have found a picture of you on the internet!)?

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HAHA! I stay young by eating all my greens and vegetables. As you all should.

Do you work in an office or somewhere else like in bed? Who cleans up when it gets messy?

I work in an office at the top of my house. I have a nice desk, with my drawing stuff and computer, next to all my musical instruments. I love to play music and make things! And I have to tidy it up, of course, although I’m not necessarily the best at that. I still get told off for being messy.

How many people are there in your family? Do you ever get ideas for your characters from them?

There are four of us – my wife and two daughters, not to mention a cat and a dog! And they’re enough trouble for anyone. So yes, I get loads of ideas from them. 

How many books have you written in total?

I’m now working on my 12th! It’s a book called Hotel Flamingo, all about a girl who runs an animal hotel. I’ve attached an early version of the cover for you to see!

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Now, the challenge for this week!

I’ve attached a short comic I made of Pigsticks and Harold, and this week I would like you to make a short funny Pigsticks and Harold comic of your own. I’ve attached a template of panels you can use if you’d like. The key to making comics is to make them simple! Pick a very little story, such as getting to school, or brushing your teeth, or eating lunch, and try to make a funny short comic about it. The sillier the better! You could even base it on a joke, such as a “why did the chicken cross the road?” joke.

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Pigsticks and Harold can be very silly, so really go wild.

Use speech bubbles (always write the words first before you draw the bubble!), sound effects, and just make it as bright as possible.

This one might take some time to work out, but I know you can all draw, so you’ll do fine!

I’m off on my own adventure to China this week, so have a great Easter, and we’ll speak soon.

Thanks!

Alex, Pigsticks and Harold

We can’t wait to see what silly scenes the children create!

Happy Easter hols

Team AAA
x

Pictures of Pigsticks

Gecko and Iguana class are really enjoying their Pigsticks and Harold journey so far and this week they posed some interesting questions to their author Alex Milway…

Is it hard work being an author? 

I love being an author, it’s so much fun, but yes it can be hard work. Not only is it writing books, which can be tricky – as I’m sure you all know, writing can be difficult sometimes – but it’s also the marketing of your work, the keeping happy when things don’t always go your way, and of course coming up with new ideas! That’s hard in itself. And that’s not mentioning the drawing side of it! Yikes, illustrating is even harder than writing.

Do you write about other characters or just Pigsticks and Harold? 

I’ve written books about yetis, called the Mythical 9th Division, and I’ve also written the Mousehunter series which is based in a world where there are thousands of different species of mice!

Do you get tired when you write a chapter books?

Sometimes. I plan everything very well, so I tend to leave nothing to chance. Each chapter is plotted beforehand so I can dip into parts of the book I want to write when I’m in the mood. Usually, I pick the harder scenes for when I’m in the mood, and the easier ones when I’m not.

And last but not least, how many times do you read and check your story?

Hundreds, in all likelihood. And even then you always find mistakes, or things you’d like to change once it’s published.

And this week’s challenge!

After all those amazing drawings of Harold you made last week, I’m going to ask you to learn how to draw Pigsticks.  Have fun with him – add clothes, or whatever you fancy to make your character stand out.

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And then, once you mastered Pigsticks, you’ll be ready for next week’s challenge.

Thank you so much for those amazing drawings, they were utterly brilliant! Keep up the good work!

Alex

Let’s just say that Benfield Year 3 are a pretty talented bunch – check out their amazing drawings of Pigsticks! And look! – Step aside Prince Harry and Megan Markle – the wedding of the year has to be the Pigsticks wedding!

Alex was SUPER IMPRESSED…..and cracked on with answering some more of Iguana and Gecko’s brilliant questions!

Dear Iguana and Gecko!

These are AMAZING Pigsticks drawings. Absolutely brilliant!

Some answers to your questions!

Do you giggle to yourself when you write something funny? We laughed so much at the toilet queue part!

YES! I always enjoy the bits when a joke appears or fits into the storyline. One of my best friends is an author/illustrator called Gary Northfield, and we always laugh lots, particularly at silly jokes – and making up silly jokes. We sometimes do events together, and a few years ago we did one where he dressed up as a Zebra in a Gladiator outfit and I was a Warthog. It was so much fun.

Did you try out any other jobs before you decided to be an author?

I went to art school – I wanted to be either in a band, or an artist – but I ended up getting a job working on a magazine. I was a sub-editor, which is the person who checks all the words, and layouts for mistakes. While there I wrote my first book, which was the Mousehunter. I loved working on a magazine, but there’s nothing better than being self employed and being in charge of your own work – and time – no matter how difficult it can be at times.

Who is your favourite – Pigsticks or Harold and why? Jasmine: My favourite is Pigsticks because he is super brave!

They are both my favourite! I say this because I think I am equal parts Pigsticks and Harold. Some days I’m full of beans and want to climb the nearest mountain, other days I just want to sit and read a book!

In your story Pigsticks and Harold travel to the jungle. Have you ever traveled anywhere before.

And I’ve travelled a bit – though nowhere quite as exciting as a jungle. I’ve been to Japan and Australia, and I’ve been to China a few times. One of the most amazing landscapes I’ve seen was in the USA, when I spent a week in the Rocky Mountains. That was amazing. One day, I would love to travel north and see the Northern Lights.

We love the sound of the Zebra in a Gladiator outfit – great inspiration for the next fancy dress party!

Great work Iguana and Gecko class! See you next week!

Team AAA
x

PIGSTICKS AND HAROLD!

Benfield’s Gecko and Iguana class will be getting to know everything Pigsticks and Harold with author Alex Milway over the next few weeks and we can’t wait to join them on their adventure….

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Dear Gecko and Iguana Class!

Alex here, I hope you are all well! It’s so great to be able to talk about Pigsticks and Harold with you. I’ve got loads of great things planned over the coming weeks, but rest assured, by the end of it you’ll  know and awful lot about them!
So, to start with, I thought It would be great to give you a very quick drawing lesson. I intentionally made Harold very simple to draw, mainly because I had to draw him so often. It can get tiring very quickly if you draw comics, and you have to draw someone over and over again!
I’ve attached a guide on how to draw him, so this week I would love you all to have a go. Give him a hat, or dress him up as you like. And if you want to draw him in a landscape or a room, or a setting from the book, that would be brilliant. Don’t hold back! You could even draw a speech bubble and make him say something. What might Harold say?
Most importantly, have fun with him. He looks very good in a tutu.
Thanks everyone,
Alex
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Dear Alex,

We are writing to you from all the Geckos and Iguanas. We are excited to be working with you because this afternoon we read some of your pages and we really like Harold and Pigsticks. Geckos particularly liked the pages with lots of smaller pictures and labels as we could all have a go at reading them. Iguanas were really laughing about the animal who thought he was in the toilet queue! We have all managed to draw Harold…..

And some new creations from Gecko Class  – Harold’s mum, sister and baby!

We love these drawings and especially being introduced to members of Harold’s family!

Check back soon to see what Alex thought of the brilliant drawings and what task he sets next!

Team AAA
x

INTRODUCING 2018’S ADOPTED AUTHORS!

We are currently experiencing same level excitement as Charlie Bucket, you know when he peels away the foil from his golden ticket chocolate bar??!! Yes, yes, we are THAT EXCITED….. because we can now reveal the Brighton & Hove primary classes who have successfully ADOPTED THEIR 2018 AUTHOR’S…..

*coughs* DRUM ROLL PLEEEEEEASE:

HELLO AUTHORS!

HELLO SCHOOLS!

We are absolutely thrilled that Rob Lloyd Jones will be returning to the project to take Year 6 from Mile Oak on a fantastic adventure with his wonderful book Wild Boy.

Next up we welcome Imogen White to the project who will be introducing Carden Primary to Rose Muddle in The Amber Pendent – an exciting magical mystery full of captivating twists and turns…..

Alex Milway brings to Benfield Primary the adventures of Pigsticks, the world’s most optimistic pig, and his sidekick Harold, an over-anxious hamster in his joyous and hilarious story Pigsticks and Harrold.

And finally, M. G. Leonard will be sharing insights into her beautiful and brave Beetle Boy to Year 5 & 6 Stanford Juniors. We can’t wait!

Running for 15 years by Collected Works as a Brighton Festival project, Adopt an Author is a very special programme promoting literacy and encouraging creative writing and illustrating. Over 10 weeks children will be corresponding with their paired writers, sharing thoughts on the book and making intriguing discoveries about the creative process. Pupils will be posing questions to the authors such as – ‘what encouraged you to be a writer?’ and ‘if you were stranded on a desert island and only had two historical people for company who would you choose and why?’ – I bet that one’s got you thinking!

Please check back for updates on what is going to be a very exciting Adopt An Author 2018!

 

 

New Adventures

Luke, Loen and Tony from Queen’s Park have written to their author, Alex Milway, for some advice on drawing…

Hello Alex,

Your books are amazing. We are all liking the book so far. Please can you  send us some pictures about how to draw Pigsticks. We decided if we wanted to be Pigsticks or Harold and most of us want to be Harold.

We designed places for Harold and Pigsticks to go on their adventures, we had lots of ideas like a dessert island, jungles, space, visiting the Queen and going to the evil Egyptian pyramids. Some of us did tropical islands and thought of how the story might go. Some of us have finished but some of us would like to do some writing about our pictures.

This week we are doing homework to design the front cover for our Adopt-an- Author books. What would you do if you designed your front cover?

Harold’s funny face made us laugh and we thought it was a great picture covering up the whole book pages.

Why do Pigsticks and Harold go on adventures and do they want to travel to the end of the world?

From Luke, Loen and Tony.

Alex Milway replied pretty sharpish and with a new task!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you’re well. I’ve just returned from China, where it is now the year of the goat. Pigsticks and Harold came with me, and they aren’t overly keen on goats, so that wasn’t ideal!
However, it was a wonderful trip, even with the goats everywhere.
To answer your questions, it’s usually Pigsticks who wants to travel to places. He loves trying new things and achieving greatness! Also, as far as covers go, I’m always making them. I’ve attached a work in progress for book three for you to see!
PIG cover 3
Today, I want you to imagine you’re writing a page of a Pigsticks and Harold adventure. I’ve attached not only a “How to draw Pigsticks sheet” but you’ll find a sample page, with a frame at the top.
Once you’ve mastered drawing the pig, I’d like you to have a go at creating a page from a Pigsticks and Harold book.  Draw a scene in that frame, and below it in the space write a bit of the story. This can be a story of your own making!
For example, you could draw Pigsticks and Harold having tea. And then you could write their discussion:
“This is wonderful cake, Harold,” said Pigsticks.
“Battenburg is the best,” said Harold.
“Oh I’m not so sure,” said Pigsticks. “This Fruitcake is quite delightful! I think it’s better.”
Harold was unconvinced.
Something like that!
I hope you have fun doing your page of the book! Speak soon,
Alex.

 How to draw Pigsticksp&H page frame