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Golden accolade awarded to Build learner Malorie Blackman

Story added 9th Jun 2016

Children and young adult fiction author and former Children’s Laureate receives an Association of Colleges Gold Award

Build is celebrating after young adult fiction author Malorie Blackman OBE was awarded a prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Gold Award at the House of Commons. The award celebrates the success of further education alumni and acknowledges the vital role that colleges play in building the foundation of successful careers.

Malorie was nominated by Build, where she studied our Writing for Children course along with other short courses in the late 1980s. Since leaving college in 1990, Malorie has written more than 50 books and was named as Children’s Laureate in 2013.

Staff and students from Build attended the awards ceremony in London on 8 June where Malorie was presented with his AoC Gold Award by Baroness Sharp of Guildford, the President of the AoC Charitable Trust. On accepting the award, Malorie said:

“I am entirely surprised and very honoured to have been selected for an AoC Gold Award.  I certainly feel that the excellent Build writing courses I attended at the start of my writing career were instrumental in launching my writing career, for which I am grateful.”

Malorie Blackman with her AOC Gold Award

Malorie Blackman with her AOC Gold Award. Photo: © Copyright: Stefano Cagnoni 2016

Build also nominated Build student Nick Hardstaff, 19, as a student showing promise in a similar field, to become one of the Association of Colleges’ ‘Future Stars’. Nick is on our Writing Teen Fiction course and hopes to publish some of his work. 

Nick is one of three of the ‘Future Stars’ to receive a £1,000 grant from the AoC Charitable Trust to support him in continuing on his chosen career path. He plans to study English Literature and German at Queen Mary, University of London next year. The bursary will help to purchase basic equipment to support his writing and support him during his studies so that he can avoid getting a part-time job and focus on writing. He said: 

“I believe reading a lot is crucial for any writer – and Malorie Blackman’s books have been among the most striking I have ever read. This opinion is only cemented further by her prominence in the writing world. Knowing I could one day achieve a reputation like hers is definitely an inspiration to me. Her awareness of contemporary issues is both relevant and important for readers today; something I myself would like to encapsulate in my own work.”

Nick also attended the award ceremony at the House of Commons where he had the opportunity to meet Malorie to find out more about what it takes to carve out a successful career and the role that the college played.

Nick Hardstaff and Malorie Blackman

Nick Hardstaff and Malorie BlackmanPhoto: © Copyright: Stefano Cagnoni 2016

The Association of Colleges’ Gold Awards are now in their 17th consecutive year and are presented by the AoC Charitable Trust to celebrate the achievements of former further education students and the impact their college had on their careers. Colleges from around the country are given the opportunity to nominate former students who have excelled in their chosen field, having benefited greatly from their time at college. This is to acknowledge the importance of further and adult education, either as a gateway to higher education, or as a platform from which students can begin or enhance their careers.

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