Thursday, January 11, 2018

Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Over 100,000 children inspired since the tour began in 1998.

If you are interested in photographs from the photocall please contact: or 0131 524 0184

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour today launched its 20th anniversary celebrations. Award-winning authors Lari Don and Ross Collins marked the occasion with pupils at Shawlands Primary School in Glasgow. They were joined by Calum Bennie, Communications Manager at Scottish Friendly, and Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, the literacy charity which runs the tour.

During the event, Lari Don captivated the school children with her mythical fables and Ross Collins, a former pupil of the school, held a live-drawing session to bring the stories to life in front of the children’s eyes.

The Children’s Book Tour is supported by Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s leading financial mutuals, and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools, and has enthralled more than 100,000 children since it began in 1998.

Author Lari Don said:

“I’m really excited to be celebrating the anniversary of these wonderful tours. When Scottish Book Trust took me on a Scottish Friendly tour of Northern Ireland with my Spellchasers trilogy last year, it was one of the best experiences of my writing life. We met hundreds of enthusiastic school pupils, many of whom had never had a chance to meet and chat to a published writer before. The tour was so well organised and so ambitious, in such a lovely part of the world.”

Author and illustrator Ross Collins said:

“It's always a real pleasure touring with Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Friendly. I've visited schools and children in parts of the country I could never have reached before. Apart from working in slippers, getting kids excited about stories and illustration is the best thing about my job.”

One of very first authors to take part in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour was Alan Durant, writer and poet, who travelled to Orkney in May 1998 for a ten-day tour. Other authors that toured in 1998 include Dianna Hendry, poet and children’s writer, and Janet Paisley, writer, poet and playwright who writes in Scots and English.

The 20th anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour will be a year-long celebration and will reach every local authority in Scotland. Over 100 authors have taken part in the Children’s Book Tour since 1998, and 13 of those authors will join the anniversary celebrations.

Julia Donaldson, author of the bestselling Gruffalo series and a former Children’s Laureate, will participate in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Tour in March, following the success of her 2012 tour. The author will visit libraries in Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

The highlight of the 20th Anniversary takes place on 6 June when Scottish Friendly and Scottish Book Trust will host a Jamboree Celebration event at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. Headlining the anniversary celebrations will be bestselling children and teen author, Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell will also join the event, alongside award-winning Scottish author Pamela Butchart and comic creators the Etherington Brothers. Over 2000 children from all across Scotland will attend, and a bus travel fund will be offered for schools further afield.

Sarah McIntyre, illustrator and writer of children’s books, has designed exclusive comics for the 20th anniversary celebrations, which will be gifted to all primary and secondary pupils participating in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour throughout the year.

Calum Bennie, Communications Manager of Scottish Friendly, said:
”From the outset in 1998, we at Scottish Friendly were aware that the Children’s Book Tour was an engaging, popular and worthwhile programme which would help promote literacy within Scottish schools. That the tour has gone from strength to strength and continues to inspire children is testament to the power of books and the first class authors and illustrators the tour attracts. Here’s to its continued success.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, added:
“Being able to tour authors and illustrators into schools, libraries and communities across the length and breadth of Scotland, and in England and Northern Ireland too, is a wonderfully effective way to spark children’s creativity and love of books. Over the past two decades we’ve seen first-hand the hugely positive impact that the joy and excitement of a Children’s Tour visit has had on pupils across the country. Our remarkable twenty year relationship with Scottish Friendly has made this possible, and we are very grateful to them for enabling us to bring books into the lives of many thousands of children.”

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CLPE Children’s Poetry Award announcement

Submissions open for the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award - CLiPPA 2018
Announcement of Chair, judges and venue for the 2018 Award

Publishers are invited to submit books of children’s poetry published in 2017 for CLiPPA 2018. Established in 2003, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA) is the only award to recognise excellence in published poetry for children in the UK. It encourages and celebrates outstanding new children’s poetry and is presented annually for a book of poetry by a single poet or collection of children’s poetry published in the preceding year.

Chair and Judges
This year the Chair of the Judging panel will be poet and first ever CLiPPA winner, Grace Nichols.
Grace is joined by a range of poetry experts who share a passion for poetry and its place in children’s developing literacy.
·        Anthony Anaxagorou – Poet and poetry educator. Founder of Out-Spoken Press
·        Charlotte Hacking - CLPE Learning Programme Leader
·        Imogen Lycett Green – Director of the Betjeman Poetry Prize for Young Poets
·        Kate Wakeling - Poet and CliPPA 2017 winner for Moon Juice

Grace Nichols, Chair of Judges said: “Poetry is so important for children because it helps them to see the world with new eyes, as each poem is like a freshly created little universe, at the same time awakening them to the power, beauty and rhythm of language. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to chair the judging panel for this year’s CLiPPA and look forward to celebrating the very best new poetry for children.”

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “We know from our research that giving children opportunities to enjoy, practise and perform poetry supports their developing literacy, making the CLiPPA and the shadowing scheme incredibly important to all the schools and children who take part.  We also know that despite a rich heritage and significant contribution to the literary canon, children’s poetry is still under-represented on the school curriculum and in the publishing world.  This is why we are proud that CLiPPA highlights the full range of poetry published for children and delighted to be celebrating poetry again in 2018 with such a distinguished chair and panel of judges.”

The shortlist will be announced in May and the winner revealed at the CLiPPA 2018 Poetry Show in June in the 1,000-seater Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre, London in front of an audience of poets, publishers, teachers, and young readers from the Shadowing Scheme.

The winner of CLiPPA 2018 will join an incredible past line up of winners from the world of children’s poetry including Sarah Crossan, Michael Rosen, Joseph Coelho, Roger McGough, Carol Ann Duffy and John Agard. For many poets, winning the CLiPPA has been a pivotal moment in their writing career and a springboard to increased profile and further book commissions. Both Rachel Rooney and Joseph Coelho, who won with debut collections, are now widely known amongst primary school children.
CLiPPA forms a central part of CLPE’s work at the forefront of poetry teaching in schools. In 2017 CLPE delivered their first Power of Poetry course, bringing together published poets and an anthologist with teachers to develop teachers' knowledge, confidence and expertise in their own poetry repertoire and about the teaching of poetry.

Research evaluation from the training showed that poetry provides a means for children to find and develop their own voice bringing a wide range of benefits, particularly development of their own writing. Opportunities to practise and perform poetry adds to the understanding and enjoyment of it and having a performance goal, such as CLiPPA is a real motivator in children engaging with poetry.

The research demonstrates the real need for a focus on poetry as a vehicle for improving children’s engagement in and enjoyment of reading and creative writing in schools.
More findings from The Power of Poetry, combined with knowledge and understanding gained from CLPE’s work with teachers, children and poets over the last forty years are presented in the updated ‘What We Know Works’ poetry booklet.

Shadowing Scheme
2018 will be the 4th year of the hugely popular CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme. Running in schools alongside the CLiPPA judging, the shadowing scheme has so far reached more than 600 teachers and 14,000 children. As part of their commitment to support teachers to teach poetry in an exciting and creative way, CLPE will create teaching materials for all shortlisted books. This will include videos of the shortlisted poets which will be accessible on CLPE’s free Poetryline site which reaches almost 300,000 teachers every year. Shadowing schools will have the opportunity to win copies of all the shortlisted books and to attend or perform at the CLiPPA 2018 Poetry Show.