UK and International School Specialists
Working with over 5000 schools in the UK
Over 800 International Schools in more than 65 countries.

News from Authors Abroad

Mark Lemon’s latest book nominated for an award

13th June 2018

We are delighted that the fifth publication by children’s author, Mark Lemon, has been shortlisted by the Junior Design Awards 2018.

‘The Magical Wood’, was written to help children suffering with the bereavement of a loved one, and proceeds from every copy sold
will be donated to children’s bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish.

The Magical Wood is available to purchase at and


Good luck Mark – a wonderful book and a fantastic cause.



To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Mark Lemon, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Coral Rumble wins The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2018

4th June 2018

Congratulations to Coral Rumble. We are thrilled to announce she has won this year’s prestigious Caterpillar Poetry Prize.

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize, run by the junior art and literature magazine The Caterpillar and awarded annually to a single unpublished poem written by an adult for children, was judged this year by the British poet Chrissie Gittins.


Coral scooped first place with her poem ‘Mustafa’s Jumper’.


Well done Coral, we are so pleased for you!


If you would like to have Coral and her wonderful poetry workshops in your school please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

John Row and his storytelling well received at Swindon Literature Festival Family Day

24th May 2018

Our acclaimed storyteller John Row had a great time entertaining audiences at Swindon Literature Festival Family Day.

See a news article about the event via the following link:

Swindon Advertiser Article


To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about John, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at


Student’s story produced following a visit from Kathryn White

17th May 2018

During Kathryn White’s recent visit to West Acton Primary School one of the students produced this wonderful story which he has allowed us to share.


The Scary Seas

Written by Mohamed E, West Acton Primary


Once upon a time I went camping under the sea! I went camping in the water with my friend. I felt worried and nervous as I laid by tent on the wet, sandy floor. Then I ate my breakfast and felt much better. It was rice crispies and of course I had them with salty water instead of milk.


As I was eating, I saw a merman hiding from killer whales. I peered at them all from my tent. A school of fish swam across  the scene and sharks then added to the cacophony. My goggles fell off and all of a sudden I couldn’t see for a moment…but, then I saw a light. It had telekinesis and gave me my goggles back!


I could see the light now and in fact, once those goggles were in place I could see it was a not a light but an underwater sorcerer. He told me he wanted me to save the world. “I’m not strong enough to fight for the world I replied. The sorcerer answered “I can turn you in to a strong sea creature with an enchanted spell! Ummmsa-tikyaa-ra-na-fo-lioro-taji!”


As the spell worked its magic on me, I turned into an actual, ferocious (but very cool) sea dragon. I started roaring at the killer whales and sharks and got their attention. Evil sea goblins were watching the sharks and killer whales and put their fingers in their ears to stop the loud sound. I moved forward and trod on them like they were ants being squashed by giant dinosaurs that eat elephants!


Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw my friend Lucas transform into a sea snake. The sorcerer had put a spell on him too! I called him the Serpent of the Sea. He was a metal snake with a horn and was 7 feet long. He was made of a golden steel. His eyes were red and he spat out green fire.

Just then, I woke up – the sea camping was gone and I was on a boat. A pirate boat! I saw an angry pirate crew looking at the sky. Aliens were there and it was an alien and pirate battle. “Charge” they yelled. “Drill bit blitz” I yelled and they found us flamethrowers to attack. I used my hyper-beam power to fight back. Just then, the fight finished and an old man, maybe it was the captain of the boat, screeched “You have done it!” 

I looked at the man and realised it was the sorcerer from under the sea. He had brought me here to fight in this fight to save the world! “Just because you have saved us all, you can keep your powers” he said to me. 

“Well then if there is any more trouble just call my name,” I replied.

And that’s how my sea adventure turned me into a hero of the world.



Fantastic work Mohamed!


Have your pupils/your child produced some work during one of our author visits they would like to share on our website? Send it in to


Want to organise for an author or poet to visit your school and run writing workshops to inspire students? Please contact Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Karl Nova shortlisted for prestigious children’s poetry award

30th April 2018

We are delighted that Karl Nova’s debut novel, which we published, has been shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2018!

See the official announcement below:


“The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is delighted to announce the 2018 shortlist for the CLiPPA (Centre
for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award). Established in 2003, the CLiPPA encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry
published for children. This year sees the largest ever number of poetry book submissions following a bumper year for
eligible poetry.

The 2018 shortlist celebrates and highlights the diversity of voices in the UK poetry scene. From debut collections Sue
Hardy-Dawson’s Where Do Zebras Go and Karl Nova’s Rhythm and Poetry, to the legendary John Agard’s The Rainmaker
Danced. From books already receiving recognition – Sarah Crossan’s Moonrise and Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower
Block – to the Rising Stars collection celebrating under-represented voices publishing their poems for the first time. The
shortlist is evenly split between 3 previous winners and 3 debut collections, with 3 out of the 6 shortlisted books coming
from independent publisher Otter-Barry Books.

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said “CLiPPA is leading an essential movement to build on the current
huge popularity of poetry and the growing poetry market to ensure that poetry for children is acknowledged as an
essential part of this landscape. The shortlist recognises not just great children’s poets but great poets full stop. We
want as many people as possible to know about these wonderful works and CLiPPA, the Shadowing Scheme and the
resources we produce all come together to make sure that they receive the high profile they deserve.”
This year has seen an increase in submissions of almost 70%, from 19 books from 9 publishers in 2017 to 32 books from
19 publishers in 2018.

The full shortlist is:

  • John Agard: The Rainmaker Danced, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, Hodder – witty and satirical poems that
    focus on social observations, play with myths and traditional tales and reflect on the nature of humanity.
  • Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme, Amina Jama: Rising Stars, Otter-Barry Books,
    illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, Elanor Chuah and Joe Manners – a showcase for five fresh and exciting emerging
  • Joseph Coelho: Overheard in a Tower Block, illustrated by Kate Milner, Otter-Barry Books – a powerful
    collection, offering glimpses into the challenges of a boy’s life, ingeniously threaded through with fantasy, story,
    myth and magic.
  • Sarah Crossan: Moonrise, Bloomsbury – a moving verse novel for young adults, seen from the viewpoint of a
    young man whose brother is on death row.
  • Sue Hardy-Dawson: Where Zebras Go, Otter-Barry Books – a first solo collection uniting a variety of voices with
    a wide range of poetic forms.
  • Karl Nova: Rhythm and Poetry, illustrated by Joseph Witchall, Caboodle Books – the first published collection
    from a Hip Hop poet, demonstrating the currency and significance of rap as a form, especially for young people.


Grace Nichols, Poet, winner of the first ever CLiPPA and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 Judges commented: “The judging
process involved passionate discussions about which books to shortlist, leading us to come up with a variety of fresh
new voices joined by established ones. This shortlist showcases a vibrant selection of poetry books that children willlove
to explore“


The judging panel is chaired by much loved poet and CLiPPA 2003 winner, Grace Nichols along with Kate Wakeling, poet
and CLiPPA 2017 winner for Moon Juice, Imogen Lycett Green, Director of the Betjeman Prize for Young Poets, Charlotte
Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader and Anthony Anaxagorou, poet, poetry educator and founder of Out-Spoken

The winner of the 2018 Award will be announced on 22nd June in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London.
This will be the 4th year that CLPE has partnered with the National Theatre to deliver the Poetry Show which will include
performances from children participating in the Shadowing Scheme and the shortlisted poets. The winner of the Award
will receive £1000. Former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, will live draw the Award Ceremony.

The free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in the Poetry Award 2018 is also launched today. This has run for 3
years, reaching more than 600 teachers and 14,000 children. To support schools to take poetry into the classroom,
videos of poets performing from the shortlisted books and talking about their work and high quality teaching resources,
are available free of charge to all schools Shadowing schools are invited to apply for free
tickets to attend the Award Ceremony.

New for 2018, CLPE will be partnering with ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society) to educate teachers and
children about copyright and about the rights of writers. The Siobhan Dowd Trust will also be supporting the Shadowing
Scheme by helping CLPE to provide free copies of the shortlisted books to selected shadowing schools.
For further information please visit or contact / 020 7401 3382

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)

CLPE is an independent UK charity working to raise the literacy achievement of children by putting quality children’s
literature at the heart of all learning. CLiPPA, the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award, was developed to ensure that children’s
poetry has a recognised place within children’s literature. For free poetry resources including films of poets performing
visit For further information about CLPE please visit The full list of
previous winners is available at

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)

ALCS provides a unique service for all types of author. ALCS collect money for authors that can’t be administered on an
individual basis, from all over the world, from a wide variety of sources and pay it to them. ALCS campaigns for the rights
of authors and provides a collective voice for the wide variety of individuals that make up their membership. They
educate about the principles of copyright and intellectual property and their importance to authors to the general
public. ALCS currently has over 95,000 writer members and, since its inception in 1977, has paid over £450million to the
nation’s writers

National Theatre

The National Theatre is dedicated to making the very best theatre and sharing it with as many people as possible. They
produce productions on the South Bank in London each year, ranging from re-imagined classics to modern masterpieces
and new work by contemporary writers and theatre-makers. The National’s work is seen on tour throughout the UK, in
London’s West End, internationally (including on Broadway) and in collaborations and co-productions with theatres
across the country.

The Siobhan Dowd Trust

The Siobhan Dowd Trust works to give young people the opportunity to access and enjoy books. It is the money earned
through UK and International book royalties and other income from Siobhan’s work that allows the trust to support
deserving projects. Find out more at & on Twitter @sdowdtrust”


We have our fingers crossed for Karl and his ‘Rhythm and Poetry’ book!


New video about Cat Weatherill’s book Breathe

16th April 2018

We are very excited that Cat Weatherill has a new book coming out!


When you can’t control your emotions and your birthday is coming up, you need great friends…

Toby is an adorable four year old dragon who has a problem with fire. He simply cannot keep calm – until he discovers yoga! BREATHE is a heartwarming story about happiness, harmony, friendship and birthday cake.

Cat was performing for the British Council Ukraine at a book festival in Kyiv when she met Liliya Pochkun, the creative force behind Wise Bee Books. Over coffee and cake in a fabulous Kyiv coffee shop, they talked about doing a book together, and Cat told her a story idea she had in her head about an over-excitable dragon. And that was it! Their book journey together began right then.

Now the book is available. It is a beautifully produced large softcover picture book (27cm x 27cm) with gorgeous full-colour illustrations by Olga Kuznetsova. Available from Amazon

Check out the video about Cat’s upcoming book ‘Breathe’.


Interested in Cat visiting your school?


Get in touch with Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Poetry Competition for Children judged by Chrissie Gittins

22nd March 2018

One of our poets, Chrissie Gittins, has been interviewed by The Irish Times, to promote the latest entries for a children’s poetry competition.

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is searching for the best poem for children. It is offering a prize of 1000 euros and closes at 31st March 2018. It is open for those age 16 plus.

The interview can be found here:


Inline images 1

Have a read of the interview and why not have a go at writing a poem?

John Row Romanian storytelling project and featured on TV

21st February 2018


Our veteran storyteller John Row is engaged in a project supported by the Society For Storytelling collecting folk stories from an area of Transylvania which he has close links with. Digi24, a Romanian news and documentary channel broadcast a report on John and his project. To watch the report visit 13:28   The piece is about 12 minutes into the programme.


If you would like to arrange for John to visit your school – whether in the UK or abroad, please get in touch with Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Karen Rubins launches new educational game

20th February 2018

One of our illustrators, Karen Rubins has developed a brilliant educational and super fun storytelling card game, called Comic Turns. Comic Turns is a game for kids and adults aged 7+, it has no written language anywhere except in the (optional) rules, and is great for learning about  story structure and how comics work as well as inspiring creative writing.

Comic Turns is a card game created by Karen Rubins, now campaigning on Kickstarter from Wednesday 7th February – Tuesday 13th March

About the game:

Comic Turns is a comics storytelling game system – a deck of cards where each has a comic panel all carefully designed so that they can be arranged in any order to make countless new comic strips and infinite stories.

Comic Turns is suitable for all ages from 7 upwards. It contains no words, meaning it can be played anywhere with speakers of any language, as well as being accessible for children and adults with low literacy or difficulty reading. There is great potential for Comic Turns to be used as an educational aid not just for making comics and creative writing, but for literacy, language learning and discussion.

Comic Turns is an extremely versatile and fun game, with four different ways to play included in the deck: A warm-up activity to get the creative juices flowing, two collaborative games, and a competitive game. Each are suitable for ages 7+ and for 1-6 players. But this is not the end … There are many different ways to play, perhaps infinite ways.  Players will be encouraged to submit their own ideas for games to the Comic Turns website, and more “official” rules will be added too, so that Comic Turns is constantly evolving.

About the creator:

Karen Rubins is a comics artist from London, UK. She is known for her work on The Phoenix, as well as numerous indie titles, Urban Beasts, Blood Magic, The Tale of Tony Cinderello to name a few.

In 2009, she was the V&A’s Comics Art Resident, spending six months in this world-class museum making artwork, teaching workshops and holding open studio events. This was when the idea for Comic Turns was first conceived, as a deck of comic strip playing cards called Hand of Fate…

Karen has been teaching comics for adults, kids and teens for the past ten years, working with schools, libraries and museums across the UK and  abroad. Students and educators alike loved Hand of Fate and found it great for learning and teaching. Comics pros who support Comic Turns include Karrie Fransman, Leah Moore and David Lloyd.


Kickstarter Campaign:

Comic Turns Official Website:

Karen’s Official Website and Blog:

Twitter: @kazmantra




Want to arrange a visit from Karen to your school?

Get in touch with Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Stuart Reid a huge hit in Hong Kong

8th February 2018

Our authors love trips abroad and international schools love hosting them.

See below our latest feedback from Hong Kong who are having a wonderful time with Stuart Reid.

“We are well into Book Week and enjoying the intense focus on literacy. I had the pleasure of hearing visiting international author Stuart Reid present to Year 3 and 6 today. He really drove home the message (with snot zombies, smelly teachers and other hilarious characters) that reading should be great fun and alliteration is a wonderful strategy to add quality to a story. He had the children laughing, shocked, cheering and yelling all within a few minutes. This was especially the case when he got Mr Fay and Mr Wishart up on the stage to play Smelly and Jelly Elephants!

The session once again reminded me of the power of the written word to invoke feelings, emotions, responses and to create what Stuart called “TV shows in your head”. I invite you to spend some extra special time enjoying books with your children this week, join us at KJS in our Book Week and reinforce to your children the joy, wonder, power and importance of reading.”



Want your school to join in the fun and have a dose of Stuart for your students – get in touch with Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at


Stuart Reid school visit information