Young People’s Laureate/ Awdur Llawryfog Pobl Ifainc
Catherine Fisher, award-winning author of ‘The Oracle Trilogy’ (Hodder) and other titles has been named the first Young People’s Welsh laureate. This post is the first of its kind in the UK. Literature Wales envisages the Laureate role to be one which encompasses a wide range of activities in the youth community, with the aim of bringing literature and professional writers to young people in Wales who rarely come into contact with literary events. Catherine Fisher commented, ‘We are a country with a strong literary heritage and I think it’s really important that children’s books are seen to be a part of that. There’s a lot of competition today from other media but I think that a book still has its place.’ The appointment was also welcomed by Philip Pullman: ‘The creation of a Young Person’s Laureate for Wales is a really good idea. Literature for (and by) young people is a vital element in the soul of a nation; it’s one of the best ways we have of coming to understand who we are and what we stand for. I welcome this appointment.’
Useful Organisations No. 55
Jane Badger Books
Jane Badger Books is the first and largest website specialising in English language horse and pony fiction. Jane Badger started the site in 2005 with a few pages about Ruby Ferguson’s ‘Jill’ books. Six years later there are over 700 authors featured on the site, with sections on everything from illustrators, through Black Beauty and on to breeds. Jane considers that, just because the books children like to read are sometimes seen as niche, there is no reason those books cannot be good. Jane Badger Books reviews current children’s horse and pony fiction, and provides information (alphabetically and via a search function) on a very wide variety of now out of print English language horse and pony books. Information is organised by author, with bibliographies and synopses. The definition of horse book is drawn rather wide. If a horse or pony is a substantial part of the plot, the book is included, so there is considerably more than the traditional girl-gets-pony novel. The site covers British, North American and Australasian authors, as well as works translated into English.
Newcastle University Programme of Talks on Children’s Books for 2011-2012
For the last three years, Brian Alderson has given a series of talks at Newcastle University on particular aspects of children’s books, with examples drawn from his own collection. This academic year he is to devote the series to holdings from the Seven Stories Archive. The subjects are noted below, with dates; the venue is the University’s Robinson Library; and the times are all 5.30pm.There is no charge and anyone interested is welcome.
14 December Rooted in the 1930s: the illustrator Harold Jones and the editor Kathleen Lines.
11 January Ursula Moray Williams and a lifetime of storytelling.
8 February ‘The born illustrator’ – Edward Ardizzone.
7 March Peter Dickinson and a loftful of paper.
16 May Out of a clearer’s skip – Faith Jaques, illustrator and fighter for ‘illustrators’ rights’.