Young footballers put pen to paper and Shock ‘Em

Photo: Michaela Blaney

A team of young footballers from Katherine is squaring up to the literary world.

The Big River Hawks’ first foray into literature — Shock ‘Em — will be launched at the Hawthorn Football Club in Melbourne on July 23.

The book contains works of fiction about playing in a Hawthorn Grand Final, personal articles about significant places in their lives and letters to their heroes such as their dads, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and Adelaide Crows star Eddie Betts.

Hawthorn CEO Stuart Fox said The Big River Hawks writers, who are aged from 16 to 18 and live in the Northern Territory, were showing a new talent.

“We’re aware of the huge amount of talent the boys have in terms of their football and now we see they are strong in storytelling as well,” he said.

Author Anita Heiss, who worked with the footy players on the book, said “as football players the Big River Hawks are impressive. As writers they are deadly.”

Shock ‘Em was published as part of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Community Literacy Program which provides writing and illustrating workshops for Indigenous children living in remote communities.

The program matches up successful authors with children to create and illustrate stories.

It worked with the Epic Good Foundation and the Hawthorn Football Club to bring the book to life.

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