Category Archives: Events

Becca Fitzpatrick October Tour of the UK

Tues 18th

LONDON 6:30pm
Talk & Signing at Foyles Bookshop
The Gallery space
Charing Cross Road

Talk & signing.
FREE. Reserve a place online at Foyles or phone the store on 020 7437 5660

Weds 19th


Talk & Signing with Waterstones Boston
Blackfriars Theatre
Spain Lane
PE21 6HP

Entry by ticket only. Tickets £3, available in-store or tel:
01205 360002

Thurs 20th

Talk & Signing: Eason
40 Lower O’Connell Street

To reserve a place tel: 00 353 (0) 1 858 3800

Sat 22nd



Signing at Eternal Twilight 6
Hilton Metropole, Birmingham NEC

Full details and tickets available from

Signing at Waterstones Birmingham24-26 High Street
B4 7SL

To reserve a signed copy (subject to availability. Reserved copies may not carry a dedication) phone the store on 0843 290 8149

Sun 23rd



Signing at Eternal Twilight 6
Hilton Metropole, Birmingham NEC

Full details and tickets available from

Mon 24th


Talk & signing at Waterstones Windsor Windsor Library
Memorial Hall
Straight Road
Old Windsor

Entry by ticket only. Tickets available from Waterstones, 20-21 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DU, tel: 01753 856456

Signing at Waterstones Bromley 100 The Glades

To reserve a signed copy (subject to availability. Reserved copies may not carry a dedication) phone the store on 020 8460 6037

Talk & signing with Waterstones Crawley
Crawley Library
Southgate Avenue
RH10 6HG

Entry by ticket only. Tickets £3 available from the library tel: 01293 651751, or in-store at Waterstones, 83-84 County Mall, RH10 1FD, tel: 01293 533471

Tues 25th



Signing at Waterstones Bluewater
West Village

To reserve a signed copy (subject to availability. Reserved copies may not carry a dedication) phone the store on
0843 290 8159

Indigo Evening at Orion Publishers

I was fortunate enough to be one of the book bloggers invited to attend the Indigo preview evening at Orion Publishers. Indigo is the latest (and greatest?) Teen Fiction imprint that will be hitting the market in September.

We were given a glimpse of the titles that will be released from September. These included:

Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

Kate reading from Soul Beach

When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again – and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next? The first book in an intriguing and compelling trilogy centred around the mystery of Megan Forster’s death.




Darkness Falls by Mia James

Shelter by Harlan Coben – starring the nephew of his best-selling hero Myron Bolitar

Dark Parties by Sara Grant
Neva keeps a list of The Missing – the people like her grandmother who were part of her life but who have now vanished. The people that everyone else pretends never existed. In a nation isolated beneath the dome of the Protectosphere – which is supposed to protect, but also imprisons – Neva and her friends dream of freedom. But life is becoming complicated for Neva. She’s falling for her best friend’s boyfriend – and she’s learning more than she ever wanted to know about what might be happening to The Missing…

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you’ve never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they’ve lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon – the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter’s moon, the blood moon – this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.

The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner

Arnold Ruben has created a memory machine, a utopia housed in a picture palace, where the happiest memories replay forever, a haven in which he and his precious daughter can shelter from the war-clouds gathering over 1937 Britain. But on the day of her seventeenth birthday Amaryllis leaves Warlock Hall and the world she has known and wakes to find herself in a desolate and disturbing place. Something has gone terribly wrong with her father’s plan. Against the tense backdrop of the second World War Sally Gardner explores families and what binds them.

The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

In 2012 there is more to look forward to – which will almost make up for the end of the world (if the Mayans are to be believed)

The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
Crossing Over by Anna Kendal.
The Double Edged Sword by Sarah Silverwood
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons
Dark Mist Rising by Anna Kendall
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Darkness Falls by Mia James
Raining Fire by Alan Gibbons
The Traitor’s Gate by Sarah Silverwood
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
A Bright and Terrible Sword by Anna Kendall

After the official presentations and author talks we were invited out onto the Orion patio where we ate snacks, drank our way through the wines and juices on offer and chatted to the authors and Orion’s Fierce Fiction team.

Sally Gardner is fantastic, very forthright about her views on children’s literature and a total pleasure to chat to. She is one of the (many) authors I think will go down a treat at my school. The cover to The Double Shadow is an image taken from a 1930’s German film, the premise sounds amazing and I am looking forward to reading it!

I met Sara Grant while waiting to be let in to the Orion Offices at the beginning of the evening, and afterwards we chatted for ages about the importance of good libraries, reading and networking. She is currently in my top 10 list of nicest authors I know, she was so lovely that I had to hug her. Dark Parties is her first novel.

This event is the first time I have had the opportunity to meet Marcus Sedgwick he looks the part of a rock star author and everything said about him by the people I know that have met him is true (very relaxed and easy to talk to).

I did not have much of a chance to chat to Kate Harrison except to get my proof copy of Soul Beach signed as she was surrounded constantly by a group of eager bloggers.

I would like to say a BIG thank you to Nina and Orion for the invitation (and ARCs), getting an idea of what is coming soon is exciting and getting to meet authors as well as the Indigo team was fantastic! I am looking forward to reviewing the titles that I have received.

A slideshow of photos from the evening follows below and a group photo of the authors and bloggers..

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Bloggers & Authors in no particular order: Liz Bankes Carly Bennett Jenny Davies Liz de Jager Mark de Jager Louise Ellis Barrett Suzi Feay Caroline Fielding Sarah Gibson Darren Hartwell Matthew Imrie Neil Jackson Beth Kemp Karen Meek Amanda Rutter Becky Scott Jeanette Towey Keith Walters Vivienne Dacosta Michael Thorn Andrew Hall Marcus Sedgwick Sara Grant Kate Harrison Sally Gardner

Under 14's Only @ My Favourite Books

This is the second year My Favourite Books blog will be hosting Under 14’s Only Month. We were approached by some of our local librarians last year and told – confidentially – that a lot of younger readers are feeling very left out when it comes to books for the younger age group, as everyone seemed so focussed on all the teen novels coming out. Which they of course could not read as these were in some cases too mature for them.

This really worried us and as we are always happy to fight for a cause, we established Under 14’s Only Month to review both old and brand new books that are out there for this large age-group. The publishers have been amazing and have inundated us with a variety of books for all ages within this broad spectrum we’ve chosen to showcase. Between the three of us – Mark, Sarah and myself – we are hoping to highlight some great books and authors in July. I have roped in fellow bloggers and reviewers to make their case for their favourite books for younger readers and I’ve got interviews with authors set up to talk about inspirations, monsters and other shenanigans.

We know how hard librarians, parents and teacher work to get kids reading and to keep them reading – if we can hook readers young, we stand a great chance that they remain readers, especially the reluctant readers, be they boys or girls. We have received some great titles from Barrington Stoke, Macmillan Kids, Walker Books, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, Random House Kids, Templar to name but a handful of publishers taking part in this. Their enthusiasm blew my mind and now all we ask for is an audience to share these amazing books with. Please come and visit the blog and comment and recommend us to everyone you know who may benefit from reading the reviews. And remember there is a chance to win two boxes full of books at the end of July. We are always hungry to hear about more titles and new authors we’ve overlooked. Come visit us for the month of July and enjoy our Under 14’s Only Month celebration of fiction for younger readers.

Liz, Mark and Sarah of My Favourite Books Blog

Capturing the Voice

On Thursday evening I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Free Word Centre to attend the Capturing the Voice event hosted by The Reading Agency and Bounce! Templar Publishing, Barrington Stoke, Piccadilly Press and Catnip Publishing.
chaired an author discussion with Colin Mulhern (author of Clash), Isla Whitcroft (Trapped) and Stephanie Burgis (A Most Improper Magick). Anthony McGowan needs no introduction but the other three are still fairly new additions to the YA writing market. I am a massive fan of Clash so it was a pleasure to meet Colin, it was the first time I had come across Isla and Stephanie’s works. I had the opportunity to chat to Isla before the talk started and have added Trapped to my TBR list – it is an adventure story about Cate Carlisle – School’s Out and sixteen-year-old Cate Carlisle lands a job on board a gorgeous yacht, moored in the south of France. She’s working for the glamorous supermodel, actress and pop star Nancy Kyle! But mysterious, terrifying events keep happening around her. Soon Cate’s resourcefulness is the only thing keeping her, and the smuggled animals she discovers, from a terrifying fate. .
A Most Improper Magick is a YA Regency period novel about sisters and a lick of fantasy Kat’s father may be a respectable vicar, but her late mother was a notorious witch, her brother has gambled the whole family into debt, and Kat herself is the newest target of an ancient and secretive magical Order. Anthony also has a new book out with Barrington Stoke – The Fall which is based around events from McGowan’s own school-days – Mog is one of nature’s worriers, a loser hanging out on the edges of school society with an array of misfits. When cool, tough Chris Rush drifts into the gang, Mog finds a hero and a best friend. When pond-scum Duffy is drawn into Chris’ protection, though, Mog’s jealousy starts a chain of events that will change them all forever.

The stories are a mix of grim, gritty and unremitting teen life as well as aspirational storytelling and a pinch of fantasy but each tale has a core of hope

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

I did find a book trailer for A Most Improper Magick:

Ministry of Pandemonium Launch Event

It was 18:20 on the 5th April when I found myself outside the Islington branch of Waterstone’s Bookshop just down from the Angel underground station. Nicky Potter had invited me to attend the launch of Frances Lincoln‘s latest YA thriller, Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood.
The Waterstone’s crew were still setting up when I went indoors so I browsed the shelves until other librarians, booksellers and various fans of Mr Westwood started arriving. Sean Edwards, one of my colleagues on the Youth Library Group (YLG) London committee, was one of the first to arrive and we ended up comparing notes (as we usually do) on what we are reading, and who has received which desirable proof. It is one of the few games of good natured one-upmanship that I have noticed that librarians play, seeing who gets what proof copy from the publishers and which authors we land to visit our libraries. Karen Robinson, another friend from YLG was also there with some colleagues and students from her school.
There was a table of snacks and drinks to keep people occupied until Chris arrived. The children’s section of Waterstone’s was packed out with a mix of adults and young people all eager to meet Chris. The speeches were over quickly and Chris read an extract from his book, where Ben Harvester is introduced to some of his duties at the Ministry, typing up copies of how people are going to die for filing and use by field operatives, the dark humour of the codes denoting causes of death was appreciated warmly by the audience, particularly the 43765 (man packages himself up in a cardboard box and mails himself to his fiancée as a surprise birthday present. Fiancée opens it carelessly with a pair of scissors… ) which sent paroxysms of laughter around the room.
Once the talking stopped, the attendees fell upon the display of books and whisked the m off to the tills, after which they then had them autographed by Chris who spent the remainder of the evening signing and chatting away to his fans.

The good news once you have finished Ministry of Pandemonium is that there is s second book nearly finished – and the possibility of a third!

The evening was brilliant and many thanks must go to Nicky Potter and Frances Lincoln books!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Crocodile Tears Launch

As all fans of the fantastic Alex Rider series written by Anthony Horowitz must now know, the newest book – Crocodile Tears was launched on Thursday the 12th November. I was privileged enough to be invited to the launch party by the always amazing people at Walker Books.

As it was a party there was cake involved…

crowds of people had been invited to celebrate (authors, publishers and even librarians)

Piles of Crocodile Tears were placed artistically around the room

There was even a pianist tickling the ivories for the evening

Our host spent the evening mingling with friends and well-wishers

Although he was not too busy to stop for some publicity shots

or to sign some of the rare copies that were given to the lucky attendees

At the end of the evening there were some very smug Librarians

including me ^_^

Library Myth Busters

This is an idea I have been working on that can be run with a Reading Group and also for breaking the ice for new users in the Library:

This event can be run by following the Myth Busters format of having small teams investigating various Library Myths and then presenting their findings to the entire Reading Group. If permission can be obtained for filming, a short DVD could be made of the proceedings. This could tie into a larger media and film-making programme that can be run over half-term or summer holidays. It is fun and educational – teenagers learn how the library works and what the staff do all day as well as debunking misconceptions they may have on what goes on in libraries.

Here are a a list of library myths that can either be debunked or confirmed:

  • Librarians have lots of time to read on the job
  • All librarians are fast readers
  • Public libraries are only busy during the school year
  • Public libraries are only busy during summer holidays
  • Libraries are used only by those who cannot afford to buy their own books.
  • Librarians have no stress
  • Librarians have read every book in the library.
  • Librarians know the answer to everything
  • Everyone who works in the library is a librarian
  • Libraries are just about getting books
  • Libraries aren’t necessary because everything’s available on the internet
  • Libraries have plenty of money because they get so many donated books and charge so much in fines
  • The librarian can be held responsible for everything that kids check out because they work for the government and must protect young people from bad things
  • School libraries aren’t needed because kids can get everything they want at the public library or online
  • Librarians wear their hair in buns, have wire-rimmed glasses, and say shhhhh! all the time
  • Librarians only issue books
  • Everything in the library is free
  • You have to know Dewey to use the library
  • Libraries are serious and quiet all the time
  • It is difficult to get a library card
  • Libraries are for English readers only

The list is by no means complete and if anyone would like to add library myths in the comments you are most welcome.

HeadSpace Efford

Create a Comic project
HeadSpace Efford took part in this online Manga storyboard activity in preparation for their first ever Manga RE-con at Waterstone’s in Plymouth. The theory behind the activity is that young people who are interested in Manga but unable to draw to a high standard can take part in constructing their own Manga storyboard. The site also provides similar pre-designed graphic novel templates and blank comic strips for young people who are talented artists. All this can be found on the Create a Comic Project website.

“The Create a Comic Project (CCP) is a youth literacy activity that uses comics to promote creative writing. The CCP uses two kinds of templates for instruction: blank panels, allowing kids to draw their own, and pre-drawn comics with the original dialogue bubbles blanked out. Pre-drawn templates use art from comics all across the web, representing a broad swath of the online cartooning community. The CCP is arguably the single largest multi-comic educational collaboration of its kind.

This website is dedicated to hosting the creations of the students who participated in the CCP. Both original and “remixed” comics are posted here for all to see. Every comic here is the work of one or more children. While I provided guidance and technical knowledge (what a dialogue bubble is, how to read expressions, etc.), I was always careful not to tell the kids what to write. So each comic posted here is the free and open creation of a young mind.”

The group really enjoyed coming up with their own stories and reading them aloud to each other. As with most projects that involve young people they are keen to come up with something with a professional finish. We were able to print their designs in colour for them to take home.

Meet Mangako!
HeadSpace Efford launched their very own Manga group, hosted by Abi our resident Manga enthusiast. Abi came up with the plan for launch party, prepared the activities, made cakes, designed posters and promoted the group at the Manga RE-con event. The group is made up of four new HeadSpace members and three existing members who love all things Manga.
HeadSpace 034
It was a great to meet new members at the launch and everyone enjoyed learning to speak some Japanese, trying Japanese food and even listening to Disney songs in Japanese.
HeadSpace 035
Mangako meet on a fortnightly basis during HeadSpace time and in the next few weeks will be coming up with their own design for a Manga library card, performing a Manga sketch and sharing their favourite Anime.

To keep up with all our activities follow us on Twitter and check out the HeadSpace blog, written by young people for young people.

Article & photos provided by Superlibrarian Emma Sherriff of Plymouth Library Service

Manga Jiman 2009 Competition

manga jiman
The Embassy of Japan is once again launching another major manga-writing competition, MANGA JIMAN 2009, with fantastic prizes. This year the competition is open to anyone fourteen (14)* years of age or over.

The amazing First Prize is two (2) return air tickets to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways!**
The Second Prize is a fabulous TOSHIBA laptop computer.
Third Prize is a superb RICOH digital camera.
Runners-up will receive and a selection of manga publications, available in the UK from various UK manga publishers and Japan Centre gift vouchers amongst others prizes.
The winners’ works will also be displayed in a special MANGA JIMAN EXHIBITION at the Embassy of Japan.
Manga Jiman 2009 Mascot: Sorano-chan
This competition is open to all UK residents. All creations should be original and between six (6) to eight (8) A4-sized pages in length and although entrants are free to choose their own theme, restrictions do apply, and importantly the manga should in some way make reference to the ‘sun’. The closing date for the competition is Friday, 25 September 2009.

You can now view examples of the winning entries from previous years on our Myebook page

How to enter:
The full MANGA JIMAN COMPETITION 2009 RULES & REGULATIONS can be found here. (PDF file)

All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form which can be downloaded here. (Word file)

Please contact with any queries about the competition.

*Entrants must be fourteen (14) by the time of the competition prizes are awarded (January 2010).
**Terms and conditions apply.

Bond… James Bond @ Plymouth Headspace

Plymouth HeadSpace project – a place where young people 11-19 can read/listen/surf/chill every Tuesday night.

A group of 15-19s HeadSpace at Efford Library recently hosted their own James Bond themed night called Bond James Bond. The library became the Casino Royale for the evening! The group were made over by professionals and took part in a glamorous photo shoot for the local Evening Herald newspaper. After the photo shoot we took part in a quiz hosted by Q, played Poker and chocolate roulette. This is a link to the article on the Evening Herald website and there are more photos on the Plymouth Libraries Flickr account.

HeadSpace Efford also have their own blog and Twitter account, which young people and teen librarians can follow.