Thursday, December 15, 2016

Moomins exhibition!

First major UK exhibition devoted to the Moomins opens tomorrow
Adventures in Moominland, Part of Nordic Matters
16 December 2016 – 23 April 2017
The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson (1914‐2001) and her famous creation Family Moomintroll is brought to life in the UK’s first major exhibition devoted to the Moomins and the life of Tove Jansson at Southbank Centre from 16 December. Adventures in Moominland is an immersive and interactive exhibition that features recreations of scenes from Moominland and over 40 original drawings and archive materials from Tove’s studio in Helsinki and her family island of Klovharu. The show is part of Nordic Matters - a year-long exploration of Nordic art and culture at Southbank Centre throughout 2017.
Over half of the works and objects in the exhibition are shown in the UK for the first time including the very earliest Moomintroll dolls to be sold commercially, Tove’s painting palette and painting utensils and flower headdress. Some of the earliest representations of a Moomin - appearing as a motif on the cover of the satirical magazine GARM that Tove contributed to and in a loose watercolour sketch of a small black figure sailing into the sunset - are featured. Guided tours of the immersive show include an audio narrative voiced by Sandi Toksvig and written by children’s author Laura Dockrill.  
The exhibition explores how several of the Moomin stories, such as Comet in Moominland (1946) andMoominland Midwinter (1957) were written against the backdrop of political and socio-economic change in Finland and heavily influenced by Tove’s relationships with family, friends and lovers which defined the narrative and character development. Written during a time of hardship in the wake of WWII, the tolerant world of Moominvalley offered a refuge from the harshness of reality. Although the stories often saw the Moomins fleeing from danger, Tove ensured that there was always a happy and uplifting ending.
Tove explored her art and own sexuality within the confines of this changing political landscape - and her friends, enemies, fears and hopes often found themselves manifested in the complex and emotional stories.  One drawing on display depicts Thingumy and Bob, who represent Tove and her lover, Vivica Bandler - a married woman with whom Tove had a brief and passionate affair. At the time, same sex relationships were illegal in Finland and so the relationship had to be kept secret.
Adventures in Moominland reveals - through a short animated interpretation by artist Elizabeth Hobbs created exclusively for the show -  that Moomintroll began life as a character to be feared, inspired by stories told to her by her uncle. Tove’s first drawing of a Moomin was made when she was a young woman during an argument about Kant with her brother Per Olov. She drew the ugliest figure that she could on the interior wall of a family outhouse. Moomintroll was later refined, became the character we know today and was joined by a host of other characters including Moominmama, Moominpapa, Snufkin, Sniff, Snork Maiden and Little My.
The exhibition explores the influence of the Nordic landscape within the Moomin books, from the dense forests of Moominvalley to a canvas tent on the water’s edge in Finland and the snowy, Winter landscape represented inMoominland in Midwinter (1957). The show includes a preparatory watercolour sketch for the cover of the book. In recognition of Tove’s love of jazz, the exhibition includes a jazz soundtrack composed by Aki Rissanen and commissioned by Southbank Centre.
Sophia Jansson, niece of Tove Jansson, said: "Tove's work was very much inspired by her life experience - both on the highly personal level of her close relationships and more generally in terms of the influence of Finnish society, politics, lifestyle and landscapes. Southbank Centre's approach of combining archive objects from Tove's home and studio with immersive worlds straight from the pages of the Moomin books is the perfect way to tell the story of how this artist and her creations developed in conjunction with one another."
Paul Denton, Producer, Southbank Centre, said: “Tove Jansson’s work is beloved throughout the world by children and adults alike, and we’re delighted to be able to introduce a new generation to the magical world of the Moomins through this new immersive exhibition.”
The Moomin books explored in the show include Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), Comet in Moominland(1946), Finn Family Moomintroll (1948), Moomin Midwinter (1957) and Moominpapa at Sea (1965). Original Moomin comic strips by Tove will be displayed in Southbank Centre’s Archive Studio in Royal Festival Hall until February 2017. The comic strips were first published in the London Evening News - later absorbed into the London Evening Standard - from the 1950s onwards.
A pop-up Moomins shop, courtesy of The Moomins Shop, Covent Garden, is located on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall. .
For further press information, images, interview requests and to arrange press tickets please contact:
Jeanette Ward, Press Manager on / 020 7921 0789
Harriet Black, Press Officer on  / 020 7921 0888
LISTINGS INFORMATION @SouthbankCentre #SCMoomins #NordicMatters

Adventures in Moominland Part of Nordic Matters
16 December 2016 - 23 April 2017, Spirit Level at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall
The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson and The Moomins is brought to life in a major new immersive, interactive exhibition Adventures in Moominland. The exhibition presents new insights into Jansson’s life and the influences behind her work with archive objects and illustrations built into the experience. Recommended for ages 7+
Timings and prices:
Weekends and holidays – PEAK
Every 15 minutes between 10am – 6pm (last tour enters at 6pm)
£16.50/£13.50 (supporter ticket*)
£15/£12 (non-supporter ticket)

Midweek – OFF PEAK
Daily, on the hour at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm & 6pm
Thursdays and Fridays only, an additional tour at 7pm for adults only
£13.50/£11.50 (supporter ticket*)
£12/£10 (non-supporter ticket)
Mischief and Mysteries in Moominvalley
11 - 19 February, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm (no 12.30 performance on 18 February) Level 4 Green Bar at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, ages 4-7 years, £8
Magical puppetry, original music and interactive play are involved in this Moominvalley workshop. Tickets are £8 for the child but parents must stay throughout the workshop.
Exhibition tickets purchased online include a 20% discount on The Moomin Colouring Book (Price after discount £8). To purchase tickets visit or call 020 7960 4200

FAB Prize 2017. New prize to find Black, Asian or Ethnic writers and illustrators for children.

FAB Prize 2017
Faber & Faber and the Andlyn Literary Agency launch new prize to find Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers and illustrators for children
Faber Children’s has teamed up with the Andlyn Literary Agency to create the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize to help discover new writers and illustrators from BAME backgrounds, and to provide a year-long mentoring scheme for one author and one illustrator.
Judging panel: Faber Children's Publisher Leah Thaxton, Andlyn Literary Agent Davinia Andrew-Lynch, Faber Creative Director Donna Payne, Faber Children's Art Director Emma Eldridge.
Leah Thaxton says: 'I am extremely excited about this prize and the opportunity it gives us to reach out directly to undiscovered BAME writers and illustrators for children. It is clear that the industry needs to do much, much more to unearth new talent and make our publishing more representative.'  
Davinia Andrew-Lynch says: ‘We know that young readers greatly benefit from books which reflect the society in which they live, and that such books provide a clearer understanding of the world around them. To meaningfully change the output of our market we need to reach out beyond the usual publishing spheres and directly find those writers and illustrators who may, for whatever reason, have not been given a voice within our industry.'  

Donna Payne says: ‘This is a call to all those undiscovered writers and illustrators who possess the talent to channel their own BAME experiences into books that can be enjoyed by every child, regardless of ethnicity. It's been said that books have the power to enable us to change how we see the world, and this is especially true of children's publishing. The FAB prize is a fantastic opportunity to find a way into the publishing industry for those authors and artists with the power to change.’

Emma Eldridge says : ‘This is an important and exciting competition and I look forward to seeing many talented entrants’ work. I hope the prize will bring recognition to the very best undiscovered BAME children's writers and illustrators.’

First Prize
For illustration: £500 (or £300 and a one year portfolio membership for the Association of Illustrators worth £200), plus a private consultation with Donna Payne, Emma Eldridge and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, followed by a year of regular mentoring, plus a selection of Faber books.
For text: £500, plus a private consultation with Leah Thaxton and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, followed by a year of regular mentoring, plus a selection of Faber books.
Second prize
Consultation with Leah Thaxton, Donna Payne, Emma Eldridge and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, plus a selection of Faber books.

Entrants must be of black, Asian or minority ethnic background
Entrants must be previously unpublished
Entries must be text or artwork for children (i.e. 1–18 years), not for adults
UK and Ireland residents only
Applicants must be over 18
Applicants can apply for both prizes – text and illustration but can only submit one entry per text or art category. All email entries will be acknowledged on receipt, but only winners will be contacted directly, so please watch out for the announcement in June 2017!
Please email or send by post a maximum of 5,000 words of text
There is no minimum word count and the maximum 5,000 words can be a sample of a longer work – it does not have to be a short story (though those are welcome too!)
Please send in the complete story if the text is for a picture book. (Picture books should not be longer than 5000 words!)
If your text competition entry is for an illustrated book, you do not need to submit illustrations.
If sending by post, NO handwritten entries please
Please do not send original work. Please do not send CDs of work.
We will not be able to return entries
If emailing, please send the text either as a Word document or a PDF attachment, not in the body of the email, and put ‘Text Submission’ as the subject of your email heading
Please include your name in the file name
Please send your entry by email to
Or please send your postal entry to: TEXT SUBMISSION, FAB PRIZE, Faber & Faber, 74–77 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DA

Please email or send by post either 1) a maximum of ten A4 pages of illustration OR 2) the full layouts and illustrations for a 32-page picture book
Please do not send original work. Please do not send CDs of work
We will not be able to return entries
Entries can include text, but text is not necessary to enter the illustration competition.
If emailing, please send your art as a PDF attachment, and put ‘Art Submission’ as the subject of your email heading. Please include your name in the file name.
Please send your entry by email entries to
Or please send your postal entry to: ILLUSTRATION SUBMISSION, FAB PRIZE, Faber & Faber, 74–77 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DA


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

National Non-Fiction November 2016

To celebrate National Non-Fiction November 2016 The Federation of Children's Book Groups has drawn up a list of 100 of the most exciting, intriguing, eye-opening non-fiction books for
children and young people of all ages, books to delight, inspire and make you gasp (or even giggle) in wonder.

With the support of a wide range of non-fiction publishers, The FCBG has teamed up with World Book Day for a spectacular giveaway - the sort that will instantly create an incredible library packed with true adventures through time and space, bursting at the seams with titles to feed curiosity, amazement and delight in the real world.

Prize A: 1 set of all 100 books featured in the booklist, '100 Brilliant Non-Fiction Books for Children and Young People'

Prize B: 1 set of 33 books aimed primarily at 0-7 year olds, all featured in the booklist

Prize C: 1 set of 34 books aimed primarily at 5 - 11 year olds, all featured in the booklist

Prize D: 1 set of 33 books aimed primarily at 9+ year olds, all featured in the booklist

Groups, schools, libraries and other institutions are eligible for the 100 book giveaway (Prize A). Members of the public are being encouraged to nominate the groups/school/library they work in, or know about (for example - though not restricted to - schools with dedicated school librarians, extra curricular clubs, education teams in hospitals, charities and other non- governmental organisations), who they believe would relish a brand new set of incredible non-fiction books.

The giveaways for prizes B,C and D are open to individuals.

Find full details of the giveaway (including how to nominate organisations or enter as individuals) and download the full '100 Brilliant Non-Fiction Books for Children and Young People’ list at :

National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to raise awareness and appreciation of non-fiction books for children and young people. Extensive resources for exploring and celebrating non-fiction books can be found at #NNFN

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups was set up as a charity by Anne Wood, the originator of The Teletubbies. It acts as an umbrella organisation for local Children’s Book Groups all over the UK. The groups organise a variety of activities including author events and other activities that promote the enjoyment of children’s books. The Federation co-ordinates The Children's Book Award (now in its 35th year) and also produces numerous specialist book lists, organises National Share-a-Story Month each May, and holds an annual conference each spring. @Fcbgnews

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) of encouraging a love of reading for pleasure. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. On 2nd March 2017 children and young people of all ages will come together across the UK and Ireland to celebrate 20 amazing years of the campaign. World Book Day is a registered charity, no. 1079257. @WorldBookDayUK

For more information about National Non-Fiction November please contact: Zoe Toft,
Federation of Children's Book Groups, 10 St Laurence Road, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1JG
Registered Charity no. 268289

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stratford Literary Festival and The Salariya Book Company launch Debut Children’s Picture Book Prize

Stratford Literary Festival and The Salariya Book Company launch Debut Children’s Picture Book Prize

To mark its 10th anniversary in 2017, the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is launching a Prize, in partnership with children’s book publisher The Salariya Book Company, to find the next big children’s author/illustrator. The winning story will be published in the UK and the winner or winning team will receive an advance of £5000 against royalties.

The Prize, which will form part of the Festival’s 2017 Sharing Stories Project to encourage reluctant readers and parents to read with their children, is unique in offering guaranteed publication by Scribblers, an imprint of The Salariya Book Company, and is being supported by some of the biggest names in children’s writing and illustration.

The judging panel includes David Salariya, Founder and MD of The Salariya Book Company; Annie Ashworth, Director of The Stratford Literary Festival; the award-winning author/illustrators Nick Butterworth and Sarah McIntyre, who is also the Festival’s Guest Children’s Director for 2017, as well as Tamara Macfarlane, owner of the multi-award-winning Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop and Ashley King, illustrator and bookseller at Waterstones. The winner or winning team will also receive advice and guidance as part of the prize from the children’s literary agent Jodie Hodges of United Agents.

The Stratford Literary Festival/Salariya Book Company Children’s Picture Book Prize 2017 is open to author/illustrators or author and illustrator teams aged 16 and over based in the UK who have not previously been published and distributed online or in bookshops.

The winner will be announced in February 2017, with printed copies available in late Autumn 2017.

‘As a festival, we are passionate about championing new writers and illustrators, and about sowing the seeds of a love of reading at a young age, so a prize seemed the perfect way to do this,’ says Anne Ashworth, Director of the Stratford Literary Festival. ‘We have always been quite ground breaking as a festival, having published a YA novella and run an online interactive story in 148 characters. We also publish a book of winning stories and poems in our creative writing competition each year. This prize, however, will be more ambitious than anything we have done before.’

‘We are very excited to be working with Stratford,’ says David Salariya, founder and managing director of The Salariya Book Company. ‘To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a publisher and a festival have collaborated on a prize, and we are looking forward to seeing some very creative submissions.’

The deadline for entries is Thursday, 12th January 2017 and full details, including rules of entry, can be found at and at


For further press information, please contact:

Antonia Wilkinson Tamsin Williams, Wigwam PR Email: Email:
Tel: 07703 538554 Tel: 01483 563562 / 07939 651252

Dreams, doubles and doppelgangers

Dreams, doubles and doppelgangers  – Newcastle University designs new virtual reality author exhibition for mobile phones
The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in - now is the perfect time to delve into the unsettling world of Catherine Storr.
Her spooky stories have been brought to life in a new exhibition experience designed especially for mobile phones.
Experts from Newcastle University’s Culture Lab have been working with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children‘s Books, which houses the writer’s archive, to create an online experience about her work.
Catherine Storr is probably best known for her novel Marianne Dreams and the Clever Polly series. Her stories often revolve around children confronting fears and feature recurring themes of doubles, doppelgangers and dreams.
The Catherine Storr Experience is loosely based around the house Marianne draws in Marianne’s Dream. Mobile phone motion sensors let the user navigate around the 3D property, learning more about Storr’s work as they visit the different rooms and examine different items.
Kim Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature, in the University’s School of English, Literature, Language and Linguistics, provided the content for the experience.
She said: “Storr is an author whose work lends itself perfectly to a project like this. She trained as a doctor, worked as a psychotherapist and was married to a psychiatrist.  She understood what was going on inside the minds of children and young people - their fears and desires.
“This made her exactly the kind of subject we needed for this innovation. We wanted to do something really new, which could help audiences get inside the creative process behind great children’s books.
“Using mobile phone technology means that people anywhere in the world can explore some of the wonderful material held in the Seven Stories archives in Newcastle. The three-minute Virtual Reality experience is accompanied by additional materials based on the archives and additional objects and memories provided by Storr’s daughters.”
The experience uses experimental technology to combine animation with the idea of a guided tour, allowing you to stop at set points and hear more about objects you’re looking at.  While this technology is still in its infancy it is already proving very powerful for creating web-based experiences like this.
Tom Schofield, Lecturer in Digital Cultures at Newcastle University said: “This contributes to our ongoing work into the fusion of cultural heritage with new forms of creativity through digital technologies.
“We hope that this experimental work encourages new experiences of Catherine Storr’s books and the characters and environments and the Catherine Storr archive at Seven Stories.”
Kris McKie, Archivist at Seven Stories: the National Centre for Children’s Books said: “Working with Culture Lab on this project has given us the opportunity to use digital innovation to present our Catherine Storr archive in a completely unique and highly original way. We’re excited by the potential for future projects and collaboration.”
The experience launched online on Saturday 5 November, You can visit it at

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

World Book Day 2017


David Walliams, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson among the “national treasures” writing new stories to mark the occasion

World Book Day UK has today (Friday 9 Sept) announced an all-star line-up of authors and illustrators to help it celebrate its 20th anniversary, with the goal of encouraging greater engagement with reading and ownership of books by children.
The reading for pleasure charity has recruited “national treasures” including David Walliams, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson to help it reach more children and young people than ever. These authors will each contribute an official World Book Day £1 book, which children can get for free in exchange for the £1 book token available to all schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland.
Over the past 19 years, World Book Day UK has delivered 13 million £1 books into the hands of young people across the country. In 2016, the number of £1 books given away was 789,738. The charity’s aim for its 20th anniversary is to increase this number to one million.
World Book Day was first designated an international event by UNESCO in 1995 after being observed for over 70 years in Catalonia, where giving books to friends and family had become an annual tradition. It was first marked in the UK two years later in 1997, in response to an increasing concern over poor reading and writing standards.
Founder of World Book Day UK, Baroness Gail Rebuck, also Chair of Penguin Random House UK and founder of Quick Reads, says: “In 1997 the level of children’s engagement with reading was at a point of national crisis. The previous year a Government report had been released showing that 42% of 11-year-olds failed to achieve level 4 in reading and writing on entry to secondary school. We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives. I’ve seen first-hand how World Book Day has affected social change and long may it continue.”
World Book Day Director Kirsten Grant says: “World Book Day is about creating readers for the future by igniting a love of books and reading in children and young people. It’s about encouraging them to visit their local bookshop and empowering them to make their own choices about the kinds of books they want to read. What better way to do this than offering them stories from the best writing and illustrating talent being published in the UK and Ireland today? We couldn’t be happier to have so many national treasures on board for our 20th anniversary - nobody can better capture children’s imaginations.”
The ten official World Book Day £1 books cater for all ages from pre-school through to young adults. In 2017, the titles for the nation’s youngest book lovers will feature beloved characters Peppa Pig and extraterrestrials from the Aliens Love Underpants series. For readers at Key Stage 1, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks will contribute a new Princess Mirror-Belle title and Martin Handford has made one of his Where’s Wally? adventures available. They can also pick up some tips from Horrid Henry or catch up with the Famous Five, whereas Key Stage 2 readers will be able to enjoy something new from beloved British authors David Walliams or Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Young Adult titles will come from Michael Grant and David Almond, and the official World Book Day 2017 illustrator is Liz Pichon, children's book writer and illustrator/creator of the Tom Gates series.
The £1 World Book Day books for 2017 in full:
  • Peppa Loves World Book Day (Ladybird)
  • Everyone Loves Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)
  • Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey by Martin Handford (Walker Books)
  • Princess Mirror-Belle and Snow White by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks (Macmillan)
  • Horrid Henry: Funny Fact Files by Francesca Simon (Orion Children’s Books)
  • Good Old Timmy and Other Stories by Enid Blyton (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • An as yet untitled book by David Walliams (HarperCollins)
  • Butterfly Beach by Jacqueline Wilson (Corgi)
  • Island by David Almond (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Dead of Night: A Front Lines Story by Michael Grant (Egmont)

Ireland only:
  • Fast Forward by Judi Curtin (O’Brien Press)
World Book Day will be celebrated on Thursday 2 March 2017. From January 2017, children in the UK and Ireland will be given a £1 (€1.50 in Ireland) book token in their nurseries and schools, which they can use to claim their World Book Day title in participating bookshops and supermarkets from 27 February to 26 March.
Visit from Friday 9 September 2016 for more information and to subscribe to the free monthly World Book Day e-newsletter. Search #WorldBookDay20 for the latest news

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Philippa Pearce Lecture 2016 - 1 September. Cambridge

The Philippa Pearce Lecture celebrates excellence in writing for children.  
1 September  5.00 pm  in the Mary Allan Building,  Homerton College, Cambridge , followed by a wine reception 

MUCH LOVED, best-selling, author, Allan Ahlberg, will give the Pearce lecture in 2016 on September 1st in the Mary Allan Building, Homerton College, Cambridge.
Allan is author of more than a hundred books for children, translated into many languages, and winner of many awards, including two Greenaway prizes for Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman(with his late wife, Janet Ahlberg). Allan’s range is extraordinary and encompasses some of the best books ever produced for babies, and for older children.  These include wonderful versions of fairy tales, brilliantly funny stories and fine collections of poetry.Always warm, inventive, creative, his output connects powerfully with young readers. We know his lecture will be a rare treat.

About the Lectures

At THE START of 2007, a small group of Philippa Pearce’s friends, family and colleagues began organising a series of memorial lectures to be delivered by various distinguished speakers with an interest in children’s books.
The inaugural lecture was held on 11th September 2008, at Homerton College, Cambridge, and focused on Philippa Pearce ’s own writing and contribution to children’s literature.  Subsequent lectures have been given by Michael Rosen (2009) Michael Morpurgo (2010) Philip Pullman(2011) Malorie Blackman (2012) Kevin Crossley-Holland (2013) Frank Cottrell Boyce (2014) and Meg Rosoff (2015).
For more details and to book see     The lectures remain free and are funded entirely by donations.  Booking is essential.

For further information contact:
Nicky Potter 

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

SCBWI British Isles' Annual Conference. 19-20 November: Winchester

David Almond, Leigh Hodgkinson and Sarah Davies to deliver keynotes at the 
SCBWI British Isles’ Annual Conference.
19-20 November, 2016 in Winchester

The British Isles Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators announces speakers for its 9th Annual Conference in its celebratory 20th year.

Cracking Characters!

The British Isles chapter of the SCBWI, a professional organisation of writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people, announces a star-studded line-up for their 9th annual conference, to be held on 19-20 November, 2016 at the University of Winchester.  Keynote speakers this year are author David Almond, author/ illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson and founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency Sarah Davies. Special guests to mark the 20th anniversary of SCBWI British Isles include Lin Oliver, author and co-founder of SCBWI.

The theme of this year’s conference is Creating Characters that Leap off the Page. 

Saturday’s keynote talks will be given by Carnegie Medal winner David Almond and award-winning animator and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson. An action-packed day follows, filled with specialist industry panels, discussions and interactive workshops led by a wide range of industry professionals. The day closes with ‘The Hook’, a Dragons’ Den style panel competition event in which five brave delegates pitch it out to hook an agent. Saturday evening’s exclusive industry party will not only feature a Mass Book Launch of members’ 2016 publications and the awarding of the Crystal Kite Award but also mark the 20th anniversary of SCBWI British Isles with SCBWI co-founder Lin Oliver.

Sunday opens with Industry Keynote, Sarah Davies, founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, a transatlantic agency for children’s literature. Among its clients are two New York Times bestsellers, a Morris First Novel Award winner and Kirkus Prize Finalist.

The rest of the day is dedicated to craft intensives: writers can create a comic character with Lin Oliver, hone their heroes and villains with author Cliff McNish or learn how to develop a story for television with scriptwriter Roland Moore. Illustrators can get hands-on with author/ illustrator Viv Schwarz. The popular PULSE stream will offer published members, opportunities to further their careers: learn creative storytelling techniques to add character to your school presentation with Margaret Bateson Hill and get tips on creating cracking school resource packs. And in the SPARK self-publishing stream: Carnegie winner Susan Price, author of ‘Self Publishing and Marketing Children’s Books’ Karen Inglis and Independent Bookseller Tamara McFarlane will offer a workshop on the nuts and bolts of self-publishing.

One-to-one manuscript and portfolio reviews with agents and editors will also be offered at a small additional cost. 

A juried illustrator showcase and portfolio exhibition will also take place.

Admission to the entire conference is £220 for SCBWI members and £250 for non-members. More information and a registration form can be found at our website:

·Author keynote David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, The Savage, The Tightrope Walkers, A Song for Ella Grey and numerous other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, The Eleanor Farjeon Award, The Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcieres (France) and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’ authors. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and lives in Northumberland.‘A writer of visionary, Blakean intensity.’ The Times.‘A Tyneside Dylan Thomas, and it is impossible not to be swept up in the power of his storytelling.’ Daily Telegraph ‘A master storyteller.’ The Independent. ‘David Almond’s books are strange, unsettling wild things – unfettered by the normal constraints of children’s literature. They are, like all great literature, beyond classification.’ The Guardian.

·Illustrator keynote by Leigh Hodgkinson is an award winning animator, author and illustrator with a passion for day dreaming. She graduated from the University of Hull in 1998 with a first in graphic design and went on to study Animation Direction at the National Film and Television School. Her picture books include Colin and the Snoozebox, Limelight Larry and Scrummy! All published by Orchard Books. As well as Goldilocks and Just the One Bear, Troll Swap and The Big Monster Snoreybook published by Nosy Crow. Most recently Bloomsbury published Are You Sitting Comfortably? Her picture books have been translated into many languages around the world. Leigh is an award-winning animator and worked as art director on the BAFTA-award winning animated series, Charlie and Lola. She is currently art-directing an exciting new animated pre-school television show for Cbeebies which is due to hit the screens in spring 2017. She co-created the show with her husband Steve Smith (of Beakus).

·PULSE keynote by Sarah Davies was a London publisher for 25 years, latterly as Publishing Director and on the management board of Macmillan Children’s Books where she worked with authors such as Philip Pullman, Julia Donaldson, Judy Blume, Sharon Creech, Meg Cabot, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and many others. In 2007 she moved to the USA and launched The Greenhouse Literary Agency, a transatlantic agency specializing in fiction for children and teens. Greenhouse quickly built a reputation as one of the leading boutique-sized agencies on both sides of Atlantic and is well known for discovering and helping to develop new talent. Among its clients are two New York Times bestsellers, a Morris First Novel Award winner, a Kirkus Prize Finalist, and its authors regularly achieve starred reviews and critical acclaim, as well as deals around the world. Sarah and her colleague Polly Nolan are open to all genres of fiction and represent young stories upwards through YA, but also sell picture books, non-fiction and even adult novels by existing clients. What they seek most of all is quality writing complementing a unique premise. Now back in the UK, Sarah divides her time between her new home “somewhere east of Oxford”, London, and New York, and she works with authors across many timezones!

·The faculty also includes:

Margaret Bateson-Hill, Author and Storyteller, Ruth Bennett, Commissioning Editor at Stripes, Louise Bolongaro, Publisher at Nosy Crow, Helen Bryant, Literary Consultant at Cornerstones, Jane Clarke, Author, Candy Gourlay, Author, Karen Inglis, Independent Author, George Kirk, Educator, David McDougalan, Senior Art Director at Walker Books, Tamara McFarlane, Independent Bookseller, Cliff McNish, Author, Roland Moore, Script Writer, Roxie Munroe, Author/Illustrator, Lin Oliver, Author, Susan Price, Author, Viv Schwarz, Author/Illustrator, Benjamin Scott, Author, Paul Stickland, Author/ Illustrator, Sarah Towle, Independent Author, Becky Tudor, Educator, Caroline Walsh, Agent, Polly Whybrow, Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury.

On Friday 18th November there is a programme of optional fringe events culminating in an evening critique meet. There is also an open portfolio exhibition on Saturday 19st November and various other competitions for authors and illustrators. Delegates and invited industry guests will be celebrating 20 years of SCBWI British Isles as well as our members’ 2016 publishing successes at our exclusive party and Mass Book Launch on Saturday night!

Two scholarships will be awarded, based on need and merit, which include tuition and accommodation costs, and a 1-1 with an editor, art director or agent.

The Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards will be presensented to the 2016 winner.

For more information about the conference programme visit

Booking closes at midnight, Monday 31st October 2016. 

About SCBWI:  SCBWI British Isles is a chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, a group form in 1968 by some Los Angeles-based writers for children. It is the only international organisation to offer a variety of services to people who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in children's literature. It has over 22,000 members worldwide working in all areas of writing and illustrating for children, from picture books to YA. It is the only professional organisation for those specifically working in mediums of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia, and makes an annual presentation of the Golden and Crystal Kite Awards, the only award presented to children’s book authors and artists by their peers.

SCBWI British Isles hosts a number of events during the year, from a professional development lecture series to masterclasses and writing retreats. It also supports local critique groups and events with regional festivals.

For more information:


SCBWI British Isles:


·         Jonny Wood

Conference and Press Enquiries: 
·         George Kirk and Becky Tudor, Conference Co-Chairs,
·         Natascha Biebow, Regional Advisor (Chair),

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Society of Authors events

two SoAvents that you may like to attend.

Adventures in the real world: factual books and reading for pleasure
19 July, 5.45-8pm,  Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD

Children love reading about pirates, animals, robots, space, monsters... anything and everything wondrous and exciting. They love adventurous stories and bizarre inventions. And they don't love it any less if what they read is true - so why does Reading for Pleasure so often focus on fiction? 

Our panel of experts discusses the huge benefits of reading factual books for pleasure, engaging young readers who might not enjoy fiction, and broadening the horizons of those who do. 
Jenny Broom is a publisher at Quarto, producers of the award-winning Atlas of AdventuresDawn Finch is President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, a vociferous library campaigner, trained librarian and children’s author; Nicola Morgan, Society of Authors’ Children’s Writers and Illustrator Group Chair, author of award-winning novels, factual books and an expert in the science of readaxation and reading for wellbeing; and Zoe Toft of the Federation of Children’s Books Groups, an independent children’s book consultant who oversees Non-Fiction November. Chaired by Anne Rooney, author of around 150 children’s information books on many subjects and Chair of the Society of Authors’ Educational Writers Group.

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception. Tickets for Carousel subscribers cost £10 
online booking as SoA members using an offer code SOA16 or £12 offline by calling the Society of Authors on 0207 373 6642. Please quote event code 571.
Diverse voices:  children's literature in translation 
20 October 2016, 2-4pm,  English Speaking Union, Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London, W1J 5ED.

Some of the most loved children’s books in the UK have been translated into English from their original language - Pippi LongstockingEmil and the DetectivesHeidi, as well as Tintin and Asterix. Despite this, translated  literature makes up a very small percentage of the total number of children’s books published in the UK each year. In an globalised world, where intercultural exchange is widespread and multi-faceted, this lack of access to children’s literature which has been produced outside the English-speaking world could be seen as a problematic gap in young people’s cultural education; as Skellig author David Almond puts it: "children need to read the best books by the best writers from all parts of the world… (or) our children are missing out."

After the discussion with panellists Annie Eaton (Penguin Random House), Gill Evans (Walker Books), Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Press) and chair  Joy Court (Schools Library Services) the shortlist for the 2017 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation will be announced. 

Refreshments (tea and cakes) will be served. Tickets are £10, with a concession of £5 available for students. Book now