Monday, May 28, 2007

Publising Sales Talk

The latest Walker Books catalogues - attractive in themselves - now call related backlist titles "Backlist Opportunity". Grr...

Booktrust launches short story competition to find teenage judges

Booktrust have launched a UK wide search to find five teenagers to join their Booktrust Teenage Prize panel. The winners will help to decide this year’s best fiction for teenagers, and attend the awards ceremony in London in October. Entrants are asked to write a short story in no more than 500 words on the theme of ‘Time Travel.’
Entrants must be between 11 and 16 years of age. The deadline for entries is Monday 30 July 2007. Entry forms are available to download from or

The judges for the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2007 are:
Angela Wilkinson, Librarian (Chair)
Tom Gatti, Associate Editor, The Times Books
Anthony McGowan, Author
Isabelle Ellis-Cockcroft, School student

Booktrust is delighted to maintain their partnership with the Reading Agency. The Reading Agency will be publicising the Teenage Prize in libraries across the UK, primarily through coordination with public and school library services.

The Booktrust Teenage Prize was launched in 2003 to recognise and celebrate contemporary fiction written for teenagers. Booktrust administers the prize with the support of writers, publishers, teachers, parents and libraries. Publishers may enter works of fiction, including novels, collections of short stories and graphic novels.

The specially designated website for the prize,, promotes the prize and books for young people as well as carrying comments and reviews from young people and well-known personalities on their favourite books.

The 2006 Prize was won by Anthony McGowan for Henry Tumour.

The winning author will receive a cheque for £2,500 together with a trophy. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in October 2007 following the shortlist announcement in September.

Summer Activities at Seven Stories, Newcastle

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 July
Harry Potter Weekend
Bookaballoo! Have you heard the last Harry Potter book is on its way? Cast off your school uniform, put on your wizard cloaks and hats and fly down to Seven Stories for a magical read. Join our Harry Potter readathon – will you finish the last book first?
Potions and Commotions workshops, Sat & Sun 11am & 2pm for children 6+ With cauldron and test-tube to hand, explore the science facts behind potions and commotions of all sorts, and create your own spell-book to take away with you. Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

The Ouseburn Festival Family Day Sunday 22 July from 12noon
The Ouseburn Valley will be jam packed with activities for the day including the festival parade, free workshops, music, street entertainment and stalls. Visit

Monday 23 – Sunday 29 July
From inventions to dreams and concoctions, take a brain-boggling look at some of the facts behind the fiction of Roald Dahl and other children’s authors.
Collecting Stories workshops, Mon-Fri 11am & 2pm for children 8+ Taking inspiration from the Seven Stories collection, this workshop will look at the weird and wonderful ways in which authors get ideas for their stories! Participants will get the chance to explore inspiring material to spark their imaginations for their own stories. Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

Monday 30 July – Sunday 5 August
Get into Character
Will it be the BFG, the Twits or an imaginary character you meet on your zippfizzing trip to Seven Stories this week? Enjoy meeting characters from the world of children’s books and creating new ones.
Max & Lara’s Amazing Travelling Space Circus, Wed 1 & Sat 4 Aug – drop in fun activities for families to develop reading and writing skills together. In association with BBC RaW.
Character Detectives workshops, Mon-Fri 11am & 2pm for children 8+ Using "character clue bags", participants will get the opportunity to do some detective work in order to discover what types of characters have been lurking around Seven Stories and guess at what kinds of mischief they may have been up to! Using drama and storytelling the group will create their own story using the characters they have found. Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

Family Storytelling Creatures Great and Small! with Pat Renton. In Association with A Bit Crack, Sun 5 Aug, sessions start at 1.45pm.
Monday 6 – Sunday 12 August
Wild about Books
Hippodumplings and crocadowndillies, we’re just wild about animal and bird books this week. The RSPB will be running crafty activities and discovering wildlife and nature in stories from Mon 6- Fri 10 August, drop-in between 11am-4pm.
Dip into a rock pool adventure with sea creatures from the Blue Reef Aquarium, Mon 6 Aug at 11am, 11.45am and 12.30pm.
Enjoy a sing-a-long with animal characters from picture-books with storyteller, Tony Wilson, Thurs 9 Aug, 1.45 & 3pm for children 3+
Simon Rees returns with his amazing bug station and explores the insect life of Hadrian’s Wall as shown in his popular children’s guide Wild About the Wall, Fri 10 & Sat 11 August, 1-3pm.
Fishy Tales workshops, Mon-Fri 11am & 2pm for children 6+ using our special Seven Stories "story-fishing" rods participants will go fishing for parts of a story which they will then bring to life through drama! Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

Monday 13 – Sunday 19 August
Funky Designs
Be inspired by the picture books in our exhibition to design and make your own funky images, illustrations and crafty creations.
Tues 14, Wed 15, Thurs 16 August – Funky Monkey and the Juicy Fruits – a funkadelic exploration of healthy eating for families. Performances at 11am and 2.30pm followed by funky fruit and veg workshops. Booking essential. For more information visit Supported by North East Regional Museums Hub.
3D Story Scenes workshops with Rebecca Pelly-Fry to coincide with her exhibition, Secret Spaces in the Book Den - create a 3D scene from paper, inspired by the stories in the exhibition. Mon 13 & Fri 17 Aug, 11am & 2pm for children 8+ Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

Sunday 19 August – hopswitch along to our chocolate themed day to celebrate Seven Stories’ birthday.

Monday 20 – Sunday 26 August
Why not bring a friend along to dress up with and invent stories together for telling and acting out? Enjoy making puppets, listening to our storytellers or meeting storybook characters on your visit.
Enjoy tales from around the world with storyteller, Ravinda Cheema, Wed 22 Aug, 12 noon, 1.45 & 3pm for children 4+
Page to Stage workshops, Mon-Fri, 11am & 2pm for children 8+ Using books for inspiration, this workshop will lift the story off the page and into spectacular action; giving participants the chance to learn and develop drama and storytelling skills! Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

Monday 27 August – Sunday 2 September
Beneath the Covers
Enjoy some Gobblefunk fun with our resident writer and collect writing tips for your own stories or poems. Why not get inside some new books in our cosy book den or try creating your own?
Enjoy a sing-along with animal characters from picture-books with storyteller, Tony Wilson, Bank Holiday Mon 27 Aug, 12 noon, 1.45 & 3pm for children 3+
Beneath the Covers workshops, Tues-Fri, 11am & 2pm for children 8+ Do you dream about becoming a writer or simply want to pick up some writing skills? Open up your imagination and join our resident writer for these creative writing sessions. Booking essential call 0845 271 0777 ext. 714.

Family Storytelling The Swallow Flies South with Malcolm Green. In Association with A Bit Crack, Sun 2 Sept, sessions start at 1.45pm.
Children aged 8+ may attend workshops unaccompanied but parents/carers are asked to remain in the building.

The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake

Snozzcumbers and Frobscottle!
Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books are set to launch one whizzpopping exhibition this summer! Snozzcumbers and Frobscottle! The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake opens on Saturday 14 July 2007 and promises to be as exciting and dramatic as the characters themselves.
Blake’s classic illustrations will visit the North East for the first time in a unique interpretation, based on a selection of artwork that drew a phenomenal number of visitors to London’s National Theatre last year.
Enter the exhibition through Mr Willy Wonka’s whirling swirling tunnel and be transported into the wondercrump world of Dahl and Blake. Observe original illustrations including Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Revolting Rhymes and Fantastic Mr Fox. Discover the duo’s creative process behind The Twits including manuscripts and Dahl’s ideas book.
Visitors can gain an insight into the pair’s creative process and be inspired to illustrate themselves, perhaps enthused by the exclusive film of Blake at work in his studio in London.
There are interactives throughout the exhibition including a replica BFG’s cave with Snozzcumbers, Frobscottle and dream catchers, plus audio of Dahl telling his unforgettable tales.
Quentin Blake says: "There is something magical about Roald Dahl's books. I like them because although the characters are very unreal, they're strangely true to life as well. For example, the awful people are much more horrible than real people - yet rather like them too!"

For a truly magical family day out visit Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, tucked under Byker Bridge in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm Sunday 11am – 5pm. Adult £5, Child/concession £4, Family £15. Annual passes are available. T: 0845 271 0777 W: E: Registered charity no. 1056812.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children's Books Shortlist

The nine shortlisted titles in this year’s Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books and a brand new category of best Gaelic book the year are announced today (Friday, May 18).
Such was the success of the inaugural Royal Mail awards programme in 2006, this year’s winning authors will benefit from a trebling of the prize money handed out last year, making this the biggest prize awarded for children’s writing in the UK.
The awards are split into four categories – Early Years, Younger Readers, Older Readers, Gaelic – and the winning author of each category will receive £3,000, thanks to increased financial support from Royal Mail, the Scottish Arts Council and the Arts & Business Invest programme. Runners-up in each category will receive £500 each, a significant increase on last year’s £200 prizes.

There are three shortlisted books in each of the three age-group categories, with a fourth Gaelic category winner:

Early Years (0 - 7 years)
Augustus And His Smile by Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press)
Dan and Diesel by Charlotte Hudson and Lindsey Gardiner (Red Fox)
Katie’s Moose by James Robertson and Matthew Fitt, illustrated by Karen Sutherland (Itchycoo)

Younger readers (8 - 12 years)
Chill by Alex Nye (Floris Books)
The Flight of the Silver Turtle by John Fardell (Faber & Faber)
The Highwayman’s Footsteps by Nicola Morgan (Walker Books)

Older readers (13 - 16 years)
The Medici Seal by Theresa Breslin (Doubleday)
Nemesis: Into the Shadows by Catherine MacPhail (Bloomsbury)
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy (Puffin)

Gaelic Children’s Book of the Year (Winner)
Uspaig agus S-S by Marie C NicAmhlaigh (Marie Macauley), illustrated by Kathleen NicAonghais (Kathleen MacInnes), published by Leabhraichean Beaga.

The shortlisted books will be read by young people in reading groups at schools, libraries and bookshops across Scotland during the next few months, with children voting for their favourite book thereafter and the winners announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, November 22.
A book review competition for children will run concurrently, with prizes awarded to the best reviews (in either Gaelic or English) of the shortlisted titles or the Gaelic category winner. Review competition winners will be recognised at the awards ceremony in November and will win book tokens for themselves as well as an author visit for their school or library.

The Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books are managed by BRAW (Books Reading And Writing), part of Scottish Book Trust, in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council and are supported by the Times Educational Supplement Scotland. The awards are an evolution of the Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book of the Year.

Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, said: "The Royal Mail Awards are unique prizes which celebrate and promote the outstandingly high calibre of writing for children of all ages in Scotland, and obviously we’re delighted with the expansion and wider inclusiveness introduced this year. And the ownership of the prizes by children across Scotland is a glorious thing - we have wonderful young readers as well as wonderful authors!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Royal Society Junior Prize for Science Books

TopGear presenter uses ‘the Force’ to scoop kids’ science book of year

Bringing his trademark action-packed approach to physics has won Richard Hammond, presenter of TopGear and Brainiac, this year’s Royal Society Junior Prize for Science Books it was announced today (Tuesday 15 May, 2007).

Can you feel the force? uses physics to answer questions such as, ‘can you lie on a bed of nails?, ‘what’s inside an atom?’ and ‘can you walk on custard?’. It also provides an accessible and entertaining introduction to some of the great scientists, such as Newton and Galileo, and outlines simple experiments to try at home.

The book was chosen as the winner from a shortlist of six by junior judging panels made up of almost 1000 young people from 100 school and youth groups from across the UK.

Richard Hammond said: "I was immediately captivated when the team at Dorling Kindersley(DK) approached me about making a book to try and bring physics to life. Perhaps all children need is the confidence to approach a subject with enthusiasm and an open mind. The DK team gave them just that and winning this award is recognition for a group of very talented people."

Commenting on Can you feel the Force?, Anna aged 13 and one of the Junior Judges(2) said: “It was good because it had unusual facts that you wouldn’t know from science lessons.”

Andrew aged 11 said: “The illustrations were good but my favourite bit was the way of walking on custard.”

Adele aged 11 said: “I didn’t vote for it just because Richard Hammond wrote it, it truly was the best.”

Eleanor Updale, chair of the junior judging panels said: “This instantly appealing book traces the roots of physics to the dawn of civilization, but concentrates on the way physical forces are at work in all our lives today. With clear illustrations, practical experiments, and well-paced text, it makes an interest in science look like fun – and above all, normal.”

Dorling Kindersley has now won the junior award eight times – more than any other publisher. What Makes Me, Me? by Robert Winston, which is part of the same series as Can you feel the force?, won the prize in 2005.

The other books short listed for this year’s Junior prize are:
How nearly everything was invented by the brainwaves devised and illustrated by Ralph and Lisa Lazar, and written by Jilly MacLeod.
It’s true! Space turns you into spaghetti by Heather Catchpole and Vanessa Woods (Allen and Unwin)
KFK Natural Disasters by Andrew Langley (Kingfisher Knowledge)
My Body Book by Mick Manning and Brita Granström (Franklin Watts)
Science Investigations: Electricity by John Farndon (Wayland)

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert won this year’s Royal Society General Prize for Science Books.

Angus Award Winner

Author Kevin Brooks has won the 2007 Angus Book Award for his novel Candy, published by Chicken House Publishing – a sharp, sensitive and exciting novel that takes a walk on the darker side of teenage life.

Following an intensive few months of reading and debate in all eight Angus secondary schools, the five shortlisted authors arrived from all over the UK to speak to the pupils and take part in the award ceremony in Arbroath High School.

The ceremony, which is run by the S3 pupils themselves, was hosted this year by pupils Jason McNulty and Christy Scott, from Arbroath High School and pupils from the other secondary schools spoke about the shortlisted books and asked the authors questions.
But finally the waiting was over and Rachel McCullogh, Chair of the Angus Youth Congress, presented the winning author with his trophy, a miniature replica of the Aberlemno Serpent Stone, and £500 prize.
After recovering from the rush for signed copies of his book, a delighted Kevin said, “A very wonderful day! Truly unforgettable. Excitement, intrigue, artwork, rapping, cheering, laughing, thinking, believing, invigorating…..everything including a sun-filled day! What more could anyone want!”

Saturday, May 12, 2007

CLPE Poetry Award Shortlist 2007

Chrissie Gittins: I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle, illustrated by Kev Adamson (Rabbit Hole Publications) ;
Julie Johnstone (editor): The Thing That Mattered Most. Scottish Poems for Children illustrated by Iain McIntosh (Scottish PoetryLibrary/Black & White Publishing);
Tony Mitton: My Hat and All That, illustrated by Sue Heap (Corgi Yearling);
Gaby Morgan (editor): Fairy Poems, illustrated by Matilda Harrison (Macmillan);
Jackie Morris (compiler and illustrator): The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems (Barefoot Books);
John Siddique: Don't Wear It On Your Head, Don't Stick It Down Your Pants (Peepal Tree Press) .

This will be the fourth year of the CLPE Award - the only prize in this country for a book of children's poetry. The judges are Ian McMillan, Fiona Waters and Margaret Meek Spencer; the winner will be announced at the award ceremony Wed 13th June 4-6pm at CLPE, Webber Street, London SE1 8QW. More details on the CLPE website -

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Public Vote on the Greenaway Medal

Greenaway Favourites:

1. Each Peach Pear Plum - Janet Ahlberg
2. Dogger - Shirley Hughes
3. Father Christmas - Raymond Briggs
4. I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato - Lauren Child
5. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Helen Oxenbury
6. Mr Magnolia - Quentin Blake
7. The Jolly Christmas Postman - Janet Ahlberg
8. Mr Gumpy's Outing - John Burningham
9. Can't You Sleep Little Bear? - Barbara Firth
10.Wolves - Emily Gravett
11.The Haunted House - Jan Pienkowski
12.The Highwayman - Charles Keeping
13.Zoo - Anthony Browne
14.Gorilla - Anthony Browne
15.Pumpkin Soup - Helen Cooper
16.Tim All Alone - Edward Ardizzone
17.Ella's Big Chance - Shirley Hughes
18.Snow White in New York - Fiona French
19.A.B.C. - Brian Wildsmith
20.Chameleon - Adrienne Kennaway

The Public Vote on the Carnegie Medal

Carnegie Favourites:

1. His Dark Materials: Book 1 Northern Lights - Philip Pullman

2. Tom's Midnight Garden - Philippa Pearce
3. The Owl Service - Alan Garner
4. The Borrowers - Mary Norton
5. A Gathering Light - Jennifer Donnelly
6. The Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge
7. Skellig - David Almond
8. The Last Battle - C S Lewis
9. Tamar - Mal Peet
10.Granny was a Buffer Girl - Berlie Doherty
11.Pigeon Post - Arthur Ransome
12.The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - Terry Pratchett
13.The Machine Gunners - Robert Westall
14.Watership Down - Richard Adams
15.Junk - Melvin Burgess
16.The Family from One End Street - Eve Garnett
17.Millions - Frank Cottrell Boyce
18.The Changeover - Margaret Mahy
19.Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty
20.Stone Cold - Robert Swindells

Friday, May 04, 2007

Young Minds Book Award

YoungMinds, the national children's mental health charity, today announcesthe line-up of judges for the 2007 YoungMinds Book Award sponsored by PhilipPullman.The four confirmed judges are Stef Penney; award winning author of TheTenderness of Wolves, Shelley Jofre; investigative journalist for Panorama,Will Self; author and broadcaster and Anjula Mutanda; clinical psychologicaltherapist, agony aunt and broadcaster.

The YoungMinds Book Award, now in its fifth year, is a unique award designed
to recognise a work, either fiction or non-fiction, that gives a fresh
insight into the lives and worlds of children or young people.Last years winner Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala has gone on to win further awards both in the UK and the US.

The shortlist of six books will be announced in mid-July and the winner will be presented with the £3,000 prize at a ceremony in central London on 15th November.