Ethnic diversity in the publishing industry
A new initiative to encourage more ethnic minority people to work in UK publishing was launched in February. The Diversity in Publishing Network (DipNet) will highlight contributions to the industry by people from all ethnic groups and provide a forum for discussion. It has been set up Alison Morrison, UK Marketing Director of Walker Books, and Elise Dillsworth, editor at Virago Press. Research conducted last year by the Bookseller and Arts Council England found that publishing is an overwhelmingly white industry with only 8% ethnically diverse survey respondents. Further information from www.diversityinpublishing.com
Wolf Brother goes to Hollywood
Michelle Paver’s Wolf Brother (Orion, reviewed BfK No. 148) is to be made into a film by Ridley Scott, director of such films as Gladiator, Blade Runner and Alien. Sequels are also planned and the series will be called ‘The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’.
Congratulations to Quentin Blake who has been awarded the CBE and to Sally Floyer (Managing Director of Frederick Warne, Ladybird and BBC Children’s) who has been awarded the OBE.
Following a restructure at Scholastic by new group Managing Director Kate Harries, Publisher, Richard Scrivener, has left the company.
Words Across Pictures and Picturing Words
This craft-based full-day conference in English sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) & the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair will be inside the Bologna Children’s Book Fairgrounds, the day before the fair opens, on Tuesday, 12 April 2005. There will be workshops, talks and discussions. Speakers include Franny Billingsley (The Folk Keeper), artist/author G. Brian Karas (Atlantic), author/reviewer Leonard Marcus (Dear Genius, Parenting magazine) and publishers Anne Schwartz (Random House US), Barry Cunningham (Chicken House UK), Deirdre McDermott (Walker Books UK), Isabelle Bézard (Bayard Editions France), Jennifer Wingertzahn (Clarion Books US) and Neal Porter (Roaring Brook US). Fee 85€ for SCBWI members; 100€ (approx. €69) for non-SCBWI members including conference, lunch, and closing cocktail. Register/ pay for conference via PayPal: http://www.scbwi.org/
The Whitbread Children’s Book Award 2004
The winner is Geraldine McCaughrean for Not the End of the World (Oxford).
Ottakar’s Children’s Book Prize
The inaugural prize winner is Stuart Hill for The Cry of the Icemark (Chicken House, reviewed BfK No. 150).
The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation
The winner is Sarah Adams for her translation from the French of Daniel Pennac’s The Eye of the Wolf (Walker).
Salford Children’s Book Award
The winner is Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful (HarperCollins). The Book Award is aimed at 11-14 year olds and is designed to introduce teenagers to a range of books and authors and to promote reading for pleasure.
Stockton Children’s Book of the Year
The winner is S F Said’s Varjak’s Paw (Corgi).
Humphrey Carpenter 1946–2005
Elaine McQuade writes…
Humphrey Carpenter, author of the very popular and endearing Mr Majeika stories and co-author of The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, died in January aged only 58. It was a sadly foreshortened life, yet an incredibly full one. He was extraordinarily versatile. In addition to his books for children, he was the acclaimed biographer of Dennis Potter, Benjamin Britten, Spike Milligan and Robert Runcie. The real empathy he had for children was also evident in the children’s theatre group he ran and wrote for in Oxford. He loved music too. As well as regularly presenting music programmes on BBC Radio, he played in a thirties jazz band. The son of a Bishop of Oxford, he was civilised, entertaining, incredibly kind and warm. Humphrey will be much missed by everyone who knew him. He leaves a wife, Mari, and two daughters.
Max Velthuijs 1923–2005
Klaus Flugge, Publisher, Andersen Press, writes…
I have just returned from the funeral of my friend Max Velthuijs in The Hague, attended by more than 300 people; booksellers, librarians, publishers, students and friends paid tribute to the creator of Frog. The Queen of the Netherlands made him a Knight of the order of the Golden Lion in 2003. Fellow artists like David McKee, Tony Ross and Ralph Steadman considered him to be a master and, as David says, no one else’s work was so full of love; the world of children’s books will be much poorer now.
Having published a couple of Max Velthuijs’ books before I started Andersen Press, I was fortunate to become his original publisher at Andersen Press in 1989 with the first Frog title, Frog In Love. With every new title Frog’s popularity increased, more quickly in Holland than elsewhere. In The Netherlands Frog is known as Kikker, and I doubt if any child or parent there is not familiar with this beloved character now. In Britain it is the paperbacks that are now well established especially after Frog is a Hero was included in the National Curriculum. Among the many tributes received from abroad, that of his Venezuelan publisher and former IBBY President, Carmen Diana Dearden, may be most apt: ‘like in Frog and the Birdsong, “all his life he sang beautifully for us,” and he will always sing his lovely songs through his books.’
Klaus Flugge with his friend Max Velthuijs (left).