Saturday, June 22, 2013

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2013

The Coventry Inspiration Book Awards, administered by Coventry SLS, were held last week in the form of a glitzy, star-studded ceremony.

The winners in each of the children's categories, as voted for by young readers via Coventry City Council's website, were as follows:

Never Too Young
A Very Strange Creature by Ronda Armitage (Illus. by Layn Marlow)

What's the Story?
Black Dog by Levi Penfold

Raring 2 Read
The Beast by Ann Evans

Read it or Else!
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

Simply The Book
This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

Our Favourite Classics
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

Many of the winning authors were in attendance to receive their awards, as was Quentin Blake, who accepted the inaugural 'Lifetime Inspiration Award'.

For more information about the awards, including the original shortlists in each category, click here.

The 2013 Scottish Children's Book Awards

The 2013 Scottish Children's Book Awards
Children with some of the shortlisted books at yesterday's launch
The Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2013 shortlists were announced yesterday (Tuesday 18th June), celebrating the most popular children’s books by Scottish or Scottish-based authors or illustrators.

The nine books, which will now go to a children’s vote, include four former shortlisted authors, two previous winners, one debut author and one small Scottish independent publisher. The shortlist is split into three age categories, and was chosen by a panel of judges including a teacher, librarian, bookseller, children’s books experts, a Bookbug coordinator and two groups of pupils.

Run by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Creative Scotland, and voted for entirely by children, these are Scotland’s largest book awards, with a total prize fund of £12,000. Shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the three overall winners receive £3,000 each.

Bookbug Readers (3-7 years)

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb (Macmillan)

What’s the Time Mr Wolf by Debi Gliori (Bloomsbury)

Jumblebum by Chae Strathie and Ben Cort (Scholastic)

Younger Readers (8-11 years)

Black Tide by Caroline Clough (Floris)

The Accidental Time Traveller by Janis McKay (Floris)

Really Weird by Daniela Sacerdoti (Floris)

Older Readers (12-16 years)

Ferryman by Claire McFall (Templar)

The Seeing by Diana Hendry (Bodley Head)

The Book of Doom by Barry Hutchison (Harper Collins)

CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medal winners

CKG - the winners!
The winners of this year's CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals were announced at a ceremony earlier today:

The winner of the 2013 CILIP Carnegie Medal is: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, published by Hot Key

The winner of the 2013 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is: Black Dog by Levi Pinfold, published by Templar Books

Congratulations to both authors and their respective publishers!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Poetry Rivals 2013

Poetry Rivals 2013: The UK Poetry Event that Embraces and Encourages Poets of all Ages.

Whether you want to put the world to rights through rap, make people laugh with a humorous verse or maybe show your softer side by writing a love piece about someone special, Poetry Rivals 2013 is the competition for you! Poetry Rivals has announced its 2013 National Poetry competition with more prizes on offer than ever before including a £1,500 ‘Proprint’ self-publishing package and the opportunity to perform at the event’s all-important Slam Final! This ever-growing annual event in the literary calendar helps poets of all ages express themselves, gain confidence in creative writing and experience the stimulating world of performance poetry. The Poetry Rivals 2013 contest is divided into three categories: under 16 year olds, 16-25 and over 25’s and is open to everyone throughout the UK. The organisers are particularly aiming to attract teachers and schools to get involved and to encourage pupils from all across the UK to take part. Schools are invited to send in pupils’ poems to be considered for publication in an anthology and the chance to be invited to the Slam Final! The school with the best set of entries will win a full day's spoken word workshop with popular double act Dead Poets. Mark Grist and Mixy have been working with schools for the past 5 years and their workshops have inspired thousands of children all over the UK. Entrants can submit poems on any subject and in any poetic style and this year the organisers have come up with by far their most impressive selection of prizes to date. The under 16’s first prize is a top of the range laptop. The winner of the 16-25 category will receive a one-to-one workshop with Mark Grist , a video of their performance created with a crew of professionals and a paid performance at a UK festival. Top prize in the over 25’s is a Proprint self-publishing package worth £1,500 which includes typesetting, cover design, proofs, ISBN registration and 250 printed copies. In addition there will be runner-up prizes in all categories of cash prizes and/or Kindles. The top 50 poets from each age category will be listed on the Poetry Rivals website and invited to perform their poem at one of the live Poetry Slams held in April 2014. Poetry Rivals also aim to help children reading aloud to improve their confidence in class and when performing. There are downloadable tips from the website Competition host Mark Grist will kick-start the finalist event and the judges will watch and mark each performance. Poetry Rivals was launched in 2009 to search for new poetry stars and is run by Bonacia Ltd. Entrants are invited to submit a poem on any subject and in any poetic style. Entries can be submitted online, by email or post. More details can be found by visiting About Poetry Rivals Poetry Rivals is a National Competition now in its 5th year. This exciting and well respected competition provides poets from across the UK with the opportunity to be published alongside other and possibly more established poets. Poetry Rivals also seeks to encourage people young and old to express themselves with confidence using performance poetry. The chosen judges poetry experts including Mark Grist, who was a judge and the slam host in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012. Mark Grist is a teacher based in Peterborough, a performance poet (who reached last year's UK Slam Championship Finals), and a poetry activist. Contact: Tazmin Hunt Telephone: 01733 890099 Email:

Polka Theatre Autumn Winter Season 2013 – 2014

Please find below a press release as well as performance and workshop listings for the new Polka Theatre Autumn / Winter season 2013 – 2014. We are taking a trip down the rabbit hole this Christmas in Polka’s adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for ages 6 – 11 from 22 November 2013 – 15 February 2014. Ages 3 – 5 meet the friendliest gorilla in the world from 16 October 2013 – 15 February 2014, with a new stage adaptation to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the heart-warming children’s book Gorilla by former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne. Polka has also created Mini Gorilla - a special version for toddlers aged 1 – 2. Older audiences aged 9 - 13 are invited to talk about climate change in The Planet and Stuff. Part live-science demo, part hyper-active game show, The Planet and Stuff has been created with local children from Polka’s Young Voices Panel (27 September – 26 October).

National Poetry Day 2013 – water, water, everywhere

Thursday 3rd October 2013 A nationwide celebration of all things poetical On 3rd October people of all ages will take part in the 19th annual National Poetry Day, inspired by the theme ‘water, water, everywhere’. National Poetry Day this year challenges participants to smuggle poetry into the most unlikely places: not just in libraries and classrooms, but on fishing boats and ferries, via postcards, mobile phones and announcements on station platforms. The devisers of the best wheezes for bringing poetry off the bookshelves will be honoured with specially commissioned odes, clerihews and rhyming couplets. Prizes, poetic installations, performances and online happenings featuring world-famous poets and poetry lovers will send ripples throughout the nation. In London, inspiration will follow the river Thames to Southbank Centre, which will host National Poetry Day Live with the Poetry Society, a jubilant afternoon of performances, readings, films, and the announcement of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year. Commuters at St Pancras station will be entertained by readings from this year’s John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People. In Birmingham, which unveils the identity of the city’s latest poet laureate on National Poetry Day, the national poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, will read with Imtiaz Dharker in an event hosted by Writing West Midlands. And in Wales, four poets will be shut in rooms with keyboards and pencils until they have produced one hundred new poems – in Welsh. The Royal Shakespeare Company and Tate will be among many organisations highlighting poetry in the run up to the day and on National Poetry Day itself. In Scotland, more than 300,000 poetry postcards will be given away by the Scottish Poetry Library, in partnership with Scottish Water. Short films of the poems featured will bring apt, funny and moving words to the screens of phones and laptops. Events will spill over the days preceding and following National Poetry Day itself, including performances by Simon Armitage inspired by his seven-week walk from Minehead to Lands End along the South West Coast Path – in which he will be paying for board and lodging with poetry – and a celebration of canal poetry, Waterlines Live, at Birmingham Literature Festival on October 6th and 13th. The month of National Poetry Day will begin on October 1st with the eagerly-awaited announcement of the winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, and the launch of the annual Forward Book of Poetry at Southbank Centre William Sieghart, Chairman of the Forward Arts Foundation and founder of National Poetry Day, says: “National Poetry Day is a chance to abandon the prosaic for 24 hours, to use rhythm, rhyme, free verse, irregular beats and raps to make words more vivid. It’s a day with a difference, when language floats free from regular rules. Find a poem you love and share it, online and face-to-face, or make up some poetry of your own. This year’s water theme, lifted from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, is just a starting point: without water we die, without poetry we cannot fully live.” Founded by the Forward Arts Foundation 19 years ago, National Poetry Day is now a major national event: last year it reached more than 50 million people. To find out how to get involved or to promote your National Poetry Day event,visit See our Facebook page or find us on Twitter @poetrydayuk / #NPDLive