By Tricia Mifsud
BROADFORD Secondary College teacher Glendon Hickson was the first author to present in the college’s ‘Author in the Library’ series, providing an opportunity for students to interact with published authors.
Mr Hickson’s book Hold Your Tongue: and other weird stories is a collection of short stories, which he originally wrote for his daughter before taking them into the classroom to use as part of his English, literature and philosophy classes.
“I started to use the stories in my classes … I first wrote them for my daughter then sometimes I’d adapt them for the class. Initially I was going to keep it to myself but as word got out a lot of my colleagues got behind me,” he said.
“If I was teaching descriptive writing, or narrative structure, or whatever it may have been, I would adapt them to suit the [teaching].
“I could tailor it to what I wanted to teach, but I’d always pretend it was another author and make up names so the students would take it seriously. Eventually other teachers were using them as well and then the stories were getting used in other schools.”
Mr Hickson said being a teacher meant he could identify themes that would relate to teenagers and portray them in his short stories.
“The stories are usually targeted toward teenagers but they’re pretty adult in terms of some of the themes if you dig into them,” he said.
“[The stories] can be engaging for teenagers but if you want to teach or explore something with a bit more depth, it’s in there.
“Because I’m always around kids, you get an idea of the issues going on and it gives me that advantage to target kids.”
Mr Hickson previously used other means of creativity to express himself, but now, time-permitting, is keen on publishing more books.
He plans to colloborate with his friend Chris Wyatt, illustrator of Hold Your Tongue.
“He’s such a good artist, I’m very lucky that he has done that with me, and I just want to keep working with him as much as I can because of the respect I have for his talent,” Mr Hickson said.
“It’s so much fun, but it’s just a time issue. I’m definitely going to do more. I’ve always had that creative urge whether it be through music or writing stories.
“I never thought I’d get them published though. I would write them just for my daughter when she was younger.”
College principal Tania Pearson thanked Mr Hickson for being the first presenter.
“We were fortunate to listen to our own, homegrown author Mr Hickson give an interview about his latest book Hold Your Tongue,” she said.
“Mr Hickson inspired a large group of students during lunchtime by discussing how he got his inspiration to write the short stories that make up the book.
“Students had the opportunity to ask him questions and have their own copies of the book signed. A huge thank you to Mr Hickson for his time and insights into what it takes to become a published author.”