Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dr Who Script Competition for 9-11 year olds

To herald the new series of Doctor Who, BBC Learning and Doctor Who Confidential today announced Script To Screen, an exciting competition that will give one lucky team of school children the chance to write their own Doctor Who mini-adventure starring the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith.

To win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, school children aged 9 to 11 years will be encouraged to collaborate on a three-minute script that takes the resident Time Lord on a new quest travelling through space and time inside the TARDIS.

The lucky winners will travel to the BBC's studios in Cardiff where they will see their script brought to life by the Doctor Who team and cast, including Matt Smith.

Children can be as creative and imaginative as they like in order to put together a story that's filled with all the excitement and adventure of the popular BBC One sci-fi drama.

The action-packed script must feature Matt Smith and can include one of four fearsome monsters/aliens from the show: Ood, Judoon, Cyberman or Weeping Angel, as well as a brand new human character to test the wits of the Doctor.

Tailored learning resources will be available on the BBC Learning website to help guide teachers and pupils through the process.

BAFTA winner and head writer at Doctor Who, Steven Moffat, will also offer his expert advice and helpful tips on how to pull together a stand-out script with memorable characters.

Steven Moffat said: "Doctor Who made me want to write. It made me fall in love in television, script-writing and storytelling, and led me by the hand to the best job in the world. It also made me want to defend the Earth from aliens but that hasn't come up so often.

"I know the power this show has to set young imaginations alight, because I've lived it, so I'm incredibly excited to be involved in this project. Plus it's never too early to start looking for your replacement."

The winning script will be chosen by Steven Moffat, Saul Nassé and executive producers of Doctor Who, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis.

Full details of how to enter the competition are available on bbc.co.uk/teachers.

Downloadable BBC Learning resources will be available from 23 April 2011 and the closing date for entries Monday 13 June 2011.

A Fantastic Bookshop

Salts Mill, Saltaire just outside Bradford is one of those places that never disappoints. Saltaire itself is a wonderful place and the Mill contains the most incredible number of David Hockney's work plus on the top floor some of his stage sets. And on the first floor there is this terrific bookshop. The vast majority of the books are not on shelves but on enormous mill tables, and it is almost impossible to leave without buying a book or two. For those interested in children's picture books the selection would put most shops to shame - and they are lucky enough to have sufficient space to show them properly. And then when you have finished looking and buying you can have an excellent lunch just beyond the bookshop, but on the same floor. There is a lift for those who find stairs difficult. And on the raised ground floor a good assortment of art books and materials surrounded by the most glorious array of vases and of course Hockneys. Further up the building there is a fish restaurant, and other extremely stylish shops. A real treat.

The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

Michelle Paver, the creator of Wolf Brother, launched the 2012
Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition on Saturday
26th March. It is the only prize of its kind, with the winner
being offered a worldwide publishing deal with Chicken House,
the independent-minded publishing company run by
Barry Cunningham OBE who is highly regarded for his ability
to spot and nurture new talent. The prize also includes an offer
of representation from top literary agency Christopher Little.
The aim of the competition is to find a talented new children's
author, and an exciting new novel. www.thetimes.co.uk/competitions

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scottish Book Trust Meet our Authors Programme

Each author is filmed (in front of a live audience of children) either reading from their books, answering questionings or chatting about becoming an author (for about 40 minutes) and the film is simultaneously broadcast live over the internet so that children in schools across the UK can watch for free. Last year we had an overall audience of 300,000 children taking part in the webcasts. They are really popular but Scottish Book Trust are still keen to let as many schools and parents as possible know that they are happening.
The authors for 2011 are as follows:
James Mayhew 12th May 2011http://james-mayhew-author-illustrator.blogspot.com/http://james-mayhew-author-illustrator.blogspot.com/>
Andy Stanton (focussing on reluctant readers)16th June 2011 http://www.mrgum.co.uk/books.htm <http://www.mrgum.co.uk/books.htm>
David Almond (focussing on creative writing)29th September 2011 http://www.davidalmond.com/ <http://www.davidalmond.com/>
Kjartan Poskitt (focussing on maths)1st December 2011 http://www.kjartan.co.uk/ <http://www.kjartan.co.uk/>
You might want to watch a recent Meet our Authors event that we did with Eoin Colfer (it’s really funny) to get an idea of what we do: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/podcasts/video/authors-live-with-eoin-colfer-full-session.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Library Cuts: Legal Challenge

The Campaign for the Book has launched a legal challenge over the widespread library closures, claiming culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has failed to comply with his duties under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.
Author Alan Gibbons, campaign organiser, said he had instructed his solicitors to "pursue the campaign's concerns". He said: " I think it is vital that the courts examine the legality of the Secretary of State's approach on the provision of libraries in England and Wales.
"He has a duty to ensure that councils provide a 'comprehensive and efficient' service. I believe that he is failing in that duty."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Blue Peter Book of the Year 2011

The overall winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2011 is Dead Man’s Cove - the first in a series - follows the adventures of Laura Marlin, an 11-year-old amateur sleuth, as she departs her children’s home and embarks on a new life with her mysterious uncle in St Ives. Packed with all of the ingredients of a classic British adventure novel, mixed in with modern-day themes, the book triumphed in the Favourite Story category before securing the ultimate accolade of Blue Peter Book of the Year 2011.
The book’s author, Lauren St John, was born in Rhodesia, living on a private game reserve until she was 16. She is also the author of the bestselling The White Giraffe series and has worked as golf correspondent for The Sunday Times. She now lives in London.
The enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children since 2000.
There are three categories of awards: Best Book with Facts, Most Fun Story with Pictures and Favourite Story. The favourite of the three is voted Blue Peter Book of the Year.
The category winners are:
Best Book with Facts:
Do Igloos Have Loos? by Mitchell Symons (Doubleday)
Most Fun Story with Pictures:
Lunatics and Luck (The Raven Mysteries) by Marcus Sedgwick, illustrated by PeteWilliamson (Orion Children’s Books)
Favourite Story:
Dead Man's Cove (A Laura Marlin Mystery) by Lauren St John (Orion Children’s Books)
The winning author and illustrator in each category were awarded a special Blue Peter Book Award Trophy.
The final nine books were judged by a selection of young Blue Peter viewers, who decided the winners in each category and, from these, selected the overall winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year.
Lauren St John was interviewed in Carousel issue 43 (back copies available from Carousel).

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Divine Poetry Competition

Acclaimed author Meg Rosoff joined Divine & Christian Aid to judge this year’s nationwide Divine Poetry Competition Divine Chocolate, the chocolate company owned by cocoa farmers, is delighted to announce the winners of the ninth national Divine Poetry Competition, held in association with Christian Aid. The quality of poems this year was particularly high making for a tough selection process. The judging panel was headed by Meg Rosoff, author of the critically acclaimed novel How I Live Now. Thousands of budding poets of all ages from all over the UK embraced this year’s theme: From Bean to Bar. Videos of Meg reading out the winning poems can be found on the Divine website. Nine years of fantastic poems about cocoa, farmers, chocolate and Fairtrade means they have a wonderful collection.

Very Short Story Competition

CREATING STORIES IN 247 WORDS Bloomsbury’s VERY short story competition for young writers!
247tales.com is an online writing competition from Bloomsbury that challenges young writers to create stories using only 247 words or less. Launched in 2009 the competition has proved very popular, with more stories being entered month on month. In 2010 there were over 100 entries each month showing there is a lot of potential in our young writers.
In 2011, the competition is back with a new look website, thrilling stories and inspiring topics. Each month a different Bloomsbury author will pen a 247tale on a given theme. It is then over to the UK’s budding young writers aged between 10 and 16 to create their own miniature masterpiece.
One winner will be chosen each month and they will have their 247tale featured on the website as well winning a selection of books and a framed copy of their story. Ten runners-up will get a signed copy of the latest book from that month's featured author, and their story will appear in the 247Library section of the website.
The competition launches at 2:47pm on World Book Day (Thursday 3rd March) with a 247tale from new author Jim Carrington on the theme of The Money. Rules and details of how to enter are on the site - www.247tales.com. This year the site has been re-launched in a blog format to encourage entrants to comment on the work, talk about short stories and become part of a 247tales community. Authors taking part in 2011 are Celia Rees, Angie Sage, Cathy MacPhail, Alyxandra Harvey, Irfan Master, B.R. Collins and Isobelle Carmody. www.247tales.com