Thursday, January 12, 2017


19,000 Scottish Children Cast a Vote

Author Nick Sharratt has been announced as the winner of the very first Bookbug Picture Book Prize for his picture book Shark in the Park on a Windy Day, published by Picture Corgi.
Sharratt beat off stiff competition from the other two shortlisted authors, Ross Collins and Alison Murray, to win £3,000 and the coveted Bookbug Picture Book Prize trophy, which this year has been produced by Scottish paper artist Emily Hogarth. 
The prize, voted for exclusively by 19,000 Scottish children aged 3-7, was set up in 2016 to celebrate the most popular picture books by Scottish authors or illustrators, and is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland.
          Commenting on the prize, Nick said:
“I am absolutely delighted that ‘Shark in the Park on a Windy Day’ has won the 2017 Bookbug Picture Book Prize. It was wonderful to have my book included in the Bookbug bag as part of Scottish Book Trust's brilliant Bookbug project and to win this award really is the icing on the cake. I've had the pleasure of going into scores of Scottish schools, nurseries and libraries to work with hundreds of children over the past few years, so the fact that the voting was decided upon by the country's young readers makes the prize all the more special.”
Shark in the Park on a Windy Day is the third book in the best-selling Shark in the Park series, where little Timothy Pope is blown this way and that as readers join him in peeping through his telescope. Nick has worked as an illustrator and author of children's books since the late 1980s and has created illustrations for close to two hundred and fifty books.  As well as producing around sixty of his own books (which have been translated into more than a dozen languages) he’s worked with numerous writers including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen and Giles Andreae. His most famous collaboration is with Jacqueline Wilson, for whom he has illustrated more than forty fiction titles.
Heather Collins, Schools Programme Manager, said:
“It’s fantastic to see our brand new Bookbug Picture Book prize get off to such a strong start, with tens of thousands of children up and down the country reading, sharing and voting for their favourite title. This is in no small part due to the enthusiasm and hard work of teachers, parents and librarians, and their commitment to ensuring that Scottish children grow up surrounded by books and cuddles.”   
Aly Barr, Acting Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland, said;
“This award, more than many others, is one that really counts for authors. It’s not only a chance for young readers to make their own minds up and vote for their favourites; it’s a way to reverse the polarity and have the readers connect with the writer.”
A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist, There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins, Hare and Tortoise, The Favourite Aesop’s Fableby Alison Murray and Shark in the Park on a Windy Day by Nick Sharratt was given to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland 2016, in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.
A photo of Nick reading Shark in the Park on a Windy Day to Aoife (3) from Edinburgh, is available to download here and here (free to use):
You can download the video of the winners announcement here. Please feel free to use it on your website if you would like to.
                                                     0131 524 0175 or 07751 69 58 54

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Coram Voice launches writing competition

Coram Voice launches writing competition to celebrate the voices of care-experienced children and young people 
Following the success of ‘Voices’, its first ever national writing competition in 2016, Coram Voice is excited to open the competition for a second year on 9 January.
The charity, which provides a range of services for children and young people in and around the care system, is launching Voices 2017 as a platform for care-experienced young people to express their creative talents.
The theme of this year’s competition is ‘New Beginnings’ and Coram Voice is asking children and young people to draw inspiration from a change in their lives or opportunities they’ve experienced to try something new.
The competition is grouped in three age categories: primary school, secondary school and care leavers, with a special additional award for migrant children in care or care leavers. Entries, which can be submitted online from 9 January until 21 February, can be in any written style including poems, short stories or newspaper articles, with a 500 word limit.
The entries for Voices 2017 will be judged by a panel of authors, journalists and writers including:
·         Alex Wheatle, winner of the 2016 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
·         Jackie Long, Social Affairs Editor for Channel 4 News
·         Jenny Molloy, author of ‘Hackney Child’
·         Paolo Hewitt, music journalist, writer and author of ‘The Looked After Kid’
·         Nikesh Shukla, writer and editor of ‘The Good Immigrant’
·         Keren David, author of young adult fiction including ‘Salvage’
·         Luke Stevenson, Children’s Social Care Journalist for Community Care
Winners will be announced by the judges at an awards ceremony in London on 10 April.
One of the judges, Keren David commented: “I am delighted to be on the judging panel. Young people in care are full of talent and potential and their voices need to be heard.”
Steven, winner of the Secondary School category for Voices 2016 said: “I didn’t think I’d win so I was really happy when they said I had. I’ve since had the opportunity to read my story to my year group and at other events.
“I’d say to this year’s entrants – think back to your past, and put in what you can remember. Even if you think you can’t win – as I did – you never know, just try your best.”
For more information about Voices 2017, how to enter and prizes, please