Category Archives: News

The Imperium Is Driven by Hate. Warhammer Is Not.

Imagine having to put out a statement with this title?

Games Workshop has had to do this very thing due to the rise of far-right ideologies among some of its fervent fans:

The Warhammer 40k Community Is Trying to Weed Out Its Far-Right Faction

and:

Games Workshop fights back against fascist hate symbols in the Warhammer 40K community

I understand that in a grimdark future where, to survive against a universe that hates and wants to destroy you, you have to hate harder and destroy more of your foes and own people just in case they don’t hate others enough just to survive you will not find many (or indeed any) sides or factions that are “good” but that does not mean you have to hold the beliefs of the armies you field in the game to actually play it.

Their statement is here:

There are no goodies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. 

None.

Especially not the Imperium of Man.

Its numberless legions of soldiers and zealots bludgeon their way across the galaxy, delivering death to anyone and anything that doesn’t adhere to their blinkered view of purity. Almost every man and woman toils in misery either on the battlefield – where survival is measured in hours – or in the countless manufactorums and hive slums that fuel the Imperial war machine. All of this in slavish servitude to the living corpse of a God-Emperor whose commandments are at best only half-remembered, twisted by time and the fallibility of Humanity.

Warhammer 40,000 isn’t just grimdark. It’s the grimmest, darkest. 

The Imperium of Man stands as a cautionary tale of what could happen should the very worst of Humanity’s lust for power and extreme, unyielding xenophobia set in. Like so many aspects of Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium of Man is satirical.

For clarity: satire is the use of humour, irony, or exaggeration, displaying people’s vices or a system’s flaws for scorn, derision, and ridicule. Something doesn’t have to be wacky or laugh-out-loud funny to be satire. The derision is in the setting’s amplification of a tyrannical, genocidal regime, turned up to 11. The Imperium is not an aspirational state, outside of the in-universe perspectives of those who are slaves to its systems. It’s a monstrous civilisation, and its monstrousness is plain for all to see.

That said, certain real-world hate groups – and adherents of historical ideologies better left in the past – sometimes seek to claim intellectual properties for their own enjoyment, and to co-opt them for their own agendas.

We’ve said it before, but a reminder about what we believe in:

“We believe in and support a community united by shared values of mutual kindness and respect. Our fantasy settings are grim and dark, but that is not a reflection of who we are or how we feel the real world should be. We will never accept nor condone any form of prejudice, hatred, or abuse in our company, or in the Warhammer hobby.” 

If you come to a Games Workshop event or store and behave to the contrary, including wearing the symbols of real-world hate groups, you will be asked to leave. We won’t let you participate. We don’t want your money. We don’t want you in the Warhammer community.

For those heroes out there running their own Warhammer events, we’d love for you to join us in this stance.

You can find the full post here:

https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/11/19/the-imperium-is-driven-by-hate-warhammer-is-not/

Games Workshop swings the Ban(War)hammer

Over the past weekend I was dismayed to read that GW is once again running roughshod over fans, followers and just about everyone that is invested in their creation.

It is no secret that they have always been very trigger-happy when it comes to litigating against those perceived to have overstepped the exceedingly narrow boundaries of their intellectual property; even when it came to terms that existed long before Games Workshop was even an idea (I am of course referring to the infamous Space Marines lawsuit saga).

The updates to their terms & conditions now forbid any and all fan created animations:

individuals must not create fan films or animations based on our settings and characters. These are only to be created under licence from Games Workshop.

Fan-made games, fan art, fiction and websites are permitted so long as they’re not-for-profit and make it clear they’re not official works.

The incredibly popular Oculus Imperia will be staying online for as long as possible:

Sadly the If the Emperor had Text to Speech Device by Bruva Alfabusa has officially thrown in the towel:

Other amateur animator fans (apart from those hired by GW) will no doubt start falling over the coming days and weeks.

Culture blog BoingBoing has been covering the GW shenanigans here, as has PCGamer and Vice.

The Reddit  Warhammer 40k meme subreddit /r/Grimdank has been flooded by people furious about Games Workshop’s new policy.

I have been a long-time fan of Warhammer 40K although I have not played since I left my job as a school librarian a few years ago, I still borrow and read the novelizations.

GWs moves while legal still leave a bad taste in the mouth, for decades it has been fans that have created a richer tapestry of the universe created by GW, and now on the eve of the release of Warhammer+ they are trying to stamp out any potential threats to their being able to wring out as much money from fans as possible.

It is very poor form!

Diverse Book Awards Longlist Officially Announced

Introducing the ultimate must-read list of diverse & inclusive children’s, YA and adult fiction books in the UK

London, United Kingdom, 27th July 2021: More than 100 submissions were received for the second year of The Diverse Book Awards, created by writing community The Author School (www.theauthorschool.com). Today, the longlist is officially unveiled, revealing the outstanding diverse and inclusive books published by British/UK-based authors/publishers in the hugely challenging year of 2020. The shortlist will be revealed on 20th September and the winners in each category announced on October 21st 2021.

Abiola Bello, co-founder of The Author School and award-winning author: Through The Diverse Book Awards I have discovered new diverse books and authors that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I hope that the longlist inspires others to discover new talent too. The conversation around diversity in publishing has stepped up a level over recent months, at a time when we were shouting out for submissions to The Diverse Book Awards. The longlist represents the work that has been done already within publishing and showcases that it is truly is possible for diverse and inclusive books to be the ‘norm’ rather than ‘exception’. We hope that encouraging publishers and authors to write more diverse and inclusive books – and enter them into next year’s awards – will be a positive step forward for the publishing industry in this country. Massive thank you to the judges!

The three winners from each category will receive a bundle of prizes including a trophy, a six-month PR and marketing membership of Literally PR’s ‘100 Club’, a feature and virtual event with Back To Books, editorial content in Bad Form and Pen&Inc, the opportunity to be part of two author panel events – hosted by The Author School and the other with Simon & Schuster.

The Children’s winner will have their book featured as part of World Book Day Book Club and a school visit organised by World of Diversity.

The YA winner will be part of Wigtown YA Literary Festival and a school visit organised by World of Diversity.

The Children’s and YA winner will be featured on Tiny Revolution’s website and included in their catalogue of books.

Our YA headline sponsor is Book Clubs In Schools and the YA winner will be part of the National Teen Book Club, a UK wide virtual book club for teens.

The Diverse Book Awards Longlist 2021

Adult Longlist 2021

The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Oneworld)

If I Don’t Have You by Sareeta Domingo (Jacaranda)

A More Perfect Union by Tammye Huf (Myriad Editions)

Broadwater by Jac Shreeves-Lee (Fairlight Books)

Ugly Dogs Don’t Cry by DD Armstrong (Jacaranda)

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (Faber)

The Street Hawker’s Apprentice by Kabir Kareem-Bello (Jacaranda)

The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley (Atlantic Books)

The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain (HQ)

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah (HQ)

Young Adult Longlist 2021

Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder Children’s Books (Hachette)

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann (Penguin Random House Children’s)

Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle (Andersen Press)

And The Stars Were Shining Brightly by Danielle Jawando (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

Boy, Everywhere by A. M. Dassu (Old Barn Books)

Wonderland by Juno Dawson (Quercus Children’s Books (Hachette)

Hideous Beauty by William Hussey (Usborne)

Hijab and Red Lipstick by Yousra Imran (Hashtag Press)

Crown of Crowns by Clara Loveman (Clara Loveman)

Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson (Penguin Random House Children’s)

Children’s Longlist 2021

Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah (Scholastic Children’s Books)

Too Small Tola by Atinuke, Onyinye Iwu (Walker Books)

Do You Know Me? by Rebecca Westcott, Libby Scott (Scholastic Children’s Books)

Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt (Usborne)

Baller Boys by Venessa Taylor, Kenneth Ghann (Hashtag Press)

Zombierella: Fairy Tales Gone Bad by Joseph Coelho, Freya Hartas (Walker Books)

Dragon Mountain by Katie & Kevin Tsang (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

Clean Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, Nathan Bryon (Penguin Random House Children’s)

A Secret of Birds & Bone by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Chicken House)

Little Badman and the Time-Travelling Teacher of Doom by Humza Arshad and Henry White, Aleksei Bitskoff (Penguin Random House Children’s)

Library Books for Palestine

“مطلوب” or “Wanted” is an initiative of the Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP), in partnership with the Tamer Institute.

When you donate the cost of a book and its shipping, they coordinate delivery of the book to the requesting library. Please note that book titles will be purchased as prioritized by the participating libraries.

Palestinian libraries, in addition to limited funding, face unique barriers to access caused by Israeli policies. With this campaign, we hope to raise awareness about these access issues and the context in which Palestinian libraries operate, while at the same time offering material support for the libraries’ collections.

You might notice that the cost of some books on this site is significantly higher than the list price for the title. This is because Palestinian libraries in the West Bank and Gaza cannot simply order a book and expect it to arrive quickly and reliably. Israel’s “enemy state” designation prevents literature from being sent directly to Palestinian libraries and booksellers if it has originated in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and sometimes other countries. This is a particular problem with Lebanon, a major hub of Arabic-language publishing. As a result, Palestinian libraries often contain more books originally written in English, Swedish, and other languages, than in Arabic.

To find out more information about this initiative or to purchase a book for a Palestinian Library please visit:

https://matloub.librarianswithpalestine.org/

Visit Librarians and Archivists with Palestine to find out about past projects they have run as well as current initiatives (like Matloub) that may be of interest.

15 Years of TeenLibrarian

The release of the latest issue of the TeenLibrarian Newsletter marks the 15th anniversary of both newsletter and blog.

You can read the newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/b0566afe1947/teenlibrarian-newsletter-may-2021

I launched this blog 15 years ago (I feel old) to try and provide the library workers in the UK that had a focus on working with teens in libraries a dedicated site to share information, experience and ideas. It turned into a personal blog where I shared ideas, resources, reviews and other things I was working on as well as posts and articles from friends and colleagues I coaxed into writing up things that they had designed, created or worked on with regard to teens in libraries.

I would like to thank everyone that has read the newsletter, browsed through the blog, made use of the resources and provided feedback on improving them THANK YOU!

Also a massive thank you goes out to my co-editor (UK) Caroline Fielding for helping keep the good ship TeenLibrarian afloat over the years; as well as my other friends, colleagues, authors and illustrators who have contributed articles, interviews and ideas. In no particular order they are:

anonymous
Steve Gravener
Paul Fisher
Gail Wright
E.E. Richardson
Lisa Clark
Garth Nix
Emma Vieceli
Sonia Leong
Janet Atkinson
Jerry Hurst
Tabitha Suzuma
Sue Prior
Eileen Brock
Sherry Ashworth
Lucy Kitchener
Peter Hautman
Cathy Hopkins
Ferelith Hordon
Cathy Myers
Elaine Simpson
Mary Byrne
Donna Taylor
Jane McCarthy
Joe Craig
Gabrielle Koenig
Sarah McNicol
J.M. Warwick
Clare Argar
Anthony McGowan
Emma Sherriff
Angela Robinson
John Vincent
Cherry Whytock
Nancy Lockett
Matthew Bernstein
Tim Lott
Liz Rose
Jen Trevisan
Derek Lawrence
Mel Gibson
Amanda Lees
Gemma Malley
Maria Snyder
Jon Hayward
Greg Neri
Cathy Forde
Jonathan Zemsky
Rachel Wright
Phil Bradley
Amanda Deaville
Karen Wenbourn
Celia Rees
Margot Lanagan
Susie Cornfield
Archie Black
Carl Cross
Emily Barwell
James Swallow
Alina Pete
Julie Musslewhite
Craig Simpson
Nicola Cameron
Dawn Stanley Donaghy
Pamela McKee
Sam Enthoven
Pauline Fisk
Gemma Panayi
Graham Marks
Jen Bakewell
Lili Wilkinson
Judy Ottaway
M.G. Harris
Clover Anyon
Rachel Ward
Liz de Jager
N.M. Browne
Ana Grilo
Thea James
Tim Bowler
Josh Lacey
Damian Kelleher
Luisa Plaja
Becca Fitzpatrick
Judith Way
Emily Milroy
Mary Naylus
Bev Humphrey
Marcus Chown
Tamsyn Murray
Darren Hartwell
Alyxandra Harvey
Clare Thompson
Keris Stainton
Jill Keeling
Jim Carrington
Angela Shoosmith
Fiona Hukins
Liz Rose
Jandy Nelson
Nina Simon
Emily Dezurick Badran
P.C. Cast
Nicola Cameron
Rebecca Lee
Jon Mayhew
Paul Stringer
Shaun Kennedy
Karen Horsfield
Colette Townend
Caroline Fielding
Miriam Halahmy
Mal Peet
Sara Grant
Nicky Adkins
Jane Prowse
Savita Kalhan
Paula Rawsthorne
Dave Cousins
Bryony Pearce
Keren David
Katie Dale
Matt Whyman
Zac Harding
Barry Hutchison
Anne Harding
S.A. Partridge
James Kearney
Chris Ould
Dr Matthew Finch
Jeff Norton
Lesley Hurworth
Anna James
Edyth Bulbring
Joanne Macgregor
Ian Johnstone
Andy Robb
Sophie Castle
Sandra Greaves
Andrew Givan
Gill Ward
Marcus Alexander
Helen Robinson
Lucy Powrie
Natasha Desborough
Tracey Hager
Non Pratt
Jenny Hawke
Melanie Chadwick
Amy McKay
Neena Shukla
Valerie Dewhurst
A.J. Steiger
Jaime Dowling
Peter Kalu
Anne Booth
Sam Usher
Lucas Maxwell
Dr Dominic Walliman
Ben Newman
Paul Register
Helen Swinyard
Sarah Alexander
Laura Bennett
Barbara Band

CKG21 Shortlists Announced!

The shortlists of the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest and best-loved book awards for children and young people, were announced today for 2021.

I’ve still got to read two of the Carnegie shortlist before I think about my personal winner, they’re so varied that I can only imagine the conversations the judges will have trying to pin down a winner, I’ve honestly loved all of those that I’ve read so far.

Again, two books I haven’t seen the inside of on the Greenaway list, but I’ve ordered them to shadow at school, really looking forward to sharing them with students! Fascinating fact on the announcement blog – this is the first shortlist ever that are all author-illustrator creations!

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 16th June, so get reading…

The Jericho Prize: Celebrating Black-British new writing for Children

The inaugural Jericho Prize for children’s writing, open to Black-British writers with great stories to inspire children aged 4 years plus and 7–9 has just been announced!

Find out more about it here: https://www.jerichoprize.com/

Publisher Permissions for Online Storytimes in 2021

UK

Faber permissions extended to March 31 2021

Hachette

Little Tiger permissions extended to March 31 2021 https://littletiger.co.uk/little-tiger-group-permissions-policy-for-online-book-readings

PanMacmillan awaiting updated information

Usborne permissions extended to July 31 2021 https://faqs.usborne.com/article/83-id-like-to-make-a-recording-of-an-usborne-book

USA

Abrams permissions extended to June 30 2021 https://www.abramsbooks.com/abramskidspermission/

Albert Whitman permissions extended to March 31 2021 https://www.albertwhitman.com/rights-permissions/recorded-readings-during-covid-19/

August House awaiting updated information

Bellwether Media permissions extended to June 1 2021

Boyds Mills & Kane permissions extended to March 31 2021

Candlewick awaiting updated information

Capstone awaiting updated information

Charlesbridge awaiting updated information

Childs Play awaiting updated information

Chooseco awaiting updated information

Chronicle awaiting updated information

Cottage Door Press permissions stand as long as needed

Crabtree permissions extended to June 31 2021

Disney Publishing Worldwide permissions extended to June 30 2021

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers awaiting updated information

Enchanted Lion awaiting updated information

Familius permissions stand as long as needed

Flyaway awaiting updated information

Free Spirit permissions extended to June 30, 2021

HarperCollins permissions extended to June 30, 2021

Holiday House awaiting updated information

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt awaiting updated information

Jump! permissions extended to May 31 2021

Just Us Books permissions extended to June 30 2021 https://justusbooks.blogspot.com/2020/03/resources-and-guidelines-to-support-at.html?m=1

Lee & Low permissions extended to June 30 2021

Lerner awaiting updated information

Little, Brown permissions extended to June 30 2021 https://www.lbyr.com/little-brown-young-readers/lbyr-blog/lbyr-book-sharing-permission-statement/

Macmillan permissions extended to June 30 2021

North South awaiting updated information

Norwood House permissions extended to June 1 2021

Oni Press permissions extended to December 31 2021

Page Street awaiting updated information

Peachtree awaiting updated information

Penguin Random House permissions extended to March 31 2021

Quarto awaiting updated information

Scholastic awaiting updated information

Simon & Schuster permissions extended to March 31 2021

Source Books permissions extended to June 30 2021

Star Bright Books awaiting updated information

Tilbury Books permissions extended to June 30 2021

The Diverse Book Awards

This morning the longlists for The Diverse Book Awards were announced, created by The Author School to showcase the talent of marginalised voices, and the books started arriving at my house to read!

I’m really please that two of my fellow judges are actual teenagers, reading the children’s and YA lists, and the awards also teamed up with blogger and photographer Tenelle Ottley-Matthew, to help spread the love, so do keep your eye on her blog, insta and twitter!

The Children’s Longlist:

The YA Longlist:

The Adult Longlist:

To be eligible, the author has to be UK based and the book had to be published in the UK in 2019. I’ve already read all the YA and most of the children’s lists, all brilliant titles that I’m looking forward to rereading with the criteria in mind, to help choose the shortlist and eventual winner! I’ve read one of the grownup books so far…

No! Nobrow!

I have been a fan of Nobrow and their picture book imprint Flying Eye Books for a good few years now. I have reviewed a number of their titles (you can find the reviews here and here). I have written about them for the Federation of Children’s Book Groups here. I have interviewed their authors and illustrators and championed their books for years as they produce works of quality and beauty that catch the eye of readers of all ages. I have used them to turn reluctant readers on to the joys of reading many times over the years.

Over the past few days on twitter I found several threads accusing them of exploiting new and upcoming authors & illustrators and acting in a less than ethical manner against other small press publishers. Several years ago at a publisher event in London I was chatting to a publicist and mentioned that I was a fan of their work and the publicist (off the record) asked if I had heard the rumours about their low payment of creators and claiming rights to works created by authors and illustrators they published. I said that I had not and thereafter dug around but was never able to find anything about this so I marked it as unproven and moved on.

Below is a screenshot of an email allegedly sent by Alexander Latsis in 2013

Source: https://twitter.com/deadtreesanddye/status/1253762564032520195

Illustrator Lucy Haslam has been creating an epic twitter thread about ELCAF (the East London Comic Art Festival) and Nobrow. It is definitely worth a read for detailed background information about what has been happening for a number of years.

Illustrator Eleni Kalorkoti tweeted this about an offer from Nobrow in 2018:

This discussion was not a total pile-on, several creators spoke up positively about their interactions with Nobrow, including CILIP Kate Greenaway winning illustrator William Grill:

Astrocat creator Ben Newman:

Kellie Strøm:

and a few others.

Nobrow has also released an official statement that can be read here:

A Statement from Nobrow

It should definitely be read in full. In the statement they challenge the claims that their contracts are unfair and have promised to do research into comparative advances and royalties. They also go on to deny that they do not prevent their creators from working with other publishers and state that the screenshot of the e-mail was released without permission and out of context although it is hard to imagine what the context was without further information about that discussion as the e-mail alone appears to be pretty damning.

The full statement rather than allaying the fears and allegations seems to have inflamed opinion in more areas, with Paul Duffield‘s take being worth a read:

When this type of situation erupts it is not always easy to identify who is in the right, I support small publishers and creator rights but I think in this instance the number of dissenting voices that have been raised about unfair treatment as well as those raised in defense show that this situation is not clear cut to outside observers. I think that Valerie Pezeron‘s views as laid out in the thread below most closely match up with mine – they are definitely worth a read.

The vocalization of the long-term unhappiness of many of the authors and illustrators is an indication that people are no longer going to be quiet if they perceive themselves to be treated unfairly, this is good as it can act as a warning to others that may find themselves in a similar situation and can strengthen collective bargaining if enough creators band together. We may be witnessing the birth of unionisation in the author/illustrator world beyond what the Society of Authors and other groups that already exist.

I remain a fan of many of the authors and illustrators published by Nobrow, but this fandom is now tinged with a concern over what they may have experienced during the creation of their works for their publisher. Is it a fair and rational feeling? I don’t know, but it is human to have concern for the welfare of others and I am also concerned for those currently furloughed by the publisher and for everyone else impacted by the Covid-19 shutdowns across the world.