Monday, January 31, 2011


Hay Festival and BBC Radio 2 launch competition to encourage children’s literacy Hay Fever – the family programme at Hay Festival – and BBC Radio 2 have teamed up and are very pleased to announce a new and exciting story competition for children aged under 13.
500 WORDS was launched this morning by Chris Evans on his Breakfast Show. Chris Evans will be joined by some of the best known and best loved names from the world of literature in picking the winners.
The judges will be:The 2010 Man Booker Prize-winner Howard JacobsonDame Jacqueline Wilson, former Children's Laureate and author of The Story of Tracy BeakerLittle Britain star and author of Billionaire Boy David WalliamsAnthony Horowitz, award-winning screenwriter and author of the Alex Rider seriesOliver Jeffers, author of global best-selling picture books including How To Catch A Star, Lost And Found and Up And Down
Chris Evans is also calling all teachers to help judge the competition – if you are a teacher and would like to be involved, get in touch here.
Children are asked to write a 500-word story based on any made-up subject they choose and submit it through the BBC Radio 2 website. The deadline for entries is 3 March 2011 – World Book Day.
Fifty chosen finalists will be invited with their families to The Telegraph Hay Festival in June as special guests, where they will watch Chris Evans live broadcast his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show live to the nation. Five winners will receive book tokens and a wonderful range of books for their school library.

Friday, January 21, 2011

London's Southbank Children's Festival Feb 2011

IMAGINE ZOMBIES, BALLERINAS AND WILD ROCK GIGS… SOUTHBANK CENTRE’S CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 10 INSPIRATIONAL YEARS IN 2011 Saturday 12 – Sunday 27 February 2011, Southbank Centre Readings and performances by Charlie Higson, Jeremy Strong and Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne World Exclusive Preview Screenings of The Flying Machine 3D starring Heather Graham and Lang Lang Dan Zanes’ rock gigs for kids returns to Queen Elizabeth HallArlene Phillips reads from her new book and introduces a ballroom dance class Imagine’s favourite stand-up comedian James Campbell returnsSpecial concert by 12 Cellos of the Berliner Philharmoniker Shoebox Living exhibition created by children from Kids Company Comic-themed Clore Ballroom plus free events and chances to join in Children ‘Takeover’ running the Festival for a day Imagine, Southbank Centre’s inspirational children’s festival – one of the most diverse in the UK – returns for the 10th year with an unbeatable mix of readings and storytelling by favourite children’s authors and poets and a full programme of music, dance, comedy, film and performance. Taking over Southbank Centre’s family-friendly venues and spaces during the February half-term, Imagine is designed for children aged five to 11, with some of the performances and activities also suitable for younger children.

Marsh Award 2011

LETTERS TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE Wins the Marsh Award 2011. Written by Toon Tellegen, translated from the original Dutch edition by Martin Cleaver, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg and published by Boxer Books. The small, independent Children's book publisher based in London, celebrating their fifth year in publishing, Boxer Books is justly proud to be recognised by The Marsh award for the best children's book in translation 2011. Toon Tellegen is an extraordinary author and while a huge seller in many parts of the world from his native Netherlands to France and Russia - he is now available for the first time in English. Published by Boxer Books UK and US.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dick King-Smith

News of the death of Dick King-Smith came in early January. Full obituaries appeared in the national press - particularly interesting ones in the Independent (Nicholas Tucker) and The Guardian (Julia Eccleshare) appeared on 6 January. We have fond memories of him at Carousel and here is an article from the autumn edition of the 1999 Carousel online

More Dickens Schools Competition

To celebrate the bi-centenary of Charles Dickens’ birth in 1812, the Dickens Fellowship and the English Association announce the More Dickens Competition.A first prize of £500 will be awarded for an extended class project based on one of Dickens’ works. The runner up will receive £250. The competition is open to classes of all ages in primary schools in the UK and can be completed at any time during 2011—the closing date for entries is January 1st, 2012.
Projects may link with regular literacy and numeracy work and include other areas of the curriculum, for example, art, geography, history, music, science. The judges will be looking for originality and lively outcomes, but are also very much interested in hearing about the teaching and learning processes that are part of everyday good practice.
Notes for Guidance and Registration Forms are available from the English Association— go to