Category Archives: News

New Award to Recognise Significant Contribution to Scottish Children’s Literature

Scottish Book Trust is today (Wednesday 10 August) delighted to announce the creation of a brand new award intended to recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions to Scottish children’s literature.

The Significant Contribution to Scottish Children’s Literature Award, sponsored by Browns Books for Students, is a new honour that will be awarded annually to one author or illustrator and one learning professional who have had an inspiring impact on young readers in Scotland.

The author or illustrator will be an individual with a strong backlist, a long record of engaging with their audience and meaningful engagement within the writing community. The learning professional will be a teacher or librarian who is going above and beyond the call of duty to pass on the Reading for Pleasure message to the next generation and who works tirelessly to inspire children and young people to read and write.

Nominations will open on 31st August 2016 and the winners will be chosen by an independent panel of experts and announced at an evening reception in June 2017.

Commenting on the award, Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

It is a simple statement of fact that the projects Scottish Book Trust runs for children would simply not exist without the passion of the teachers and librarians who consistently exceed their remit by embracing each and every reading campaign, award, tour, event and challenge with infectious enthusiasm, who research and download interminable resources, who put on the silly voices, who leap about until their students are as inspired and as passionate about books as they themselves are.
And, of course, there would be nothing to get the children excited about were it not for the outrageously talented and hardworking bunch of authors and illustrators that Scotland is lucky enough to lay claim to.
This award is intended to celebrate and recognise these people – the ones who bring the magic of books to children and set them on a path to being booklovers for life.

Nic Hales, Marketing Manager for Browns Books for Students added:

We at Browns Books for Students are very pleased to be working in conjunction with Scottish Book Trust to highlight such an important award, not only to schools within Scotland but also the wider community. We are very excited to find out who the winner of the award will be!

Something magical is happening to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone…

“I’ve got to go to the library!”
– Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry_Potter_exhibition_at_the_British Library Credit Tony Antoniou

The British Library is excited to announce a new exhibition about the magic of Harry Potter, set to open at the Library in autumn 2017, and marking the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The exhibition will open on 20 October 2017, and run until 28 February 2018.

From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins, to the origins of the philosopher’s stone, the exhibition will take readers on a journey to the heart of the Harry Potter stories.

The exhibition will showcase an extraordinary range of wizarding books, manuscripts and objects, and combine centuries-old British Library treasures with original material from Bloomsbury’s and J.K. Rowling’s archives.

Jamie Andrews, Head of Culture and Learning at the British Library, said:

We at the British Library are thrilled to be working with J.K. Rowling and with Bloomsbury to mark the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter, and to inspire fans with the magic of our own British Library collections.

More information about the exhibition will be released early in 2017, and tickets will be on sale from spring 2017 at

Diverse Books in School Libraries Survey

An MA student at Oxford Brookes University is conducting research into the provision of diverse books in school libraries and would like your help. If you could fill out this short survey (and share it with any friends or colleagues who might have missed it) that would be very much appreciated!


Scottish Book Trust today (12 May 2016) announced that The Scottish Children’s Book Awards have undergone an exciting restructure, unveiling brand new reading initiatives which have been created with the purpose of inspiring even more children across Scotland to get into reading.

On 3 March 2016 the Scottish Government announced an exciting new reading initiative for P4-7, to be delivered by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with the Government. The First Minister’s Reading Challenge will be launched in August, and will encourage pupils in P4-7 classes across Scotland to read for pleasure.

To allow schools to embrace the first year of this new project fully, The Scottish Children’s Book Awards will be replaced by two new prizes, The Bookbug Picture Book Prize and The Scottish Teenage Book Prize. Scottish Book Trust will no longer run a book award for 8-11 fiction as this age group is covered by The First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

The Bookbug Picture Book Prize will be for children in nursery, Primary 1, Primary 2 and Primary 3. There will be three picture books by Scottish authors on the shortlist – pupils will be encouraged to read the three books and then vote for their favourite. In addition, every P1 child in Scotland will receive the three books in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag, gifted in November. There will also be a continued focus on involving P4-7 pupils in a shared reading project with younger pupils.

Based on feedback from teachers and librarians, changes to this category include an earlier voting deadline to reduce the time pupils wait to find out the winning author and the provision of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)-linked classroom activities and author videos. On announcement day schools will be sent an exclusive video which unveils the winning author, to serve as a base for the pupils’ own celebrations.

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge will initially be for Primary 4, 5, 6 and 7 pupils. Pupils will set personal reading goals to achieve by March 2017 and reading journals will be distributed to all schools in the Autumn term. A new website will be unveiled in August with support materials and a list of suggested book titles, to provide inspiration for pupils and teachers alike. A range of prizes will be awarded next summer to pupils and schools taking part in the challenge.

The Scottish Teenage Book Prize will be aimed at pupils in S1 right through to S6 and will include a short-list of three Scottish teen novels – pupils will be encouraged to read the three books and then vote for their favourite. In addition there will be a Book Trailer competition and CfE-linked learning resources with activities suitable for book groups.

Changes from previous years include an extension to the voting deadline to allow more time to complete the three novels. There will no longer be a book review competition, but instead pupils will have the chance to win an event with the short-listed authors in their school. On announcement day, schools will be sent an exclusive video which unveils the winning author, to serve as a base for the school’s own celebrations.

The key dates for the new projects are as follows:
sbt table

HELEN CRONEY – 0131 524 0160 / 07751 69 58 54

Jo Frost becomes BookTrust ambassador

Britain’s largest reading charity, BookTrust has revealed that beloved parenting expert, bestselling author, and television personality, Jo Frost has become their celebrity ambassador.

Jo who has starred in a variety of her own television shows including Supernanny, Family Matters, and her newest show, Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour, agreed to become an ambassador for BookTrust after following their work for many years and strongly believing in the charity’s mission to inspire every child to read confidently.

Through her past career as a professional nanny she became well-known with BookTrust’s early years reading programme Bookstart, which gives every child in England and Wales a free reading pack in the first year of their life and again when they are 3-4 years old.

Jo said: “I have found during my 20 years in childcare that when children are read to it can have a wonderful calming effect on them. Reading doesn’t just give children a head-start in learning; the ritual of sharing a story and providing special time for parents and carers to build a strong and loving relationship with their child is vital.

“I believe every childhood should be enriched by books – that’s why I’m looking forward to working with BookTrust to ensure all children get to experience the joy of a story.”

Diana Gerald, BookTrust Chief Executive said: “Reading changes lives. Books bring knowledge and reading develops empathy. It can help children who are going through difficulties – whether it’s by reading about people in similar circumstances, or simply escaping into another world. We want families everywhere to prioritise books and reading, even if they’re not confident readers themselves. It’s such an easy way to make huge difference to your child’s future. By working with Jo Frost we know we will be able to spread this message to even more families and support them to read with their children.”

Jo Frost is the most recognisable and trusted parental expert and family advocate worldwide. With over 20 years in childcare, beginning her career as a professional sole-charge nanny, she has honed her successful methods of child-rearing with hands-on, real-life experience.

Jo will be campaign ambassador for Bath Book Bed which launches on Monday 16 May.

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.