Blackburn Author Scoops National Award

AN AUTHOR who was born and bred in Blackburn, has been presented with a national award for her children’s book of poetry.

Christina Gabbitas, who is also a poet and voiceover artist, was given the Dame Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award at The Peoples Book Prize at a ceremony in London.

he 47-year-old was awarded the prize for her ‘Creatures and Food’ children’s poetry book which is part of an national initiative to encourage children of all abilities to have a go at writing and reading.

She has toured a number of primary schools around the UK and United Emirates as part of the scheme, including schools in East Lancashire.

The children were then invited to write an eight line rhyme on the topic to submit to the book.

Christina who has also penned The Felicity Fly series of books, was also voted into the Final of Peoples Book Prize and was one of 12 finalist in the children category for her book ‘Welcome To The World of Felicity Fly’

Former Billinge High School pupil Christina said: “I started the initiative in 2013 as a way to encourage children to have a go at writing poetry and reading poetry.

“When I was growing up I was was never very confident and I wanted to do something that was fun and would be bright, bold and engaging.

“I also wanted to encourage parents to read with children from a young age and to learn with fun.

“Language is so beautiful and fundamental to our lives that the ability to write and to read it, is one of lives greatest pleasures”

The poetry initiative got the heads up from the former Education Secretary, Michael Gove, when Christina met him in 2013, along with ambassador and entrepreneur in residence at the British Library London, Dr Stephen Fear.

All children taking part in the scheme receive a special certificate as a keepsake.

The poetry book, which is illustrated by Ric Lumb.

Christina will be at WH Smith in the Mall, Blackburn between 10.30am and 3pm on Saturday June 27.

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