News from Authors Abroad
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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 www.clpe.org.uk/poetryline. 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 www.clpe.org.uk/poetryline/clippa or contact email@example.com / 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 www.clpe.org.uk/poetryline. For further information about CLPE please visit www.clpe.org.uk. The full list of
previous winners is available at https://www.clpe.org.uk/poetryline/clippa
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 www.alcs.co.uk.
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 http://siobhandowdtrust.com & 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 www.amazon.co.uk/Breathe-Cat-Weatherill/dp/966975724X/ref=sr_1_1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 www.digi24.ro/emisiuni/
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 email@example.com
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: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/karenrubins/comic-turns
Comic Turns Official Website: http://comicturns.com
Karen’s Official Website and Blog: http://karenrubins.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Anna McKann Awards Prizes at the Inspiring Costa Kids Writing Competition 2017
One of our authors, Anna McKann has once again just finished judging and presenting the prizes for the 2017 Inspiring Costa Kids Writing Competition.
This annual Spanish writing competition if for children aged between 9-13 years old.
Pictured above: Anna with the five finalists and the presenter Emma De Acedo at Marbella Rtv.
Anna is already looking forward to the 2018 competition which she is once again facilitating and organising.
Well done to Anna for her fabulous role in this wonderful competition, and congratulations to all the finalists!
If you would like to arrange for Anna to visit your school please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Kathryn White Video
19th January 2018
Kathryn White has created a video for students who are working up excitement about her upcoming visit!
Check out the video below, and if you want your school to get in on the action get in touch to organise for Kathryn to visit your school!
To discuss arranging for Kathryn to visit your school please contact Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at email@example.com
Chris Bradford releases his first ever phonics book
18th January 2018
Popular author of ‘Young Samurai’ and ‘The Bodyguard’ Chris Bradford has expanded his range of books and used his writing talents to engage an even wider audience.
Chris Bradford has teamed up with Korky Paul for his first phonics book.
A jungle adventure for younger readers!
“Join Jake and Jen on an exciting adventure through a dense tropical jungle filled with fierce animals and many obstacles – or at least that’s where they think they are…”
This exciting story is written by award-winning author Chris Bradford and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Korky Paul.
Collins Big Cat Phonics for Letters and Sounds features exciting fiction and non-fiction decodable readers to enthuse and inspire children. They are fully aligned to Letters and Sounds Phases 1–6. The Handbooks provide support in demonstration and modelling, monitoring comprehension and expanding vocabulary. Reading notes within the book provide practical support for children, including a list of all the sounds and words that the book will cover.
If you would like for either Chris or Korky to visit your school please visit their author pages for more information, and get in contact with Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org