Category Archives: News

Shakescraft

shakescraft
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/), the non-profit organisation that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, has launched its Shakescraft competition where budding digital architects from all over the world can, for the first time, use their imaginations to digitally design New Place, the grand family home in Stratford-upon-Avon where William Shakespeare and his family lived for 19 years.

Shakescraft is free to enter, and available in three different age categories; under 11’s, 12 – 16 year olds, and over 16’s. Judges are looking for Minecraft fans to design their very own version of Shakespeare’s home based on the footprint of New Place, with the most imaginative creations in with a chance to win some fantastic Minecraft and Shakespeare goodies worth £100.

The competition coincides with work starting on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s project to transform the site of Shakespeare’s New Place into a contemporary heritage landmark in celebration of 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy.

Julie Crawshaw, Shakespeare’s New Place project manager at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “We recently welcomed dozens of local primary school classes to the site of New Place and it was really encouraging to see their interest and enthusiasm for Shakespeare. I know from personal experience how kids of all ages love Minecraft, so this competition is a fantastic opportunity to ignite young people’s interest in Shakespeare, and have fun at the same time.

Although his house no longer stands, we’re sure of the footprint of the site thanks to recent archaeological discoveries, so it’ll be really interesting to see people’s ideas of how Shakespeare would have lived and entertained in this grand family home.”

For details on how to enter, visit www.shakescraft.com. The competition closes on 31 August 2015, with winners announced in September.

About Shakespeare’s New Place

William Shakespeare bought New Place in 1597 at the height of his career as a successful playwright, and was considered the largest house in Stratford-upon -Avon at the time. Sadly, New Place no longer exists after it was demolished in 1759 by its then owner, Reverend Francis Gastrell, who was reputedly annoyed by visiting fans of Shakespeare, as well as a tax dispute with the local parish.

With much of its heritage hidden below ground or in the extensive archives of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, it has been difficult for many visitors to get a real sense of the site’s significance and history. But now, the £5.25million project to re-imagine the site of New Place will tell the story of the world famous playwright at the height of his success as a family man, writer and prominent citizen of Stratford-upon-Avon. This is the single most significant Shakespearian project anywhere in the world to commemorate 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy, and due to reopen on 23 April 2016, the 400th anniversary of his death.

Talk Nerdy 2 Me

Crazy about Cosplay? Starry-eyed over Star Trek or Wars? Maybe you even get dotty over the Doctor! Even if you are new to nerding, everybody is welcome to get their geek on at Talk Nerdy 2 Me (TN2M) on Friday 8th May at the Harris Library in Preston!

There will be a wide range of guests from Matt “Mecha-Man” Dickinson to Deborah Simms from the Great British Sewing Bee. It will be an evening of activities and competitions, including stalls from Game, Waterstones, the comic shop and many more.

This year there will also be sign language interpreters at all the talks and panels.

Fore the altest up to date news about guestsand events check out the Talk Nerdy 2 Me Facebook page and book a free ticket (to guarantee entrance) here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talk-nerdy-2-me-preston-tickets-16672436707 and follow them on twitter: @talknerdytwome

#Milifandom

This morning I was introduced to what is possibly the strangest and most exciting thing in politics and fandom today – the Milifandom.

Note for those that may not be aware of the term, Fandom (according to Wikipedia) is:
a portmanteau consisting of fan [fanatic] plus the suffix -dom, as in kingdom, it is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates “fannish” (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.

There is a firm belief among a number of adults that teens are not interested in politics.

I think that the #Milifandom proves them wrong; they are engaging with politics on their own terms and that is where we should meet them, not by trying to talk seriously about politics but by sharing their joy and excitement over the leader of the Labour Party. This is seriously cool and something that we should all celebrate!

In my experience nothing can turn a teenager off faster than rushing at them with something that you tell them you think they should love.

Imagine what would have happened if the Labour Party had approached the youth of the UK to form a leadership fan club?

I do not think that it would have ended well!

How did this fandom happen?

It is possible that teens identify with him, as the majority of young people at some point or other in their lives face bullying, body shaming and awkward photographs of themselves; maybe they have been won over by his earnestness and honesty in the face of bile and disdain. It could be the fact that he sometimes does not look as sleek and polished as the majority of other male politicians or they have been won over by his geeky coolness.

Whatever it is that has ignited their interest, Ed Miliband now has a grass-roots youth following that is (to my knowledge) unprecedented in modern UK politics.

So to everyone that says the youth of the UK are apathetic and uninterested in anything other than superficial pursuits I think I can safely say: think again! It may not be political engagement as you know it, but they are getting engaged and you should feel uncertain because they are bringing their views to the table!

The leader of the #Milifandom movement is on Twitter: @twcuddleston

In the interests of fairness, I will also note that there is now also a David Cameron fandom: The #Cameronettes

Penguin Platform

Penguin Random House UK today launches Penguin Platform, a new online community for 16-19 year olds to call their own where they can share and discover the stories that they love, including ‘Young Adult’, cross-over and adult books. Based on extensive research with young people and named by readers themselves, Penguin Platform is a place for Penguin Random House UK to talk directly to teens about the books they’re reading, deliver exciting experiences around authors, and build on the phenomenal success of its ‘Young Adult’ publishing.

Through branded spaces on Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, Penguin Platform gives readers access to an unrivalled list of authors and an ‘inside look’ into the publishing process; the story behind the story. Bespoke book-related content and experiences, shaped by the tastes and preferences of the teen audience, will include author interviews and Q&A, beginning with Owen Jones and Sally Green; home tours with authors including David Hofmeyr; writing advice; an Easter Reads campaign; playlists and book recommendations from authors.

The company will advertise its own products on Twitter and YouTube but there will be no advertising space. It will also link to the books pages on company websites.

The content will be linked together across the different platforms throught the hashtag #PenguinPlatform.

Links:

Tumblr: http://penguin-platform.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/penguinplatform

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClESv5hi1S52cmNtzQUj1BQ

Instagram: https://instagram.com/penguinplatform/

PRAESA wins the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) has been around since 2003, and is the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature. It is given to authors, illustrators, story tellers and “reading promoters” around the world for their lifetime achievements.

Based in Cape Town, theProject for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) is an organisation that has worked to promote reading and literature for children and young people in South Africa since 1992.

For more than twenty years, PRAESA has made powerful, innovative moves to highlight literature as a key component of both personal and societal development, always grounded in the specific conditions of South African society and culture. Its work focuses on encouraging children to read for enjoyment, building their self-esteem, and helping them connect to their native language through reading and story.

Literacy learning can take place in any language and it is the democratic right of all South African children to use their mother tongues not only to learn the formal school curriculum, but to also access the wonders, mysteries and satisfaction of stories – told and read. PRAESA strives to help enable conditions for learning, inside and outside of school, which motivate children and adults to want to read and write – and enable them to actually do so – in African languages and in English.

To this end, PRAESA concentrates on:

    research and development programmes about bilingualism and biliteracy in early childhood education
    raising the status of the (official) African languages for oral and written language functions in society
    mentoring adults to deepen understandings and appreciation of the value of becoming reading and writing role models for children of all ages and supporting their growing understandings and strategies for achieving this
    initiating the development of materials for use with babies and children in multilingual situations, through original writing and translation.

To find out more about PRAESA and the fantastic work they do, follow this link: PRAESA

South African Library Week 2015

Libraries in South Africa are gearing up to celebrate the 2015 SA Library Week from the 14 March 2015 – 21 March 2015.

The theme Connect @ your library resonates with the belief that libraries connect people to each other, to knowledge and information, to print and electronic resources, to technology and professional support.

Libraries must take the lead in being active community partners towards developing an informed and educated nation. This means providing access to information about health & hygiene, economic empowerment, poverty eradication and education in desired spaces that foster lifelong learning and knowledge exchange. This is further enhanced by skilled and proficient library staff who connect their communities to relevant and appropriate information & knowledge resources, emerging technologies, as well as dynamic and innovative programmes & services for personal and community development.

Libraries are fast emerging as technologically enabled environments, which provide individuals the opportunity to connect to:

  • The Internet
  • Databases, online learning & research tools
  • Friends, families & colleagues via social networking sites
  • Employment opportunities
  • Digital libraries, which include institutional repositories
  • Emerging mobile technologies such as tablets, e-Readers, smartphones, etc
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    This theme also highlights the importance of library practitioners connecting with each other, across all sectors, for the sharing of skills, best practices, global trends and national priorities, so that a strong cohort of professionals emerge with a common understanding and vision for the development of an informed nation.

    South African Library Week is organised by the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)

    Check out the Blown Away by Books Festival being celebrated by the Libraries of the South Peninsula during SALW 2015: https://www.facebook.com/BlownAwayByBooks

    YLG London Unconference 2015

    YLG London will be running a new Unconference on the 8th March in the Richmond Reference Library.

    Full details are available here:

    https://ylglondonunconference.wikispaces.com/

    The American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards

    Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.

    Download (PDF, 343KB)

    Young Romantics Prize

    Young Romantics is a new prize for poems and short stories inspired by the Romantics. It gives young writers between the ages of 16 & 18 the opportunity to win a week-long Creative Writing Course with Arvon at one of their famous residential centres working with practising writers

    Entrants can submit up to 2 poems and 2 short stories.
    All entries must be on the theme of Lost Angels.
    Poems must be no more than 20 lines
    Short Stories must be no more than 1,000 words.

    The competition closes on the 13th March.

    For full details and to enter the competition follow this link:
    http://www.keats-shelley.co.uk/young-romantics-prize

    The BBC Young Writers’ Award with Booktrust launches to find the best young writers in the UK

    In 2015, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the BBC National Short Story Award, Booktrust will be extending their partnership with the BBC by launching the brand new BBC Young Writers’ Award with Booktrust to inspire and encourage the next generation of writers.

    Young people aged 14 to 18, who live in the UK, are invited from today to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words on any topic. A panel of three judges will select a shortlist of the top five stories, which will be announced in September 2015. The judges will be looking for high-quality writing, stories that demonstrate originality, imagination and creativity, and writers who can capture the reader and hold their attention.

    Further details are available here