Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nominations Open for the Little Rebels Award for Radical Children’s Fiction

 The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is delighted to announce that the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical children’s fiction is back for its 3rdyear. The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and is administered by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library.
The Little Rebels Award recognises children’s fiction (for readers aged 0-12) which was first published in 2014 and which promotes social justice or social equality or challenges stereotypes or is informed by anti-discriminatory concerns. The award is administered by the 31-year-old, not-for-profit children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library, who were recently nominated by IBBY UK for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for their work in “championing diversity in children’s literature”.
Fen Coles, Director of Letterbox Library said, “This year we’ve seen James Dawson talk about inclusion for the Patrick Hardy lecture, IBBY UK holding a conference on ‘Belonging’, the Guardian’s lgbt and diversity weeks, Inclusive Minds’ #everybodyin campaign and our Children’s Laureate’s repeated, measured words about the need for more diversity in children’s books. This couldn’t be a more judicious time for the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award; the children’s book world seems to be hungry for a little more equality and a little more ‘justice’ and so we welcome publishers’ nominations for those books which they think will make tiny steps or even leaps towards this”. Full submission guidelines can be found The closing date for nominations is January 12th 2015.
When asked for their response to being shortlisted for Little Rebels 2014, Gill Lewis replied,“thrilled”, Deborah Chancellor said, “I don’t feel I’m rebellious enough” and Geraldine McCaughrean answered, “I am a total conformist”. Meantime, Gillian Cross, who won the 2014 award for her dystopian narrative, After Tomorrow, said “I’m honoured and delighted. We don’t write tracts and we don’t write propaganda when we write fiction. But, we can’t help writing about things which engage with who we are and how we live in the world”.
The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is a sister award to Bread & Roses, which recognises radical adult non-fiction published in the UK. Both awards are the inspiration of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, a network of radical booksellers in the UK. Both prizes will be presented at the 3rd London Radical Bookfair on Saturday May 9th2015, Bishopsgate Institute, London.

Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman launches 'Project Remix'

Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman has launched a search to find the UK's most creative teens.

Project Remix, Malorie's second, and final, major Children’s Laureate project celebrates the art of storytelling in all its forms, and is being hosted on the teenage story-sharing community The competition, open to UK residents aged 13 to19 years, will be judged by Malorie, with entries published on the website and the winners announced at an exclusive event in April 2015.

To enter, teenagers are asked to make their own creative work in response to a selection of acclaimed pieces of literature, featuring fiction, poetry, graphic novels and short stories from some bestselling contemporary and classic authors, including John Green, Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman, Benjamin Zephaniah, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker. Entries can be submitted into five categories: Music, Book Cover Design, Book Trailer, Creative Writing, and Comic Strip.

The aim of the competition is to engage young people with literature, encourage them to use it as a creative springboard into other storytelling medias, and to open doors to the arts and the creative industries. It was inspired by the growth of online fandom, including fan fiction and fan art and the surge in related digital communities.

Malorie said: "Teenagers are some of the most passionate, dynamic and creative people I know. Yet too often this creative spark is left to flicker precariously and sometimes fade entirely. Project Remix is all about fuelling that inventive spark, encouraging young people to view literature in fresh and exciting ways, putting creative control directly back into their hands. Imagine Austen’s Pride and Prejudice remixed into a drum and bass anthem or saxophone solo, Collins’ The Hunger Games reimagined as a vibrant comic strip, and Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go brought to life as a suspenseful book trailer"

She added: "As well as celebrating story in all its forms, I hope Remix will shine a light on the vast range of opportunities that there are in the creative industries for our young people – so often overlooked within traditional careers guidance".

Malorie will be joined by two fellow judges – a young Movella community member and a publisher from Penguin Random House – to select a winner and a runner up for each category. The winners and runners up will be invited to the Project Remix ceremony, with the winners awarded an exclusive experience relating to their category, including: a day at a music studio, shadowing the studio manager (Music); a design portfolio session with a Random House senior book designer (Book Cover Design); a film feedback session with BBC director Jermain Julian (Book Trailer); an editorial critique session from a top Random House editor (Creative Writing); and a behind-the-scenes visit to the Phoenix comic publisher (Comic Strip). The runners-up will receive a special goody bag of books.

Project Remix is live at with further information about the competition, plus resources to help young people create their entries, including guidance and insider tips from top industry experts from each category.

News from Nick Sharratt

I just thought it might be of interest that there is a very colourful touring exhibition about me and my work up and running now. It's called Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants and it kicked off at the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe ( ) and will be touring for the next couple of years. The aim is to encourage interaction between families and cultural spaces and also to promote reading. If I say so myself it does look very good and it's packed with bits of info about the world of children's books, the process of creating stories and hands-on drawing activities. I wonder if it might be of interest for a feature in the magazine.
Nick Sharratt