Category Archives: News

The Siobhan Dowd Trust 2016 funding opportunity for schools and groups who work with disadvantaged young people

In 2016 the Siobhan Dowd Trust is funding an opportunity for schools and groups who work with disadvantaged young people to apply for a series of small grants to be spent in local independent bookshops.

The amount awarded in each UK region will total £1000. This may go entirely to one school/group, it is possible that this amount will be broken down into several smaller grants of £750 / £500 / £250 – £250 can still buy a few nice books!

Which bookshops we use will depend on the location of the winning groups. It is expected that young people will choose the books themselves, with guidance from their librarians, teachers and booksellers.

As with other school competitions the Trust has run, this is not eligible for fee-paying schools to enter.

All they need – in a short email to their director – is the following:

* Your contact details
* Name and location of your school / group
* PP / FSM number (or equivalent to demonstrate that you work with disadvantaged or vulnerable groups)
* What it is you do to engage hard to reach young readers (we are looking to build on already existing good practise).

Please email this to

2016 Deadlines by region:

June 30:
North East
North West
Yorkshire & Humber

September 30:
West Midlands
East Midlands
East of England

November 30:
N Ireland
South West
South East

For more details visit:

Shakespeare Documented: A multi-institutional collaboration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

Shakespeare Documented is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), bringing together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter.

Phil Earle: I want to help children find their life-changing book

Award-winning novelist for children and young adults, Phil Earle, has been appointed the new online Writer in Residence for children’s reading charity, BookTrust.

Today, (Monday 18 Jan) Phil kicks off his six month residency with a vlog talking about his belief that everyone is a reader and that there is a story out there for everybody.

Phil said: I’m chuffed to bits to be working with BookTrust as their Writer in Residence. Growing up as a non-reader, I had no idea about the power of stories: of the places they can take you or the people you can meet as a result. I really want to show children that the right book for them is out there.

It wasn’t until Phil was 26 years old that he stumbled across children’s literature by accident, after being ‘kicked into the children’s section’ whilst working in a bookshop.

After that ‘light-bulb’ moment Phil’s life changed and he began writing his own stories in his lunch breaks in the bookshop and, later, writing on the bus on his way to work.

During Phil’s residency he plans to interview authors, editors, poets and illustrators on his vlog in the hope of encouraging children to find the right story, graphic novel, picture book for them. Phil will host a Writer in Residence Twitter chat on 12 February at 2.30pm. His focus will be on favourite fictional families in children’s books and the chat will use the hashtag #philbookchat. Follow Phil on @philearle to take part.

Phil’s books include gritty young adult titles Heroic and Being Billy, the latter being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. More recently, Phil wrote Demolition Dad, the first in a middle-grade series described as ‘DANNY, CHAMPION OF THE WORLD in Spandex’ about a young boy and his Dad who’s an amateur wrestler on the weekends. The sequel, Superhero Street is forthcoming in March from Orion. Phil has also authored a couple of early reader titles for Orion including the football-themed Albert and the Garden of Doom.

Whilst writing popular children’s books, Phil also works as Sales and Marketing Director at David Fickling Books.

BookTrust chief executive Diana Gerald said: The BookTrust online Writer in Residence programme has been a wonderful and popular addition to the BookTrust website, giving visitors to the site a sneak peek into the lives, notebooks and sketchbooks of acclaimed writers and illustrators. We are really looking forward to Phil’s residency as he helps us in our ongoing mission of championing reading to children.

The BookTrust Writer in Residence project has been running since March 2009 and has featured a number of authors and illustrators including Sita Brahmachari, Patrick Ness, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Evie Wyld, Polly Dunbar, Clare Wigfall, Bali Rai, Hannah Berry, Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill, Chris Riddell and Philip Ardagh. The residency encourages each writer to explore topics that they, and BookTrust, are passionate about, with past residents exploring themes such as LGBT issues, diversity in children’s literature and the importance of libraries.

Listen to Phil’s first vlog here:

CILIP: My Library By Right Campaign


In a move that has Library Campaigners across the UK saying things like “Finally!” and “It’s about time!” CILIP has launched the My Library By Right Campaign to bring people together to campaign for:

  • The public’s rights to libraries to be recognised and respected
  • Public libraries to be treated as the statutory services they are
  • The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to carry out their legal duties under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act
  • Statutory guidance for local authorities on their duties under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act from DCMS, with support from CILIP and the library and information profession
    For full details on the Campaign follow this link My Library By Right

    Guardian Article: Librarians take legal battle against library closures to government

    The Bookseller: Local authorities risk ‘breaking law’ on libraries

    Every P1 child to get three free books during Book Week Scotland

    As part of Book Week Scotland 2015, the national celebration of reading taking place between 23 –29 November, Scottish Book Trust will gift three free picture books to every Primary 1 child in Scotland.

    The books, all by Scottish authors or illustrators, will be gifted in the Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag and comprise the Bookbug shortlist for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2016. The titles include: Never Tickle a Tiger, by Pamela Butchart and illustrated by Marc Boutavant, Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School by Simon Puttock and illustrated by Ali Pye and Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar by Emily MacKenzie.

    The bags also include resources such as an activity book, pencils, whiteboard and pens, to help support learning at home. These resources also contain additional counting and writing ideas for parents and children to explore together, developed through the partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Read Write Count campaign. The bag will also contain Ziggy and Maggie Start School, a children’s book about road safety created in partnership with Road Safety Scotland.

    Marc Lambert, Director of Scottish Book Trust, said:

    Primary One is a crucial point in every child’s learning journey, and it is the perfect point at which to begin a lifelong love affair with books. The Bookbug Family Bag has been designed to help teachers, librarians and parents show children how much enjoyment can be derived from books and the possibilities that lie between the pages. This association of books with fun will in turn lead to a more positive educational experience, inspiring children to seek out and devour more books. The bag is also intended to create a lasting link between reading at school and at home.

    For more information about Book Week Scotland 2015, visit, where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area. Take part in Quote Vote, a poll for the most shareable quote from a book or offer your #ThankBooks, a praise to a book, author or person from the world of literature that has inspired you or changed your life.

    Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported, along with a Readers in Residence programme in libraries, by £250,000 from Creative Scotland, Book Week Scotland will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust. Book Week Scotland in libraries is funded by The Scottish Library and Information Council.

    Back on the air!

    Yes… after a month of website silence TeenLibrarian is back!

    I tell you throwing a baby into the life of a couple can be disruptive*

    chip off the old brick

    *Oh yes, in case you do not know – my wife and have had a beautiful baby girl.

    For reasons of privacy and whatnot sadly we will not be sharing any photos of our daughter online, apart from the Lego version above! However if you see me at an author, library or other related event please do let me know and I will quite happily show you photos (I have loads), heck I may even have a baby with me!

    It may take a while to get TL up to speed again but reviews, news and other things will start appearing again, hopefully with some regularity. I ask you to bear with me in this time of fatherhood – which is the best thing ever! For me anyway, I have learned that there are many “best things ever” and parenting is just one of them.

    Crowdsourcing an Updated Library Advocacy Resource

    The Carnegie UK Trust is looking for public librarians to tell them about the activities that public library or library service run.

    They are updating their Speaking Volumes resource databases and need feedback from any and all librarians working in public libraries in thr UK.

    For full details and to find out more follow this link:—culture/the-future-of-libraries/speaking-volumes

    make impact carnegie
    The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve the lives of people throughout the UK and Ireland, by changing minds through influencing policy, and by changing lives through innovative practice and partnership work.

    Creating a Thirst for Knowledge: The Dawn of the Unread


    Nottingham Trent University won the Teaching Excellence Award for The Dawn of the Unread online, interactive comic.

    Incensed by the closures of libraries and low literacy in 21st-century Britain, the famous historical literary figures of Nottingham rise from the grave to wreak revenge.

    Find out more about the project here:

    Visit the Dawn of the Unread website here and be inspired:

    The remit of Dawn of the Unread is not to thrust ‘complex’ books on people to read. It’s to create a thirst for knowledge. To tease, tantalise and inspire. To use digital technology to enable numerous routes into literature knowing that our reading paths are ultimately solitary and taken at different speeds. And if kids go on to the library to get out books it will be because they want to learn more.

    Read the full manifesto for Dawn of the Unread here

    Stuff Mom Never Told You: Judy Blume Forever

    For the past several months I have been listening to the phenomenal Stuff Mom Never told You

    “What is that?” you may well ask, the website explains it far more succinctly that I ever could!

    Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, Stuff Mom Never Told You is the audio podcast from HowStuffWorks that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle. Fueled by boundless curiosity and rigorous research, Cristen and Caroline are girls-next-door gender experts who skillfully decode the biology, psychology and sociology of ladies and gents, from their evolutionary past to millennial present, to better understand all the Stuff Mom Never Told You.
    (taken from

    One of their recent podcasts is called Judy Blume Forever a celebration of the awesomeness that is Judy Blume – one of the greatest writers for children, young people and, well everyone actually!

    Judy Blume will be at the Manchester Central Library this evening – in conversation with brillaint UK author Keris Stainton and will also be popping up around the UK – check out her UK tour details here:

    If you cannot make any of those appearances, heck even if you can and want to find out more about JB then take a listen to Judy Blume Forever here:

    Episode Summary
    One of the most beloved and banned authors, Judy Blume wrote adolescence like no other. Cristen and Caroline investigate how Judy Blume’s real life intersected with her fictional books, censorship activism and feminism.

    The Guardian Young Critics Competition 2015

    If you are aged 18 or under and love reading, or you run or are part of a school book group, then you should enter the Guardian’s young critics competition – and here’s how:

    All you need to do is submit a review (maximum 500 words) on one of the books long-listed for the Guardian children’s fiction prize 2015. The prize for 10 individual winners is a complete set of the long-listed books plus book tokens and an invitation to the Guardian children’s fiction award party on 19 November 2015. The group winners will get 10 copies of each of the long-listed books, the chance to come to Guardian’s education centre and make their own newspaper and up to 20 members of the winning book group are invited to the awards party.

    The deadline for entries is 30 October 2015, so you’ve got all summer (and some) to read one of the books. Great for new school book groups that don’t start until September!

    There are two ways to enter:

    1. You can enter on your own by filling out form on the Guardian Young Critics Competition page including your review of a Longlisted Book.


    2. you can enter as part of a school group if you and at least three other students from your school all submit reviews. The school that is judged to have the strongest overall group of entries will win a prize – there will also be one runner up prize in this category. In order for a submitted review to be entered as part of a school group, that review must be submitted, either online or by post, together with at least three other reviews by other eligible students from the same school.

    The prizes

    The 10 individual winners will each receive a complete set of the eight longlisted books, plus a £20 National Book Tokens gift card and an invitation to attend the award ceremony at the Guardian on 19 November 2015.

    The winning school will be invited to spend a day at the Guardian Education Centre: up to 30 students (chosen by the winning school’s Head of English, or equivalent) from the winning school will have the chance to edit and print the day’s news at the Guardian Education Centre in London. In addition, the winning school will receive 10 complete sets of the eight long-listed books, a £150 National Book Tokens gift card as well an invitation for up to 20 pupils to attend the ceremony in London on 19 November. The runner up school will receive a complete set of the eight long-listed books.

    For full details and to enter the competition follow this link: