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Skint! was developed by Scottish Book Trust, in partnership with the Scottish Government. It was written by Gowan Calder and illustrated by metaphrog. The first trials of Skint! were in 2010 through support groups in schools, libraries, colleges and community centres across Scotland. The aim of the trials was to ensure Skint! provided an effective approach to improving reluctant readers' literacy, numeracy and financial capability skills.

Following the great success of Skint! in Scotland it has now been modified for an English audience as part of a project between Standard Life Charitable Trust, Groundwork and Quaker Social Action.

You can read it online here.

(If you're looking for information about the original Scottish version of Skint! you can find it here.)

About the Authors

Gowan Calder
Gowan is an actress and playwright. She has appeared in theatre, TV, radio and film and performed in Europe, Asia and America. Her plays have been produced in theatres throughout Britain and also broadcast on BBC Radio. Gowan grew up in Edinburgh and West Lothian and now lives by the sea. She has often been 'skint'.

metaphrog are Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers. Together, they have been creating comics, graphic novels and illustrations since 1996, gradually building a loyal following and receiving critical acclaim worldwide.

John is from Scotland and studied science, gaining several degrees, including a PhD from Strathclyde University's Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department in a branch of Opto-Electronics involving micro-machining.

Sandra is from France and has a degree in Arts and Letters. In 1994, she moved to Scotland. That same year, John returned from working in The Netherlands.

Their meeting was a catalyst, and within a few months, they created metaphrog.

Their 'Louis' series has received several prestigious award nominations, including three Eisner Award nominations: Best Graphic Album New, Best Title for a Younger Audience, and Best Colouring, an Ignatz Award nomination for Best New Talent, and also a YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2011 nomination.

About Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing. It works with writers, children, teachers, librarians and readers from all backgrounds to spread a love of books and reading.

About Groundwork

Groundwork helps people to reach their potential and create better places with a greener future through practical, locally led projects. Some of its projects include engaging young people in helping to improve their local area, building stronger communities by improving green spaces and getting people back into work by creating green jobs.

About Quaker Social Action
Quaker Social Action exists to resource, enable and equip people living on a low income in east London. Its projects work towards the vision of 'a just world where people put people first', recognising the people it works with as agents of change not objects of charity.

About Standard Life Charitable Trust

Standard Life Charitable Trust is an independent charity established by Standard Life in 2009. It aims to help enable people experiencing difficulty and disadvantage to make positive and sustainable changes in their lives. One of its current projects, Money Force, brings financial education into all Armed Forces basic training for the first time as well as providing a new web platform The support the project provides is tailored specifically to the needs of service personnel and their families.

About Productions Ltd Productions is an award winning Deaf-led Media Production Company and was established in February 2003. Our projects benefit from the specialist skills and experience we have in making communication materials accessible. provides an accessibility service for specific groups such as deaf and hard of hearing people and ensures improved communication to reach a wider audience.


Thank you to those who took part in the focus groups!
Thanks to Faron Woodbridge, group leader at Groundwork London, and to participants Whitney Louise Afiofer, Sade Rasheda Mavoka, Kyren Gerome Miguel and Shari Thomas.

Read Skint! Can't wait to get started? Read Skint! online or download a copy now. Find out more