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Capturing the Centenary

Author Emma McAuliffe and illustrator Sharon Bulmer with their book, Secrets of the Daughter of Troy
Emma McAuliffe and Sharon Bulmer with Secrets of the Daughter of Troy.

Two Queen Margaret College staff members have created a book that celebrates the College’s history.

Communications co-ordinator Emma McAuliffe and graphic designer Sharon Bulmer wrote and illustrated Secrets of the Daughter of Troy, respectively.

The children’s book follows the story of two junior students who speak to the Daughter of Troy statue on the College front lawn when facing a difficulty. The statue tells them the tale of Queen Margaret of Scotland and the Greek Daughters of Troy to inspire them to be resilient leaders against their odds.

Emma says the idea for the story first came to her after being asked to write a short piece about the statue in late 2017.

“From that short piece, I was asked to write a children’s book for the school’s upcoming Centenary. I had a few different ideas about how the story would work; however, the idea of the Daughter of Troy telling stories of the school always remained.”

The children’s book was workshopped with school Principal Jayne-Ann Young, former Principal Ann Mildenhall and a Year 6 class shortly before Centenary Weekend.

“Getting feedback from actual students was one of the best parts of the writing process for me,” Emma says.

“It made me realise this was a story children would read and have read to them, and seeing them so engaged with the characters was very exciting for me.”

Sharon started at QMC mid-2018 and was immediately drawn to the project.

“I have always wanted to illustrate a children’s book and was so excited to have this opportunity at school.”

The pair researched significantly to make sure their book would appeal to the Queen Margaret College audience.

“I was really inspired by the tapestries of the time and the illustrations in Margaret’s Gospel Book,” Sharon says.

“I have also always been a fan of folk art.”

“Although the book is a work of fiction, there are many historical elements hidden in the text,” Emma says.

“For example, the main characters Tilly and Alex are named for two of the real-life children of Queen Margaret.”

Both were delighted to have the book launched at Centenary Weekend.

“I’m so proud of what we created,” Sharon says. “It looks just how I imagined it would.”

The storybook and the centenary art prints are available on our website. Click here to purchase your storybook.