Friday, January 25, 2013

Proposed cuts to Seven Stories funding

The Council is proposing to cut its funding to all arts organisations by 100% by 2015/16 as a measure to save £90m, in response to cuts imposed by the Coalition government. Our grant from the Council is 13% of our income. That's the equivalent to the funds we spent on our learning and outreach work. It is proposed that the cuts are phased over 2 years, to give us time plan the future direction of our work and develop our income generation strategies.
We understand that the Council is faced with hard decisions. Newcastle City Council, along with Arts Council England, helped to fund the building of Seven Stories and both have been regular funders ever since we opened. We want to work with them to find solutions that ensure that Seven Stories continues to thrive and make a unique contribution to our childhood culture in Britain, the North East and the City of Newcastle.
The founding of a brand new organisation to save, share and celebrate our literary inheritance for children in 1996 took vision and courage. Since we opened in 2005 over 1¼m people have enjoyed a Seven Stories experience. In just 7 years we have gained National status. This has taken dedication, hard work and belief. We know it won’t be easy, but we will build on these strengths.
Kate Edwards, Chief Executive.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist announced

Quentin Blake - Knighted in the New Year's Honours list - has another reason to celebrate after being shortlisted for a Blue Peter Book Award for his work on Michael Rosen's biography of Roald Dahl.
Columnist and author Caitlin Moran is among the judges who have selected the six books for the shortlist – announced today – of this year's Blue Peter Book Awards. The six books, which will now go to a children's vote to decide the overall winners, include a novel about a boy called Stan and his close encounters with fish; a biography of Roald Dahl by a former Children’s Laureate; Shirley Hughes’ first novel – a tale of daring set in Italy during World War II; a handbook for the grim and gruesome science of everyday life; the latest installment of inspiration (mostly) from Tom Gates; and a true-life account of the British Army’s first black officer, who also happened to be a brilliant footballer.
Best Story
  • The Boy who Swam With Piranhas by David Almond, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Walker Books)
  • Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes ( Walker Books)
  • Tom Gates – Genius Ideas (Mostly) by Liz Pichon (Scholastic)
Best Book with Facts
  • Horrible Science: House of Horrors by Nick Arnold & Tony De Saulles (Scholastic)
  • Walter Tull’s Scrapbook by Michaela Morgan (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
  • Fantastic Mr Dahl by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin)
These enormously popular and influential awards have been unearthing and celebrating the best children’s authors, the most fascinating fact books and the greatest reads for children since 2000.

Friday, January 04, 2013

HOT KEY BOOKS wins a COSTA Book Award! Sally Gardner wins with Maggot Moon



MAGGOT MOON by Sally Gardner has won the 2012 Costa Children’s Book Award


MAGGOT MOON, the stunning novel with a dyslexic hero at its heart, is the book closest to author Sally Gardner, herself severely dyslexic and branded ‘unteachable’ when she was at school.

Set in a reimagined 1950s world under the ‘Motherland’s’ dictatorship, MAGGOT MOON is the heartbreaking but inspirational story of the power of the imagination and friendship and has received great praise since publication in August 2012, described as the most original publication for years’ by the Times, the outstanding teenage novel of the autumn’ by the Telegraph and ‘… an inspirational piece of writing’ by the New Statesman.

Sally Gardner said: ‘In all my experience since becoming a full-time writer, winning this award is the most phenomenal. I used to be an illustrator and now I paint with words; I've discovered exactly what words can achieve as pictures. MAGGOT MOON is a book I’ve always wanted to write and Standish has been waiting to be written for years. It is thrilling that the story now stands defiant in the world. It is a great honour to have won this award, and for me, it goes towards proving the power of dreams.’

Hot Key Books, part of Bonnier Publishing, was started up by MD Sarah Odedina, previous Publisher/International Editor-in-Chief at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, in September 2011, and launched its list in August this year to great acclaim.  


Sarah Odedina said: ‘We are over the moon that Sally Gardner has won the 2012 Costa Children's Book Award with her outstanding and original book MAGGOT MOON, and particularly delighted that it is just the third book to be published by Hot Key Books. In it she has created a unique voice and one of literature’s best heroes, Standish Treadwell.’


MAGGOT MOON is available in hardback, paperback, ebook and as a Multi Touch edition for the iPad. The adult edition will be published on 31 January 2012.





The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2012 goes to John Agard

The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2012
The Queen has approved the award of Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for the year 2012 to John Agard.
Background and Biography
The Poetry Medal Committee met at Windsor on 23rd November and was in agreement that Mr Agard should be nominated for this year’s award, on the basis of his body of work over several years. In particular, the Committee considered Mr Agard’s most recent published volume, Alternative Anthem: Selected Poems (2009), as well as his book of children’s poems Goldilocks on CCTV (2011).
Mr Agard grew up in Georgetown, Guyana, in the 1950s. In 1977 he moved to the UK where he has lived ever since: in London working – as a touring speaker  – for the Commonwealth Institute, and for the National Maritime Museum); and now in Lewes (East Sussex). His first books were published before his move to the UK. He has produced numerous volumes of prose and verse, winning the Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry in 1997 and the Cholmondeley Award in 2004.
The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has said:
John Agard has always made people sit up and listen. He has done this with intelligence, humour and generosity. He has the ability to temper anger with wit and difficult truths with kindness. He levels the ground beneath all our feet, whether he is presenting Dante to children or introducing his own (Guyanan) culture to someone who hasn't encountered it before. In performance he is electrifying - compelling, funny, moving and thought-provoking. His work in Education over years has changed the way that readers, writers and teachers think about poetry.’ 
History of the Gold Medal for Poetry
The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield. Recommendations for the award of the Medal are made by a committee of eminent men and women of letters, selected by the Poet Laureate (Carol Ann Duffy).
The Medal is awarded for excellence in poetry, on the basis either of a body of work over several years, or for an outstanding poetry collection issued during the year of the award. The poems will have been published. The poet will be from the United Kingdom or a Commonwealth realm.  The obverse of the medal bears the crowned effigy of The Queen.  The idea of the reverse, which was designed by the late Edmund Dulac, is “Truth is emerging from her well and holding in her right hand the divine flame of inspiration – Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty”.
Previous recipients of The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry
1934      Laurence Whistler
1936      W H Auden
1940      Michael Thwaites
1952      Andrew Young
1953      Arthur Waley
1954      Ralph Hodgson
1955      Ruth Pitter
1956      Edmund Blunden
1957      Siegfried Sassoon
1959      Frances Cornford
1960      John Betjeman
1962      Christopher Fry
1963      William Plomer
1964      R S Thomas
1965      Philip Larkin
1967      Charles Causley
1968      Robert Graves
1969      Stevie Smith
1970      Roy Fuller
1971      Sir Stephen Spender
1973      John Heath-Stubbs
1981      D J Enright
1986      Norman MacCaig
1988      Derek Walcott
1989      Allen Curnow
1990      Sorley  Maclean
1991      Judith Wright
1992      Kathleen Raine
1996      Peter Redgrove
1998      Les Murray
2000      Edwin Morgan
2001      Michael Longley
2002      Peter Porter
2003      U A Fanthorpe
2004      Hugo Williams
2006      Fleur Adcock
2007      James Fenton
2009      Don Paterson
2010      Gillian Clarke
2011      Jo Shapcott