08 January 2018Sompting Abbotts

Sompting Abbotts' pupils illustrate best-selling author Alex Preston's work

Artwork by Year 8 pupils at West Sussex independent school Sompting Abbotts Prep School has been chosen to illustrate international best-selling author Alex Preston's work.

Sompting Abbotts' young book illustrators with Head of Art Andrea Tewkesbury. From left: George Bryant-Nicols, Ethan Roberts, Chloe Macklin, Jonny Tow

Year 8 pupils at Sompting Abbotts Prep School have completed an art project to illustrate the work of successful writer Alex Preston, a former pupil at the Worthing school.

"We are delighted that international best-selling author Alex Preston has given us permission to publish and illustrate his short story, Wyndham Le Strange Buys the School, which uses Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School and the aftermath of the First World War as its setting," said Headmaster Stuart Douch. The story was included in the nation's favourite annual guide to the short story: Best British Short Stories. The pupil's work was overseen by the school's Head of Art Andrea Tewkesbury.

"It was 100% Sompting Abbotts that I was imagining in the story," said Alex Preston, who is an old boy of the West Sussex independent school. 

It seemed appropriate to make a link between the work of Alex, as a former pupil of Sompting Abbotts, with that of the present pupils. Mrs Tewkesbury invited children in Year 8 to illustrate the short story in whatever medium they saw fit. 

Alex was delighted with the students' artwork. "This is just a wondrous thing. Thank you so much," he said. "I thought the illustrations were marvellous. Do pass on my thanks to your very gifted students."

As a gesture of thanks, Alex Preston has offered to run a creative writing workshop with the school's Year 7 and Year 8 pupils later this year.