Art teacher Bronwyn Martoo and her signed copy of the latest book from world-famous author Nick Earls (Photo: SMCC)

October 26, 2021

World renowned author Nick Earls recently named Saint Mary’s Catholic College’s art teacher Bronwyn Martoo the “Doodle Champion of 2021”.

Earls’ latest book “Empires” has just launched and at a promotional professional development session for art teachers, Earls read an excerpt from his novel while the teachers were encouraged to sketch a doodle inspired by the passage.

Bronwyn Martoo has been the art teacher at Saint Mary’s for 23 years and is a big fan of Earls and his work, having read most of his back catalogue.

She was thrilled to even have the opportunity to be in a Zoom conference with him reading, let alone winning the ultimate prize of a signed copy of “Empires”.

“I was screaming out to my husband that I had won, and hoping that my microphone wasn’t on,” Bronwyn said.

The excerpt read by Earls was about the young son of the main character pulling reams of sticky tape out of a dispenser, and this image was the inspiration for Bronwyn’s sketch.

“The Brisbane Museum had sent each participant a little pack with coloured paper and a beautiful white pen,” she said.

“I had this vision of the sticky tape dispenser and tape coiling around the page and just went for it, later adding pattern and the word Hope, which is the town where the story is set.”

The Brisbane Museum was launching a new program of activities for school groups to attend, and had invited Earls to be the guest speaker at the Zoom launch.

“As a teacher in a regional school, I have been so excited by the possibilities that have opened up with Zoom being used as a standard these days,” Bronwyn said.

“Program launches used to be in person, in Brisbane and during the week, making it impossible for us in the regions to attend.

“Now we can see what different places offer and book school groups knowing, in advance, what to expect.

“It has really opened up many opportunities for us.”

Bronwyn’s signed book arrived by post this week and has gone “straight to the pool room”.

A close-up of Bronwyn’s winning doodle (Photo: SMCC)

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