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Slug in a Mug



Slug in a Mug, written by Scottish speechwriter and Landecker Senior Fellow Laura Westring and illustrated by greetings card creator Jon Bishop (The Grey Earl), is the tale of a slug whose taste for sweet treats leads him to unexpected places.

The “almost true” story was inspired by Laura’s move to an empty cottage in 2020. Having woken one morning to find a slug in her mug, Laura began inventing stories with her young son to relieve the stress and social isolation of pandemic lockdowns. Laura believes imagining and reciting stories can be a beneficial activity for the whole family and increase the confidence of young children as they learn to speak and empathise.

Through Creative Stirling, a social enterprise supporting local artists and makers, Laura contacted Perthshire-based illustrator Jon Bishop and both set out on an almost two-year, self-funded project to bring their slug to life. Collaborating with Gerald Richard, CEO of Scottish charity Super Power Agency, the book also includes an activity to help children with writing skills.

Illustrator Jon Bishop said of receiving the manuscript for Slug in a Mug in January 2021, “It was the first children’s story I wanted to illustrate from the first reading. From the subtly sick sense of humour to the message that it’s okay to be bold and think differently to those around you, everything told me this slug had legs.”

Laura is keen to ensure that the cost of living doesn’t remove opportunities from diverse and under-resourced communities, and so both Laura and Jon hope to support a variety of community workshops and children’s activities run by Creative Stirling through sales of the book.

The book will be available to purchase online and in selected independent stores from October 2022.

Laura is one of thirty 2020-2021 Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.