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New children’s book by Master’s student takes flight at launch


A master’s student at the University of Wolverhampton has celebrated the launch of her first children’s book following a journey of discovery and self-love.

Joy Roxborough, aged 56 from Manchester, is currently completing her Master’s in Social Work, whilst celebrating the success of her first children’s book ‘I wish I were a Bird’. 

Although from Manchester, Joy had spent a part of her childhood in Jamaica, a place that later inspired her creative ideas when watching a bird outside her mother’s home. Paired with the inviting illustrations of Andy Catling, the book follows the story of a young boy exploring the opportunity to spend the day as a bird, before realising the importance of being himself.

This gentle encouragement for children to love their true selves was produced following the successful creation of a Crowd Funder in October 2020 to raise money for the illustrations. After 28 days, Joy’s success story began after raising £4,175, with contributions from the public and a generous donation from NatWest making up half of the fundraising pot. Illustrations began in May 2021, allowing the book to be launched on Amazon in August 2021.

The in-person launch of ‘I wish I were a Bird’ took place at the Technology Centre at the University of Wolverhampton’s Science Park. With an audience of families with young children, the launch provided an interactive experience to both hear the story and have the opportunity to win a copy of the book and prizes that encourage children to get into writing.

Joy said: “Writing for children can be challenging in that you have to appeal to the adults who purchase the books, as well as to the children who the stories are primarily written for. I love the process because it allows me to tap into my inner child and enjoy a bit of fun on a child’s level.

“The launch event was a truly wonderful experience. It was really nice to see children writing away and drawing in the journals they had been awarded.

“One little boy came up to me and said, “It is an honour for me to have met you.” He was about 8 or 9 years old, and I believe that is a crucial age where children can begin to be influenced by the values of the people around them. So, if I can continue to impact children positively by what I write and through what I do, that will be a satisfying achievement for me.”

Joy was previously successful in receiving the runner-up prize in the Lord Swraj Paul Award for Student Entrepreneurs. This award supports student entrepreneurial initiatives and allowed Joy the opportunity to further promote both her book whilst encouraging young children to get into writing through picture books.

Joy has utilised her mentoring sessions from the award to develop business ideas that utilise her writing abilities, whilst also working on a middle-grade novel based on some of the concepts in the picture book.

Joy’s book is available to purchase on Amazon.

If you are interested in studying Social Work at the University of Wolverhampton, visit our course page.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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