The Earthworm Award 1989
Submissions for this interesting and important award (see last September’s issue of BfK), set up and run by Friends of the Earth to encourage writing for children which reflect environmental concerns, are now being sought. The first prize has been increased to £1000 and entries should be in by 31st March 1989. The award will be presented in early June and we will he reporting on the winner in either the July or September issue of BfK. For further details contact:
Victoria Cliff Hodges
Friends of the Earth
26-28 Underwood Street
Tel: 01-253 3553
P.S. Friends of the Earth are currently preparing a booklist of the very best children’s books which fulfil the criteria of the Earthworm Award itself. Watch this space for further details.
British Children’s Writer wins the Blue Cobra
We were delighted to learn that Rhodri Jones has been awarded The Blue Cobra Award for 1988 by Kinderbuchfonds Dritte Welt (The Third World Children’s Book Fund) for his novel Delroy Is Here in its German version. KDW is a Swiss based organisation and the award is made for the best German language children’s book dealing with the Third World and/or Racism. The book is published in the UK by Dent (0 460 06138 0, £7.50).
Children’s Book of the Year
Set up and run by Lancashire County Library three years ago, and sponsored by NatWest, this award is one of the very few judged and decided by children themselves or, more accurately, by third-year pupils in secondary schools throughout Lancashire. As with the Earthworm Award, they’ve only just begun to consider submissions (in their case for a work of fiction published in the UK between September 1987 and August 1989) and we won’t know the results of their deliberations until later in the year. For further details contact:
St Annes Library
254 Clifton Drive South
Tel: 0253 729943
Best Books for Babies
Run by Parents Magazine and administered by Book Trust, this award for the best book for under-4s is gathering in entries for books published between 1st June 1988 and 30th April 1989. Entry forms available from Book Trust on 01-870 9055.
The Science Book Prizes
Science Museum, COPUS (Committee on the Public Understanding of Science)
Another award, in its second year, gearing up to find two books which in the opinion of the judges have made the best contribution to the public understanding of science; one for younger readers (under 16) and another for a more general readership. The shortlists will be announced in April, a month before the award ceremony to he held at the Science Museum on 16th May. For details contact:
Science Book Prizes
6 Carlton House Terrace
Tel: 01-836 5561, Ext. 219
CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
National Tell a Story Week
29th April – 6th May 1989
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups annually promotes a week of storytelling and activities linked to children’s stories. Many different groups get involved all over the country – libraries, schools, playgroups, and anyone who is interested in encouraging children to enjoy storytelling. The theme this year will he Just a Giggle!
The national launch will be held in Aylesham Town Hall. For further information contact: Jan Sanderson, NTASW Publicity Officer, 31 The Green, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham NG12 2LA.
Writing for Education
A day conference at the Robin Brook Centre, West Smithfield, London EC1, 15th April 1989, loam to 5pm
A series of morning seminars and afternoon workshops aimed at enhancing the whole business of developing and writing teaching materials, not just for the classroom but, who knows, maybe for publishing proper too. The organisers tell us that at least eight books got published as a result of the last series. All enquiries to: Writing for Education Conference, 24 Broadgate, 727 Barking Road, London E13 9ES.
12th Annual Woodfield Lecture
17th May 1989, Loughborough University, 2.30 pm, admission free
This year’s speaker is Brough Girling, Director of the Children’s Book Foundation, and his theme will be Children’s Books: Medicine or Toys?. Further details from Margaret Kinnell, Dept of Library and Information Studies, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU; Tel: 0509 223062.
On Tuesday 28th February a staggering £700.000-plus, raised by Readathon ’88, Britain’s largest children’s book promotion, was presented to the Chairman of the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children. This campaign just keeps on growing – 25%, up on Readathon ’87’s £400,000. Brough Girling, the campaign’s director, is reported to be ‘delighted’ and is looking to break the magic one million pound mark some time in the next two years.
Children’s Literature Summer School
23rd – 28th July 1989, Worcester College of Education Now in its thirteenth year, this popular course, mainly but not exclusively for teachers and librarians, strives to extend knowledge of recent fiction for children with discussions, visiting speakers, workshop sessions and daily visits to places of interest. For further details contact: The Director, Summer School Office. Worcester College of Higher Education. Henwick Grove, Worcester WR2 6AJ; Tel: 0905 748080.
A new list of non-fiction titles. called Firefly, aimed at 3 to 8s from the Sussex-based publishers Wayland. The first batch is due at the end of March and will attempt to bridge the gap between picture books and junior information books. Titles include A Journey by Car/’Train/Boat/ Plane and My House/School/ Street.
Collins to launch new Non-Fiction series in June
Maybe a bit premature this but worth keeping an eye out for nonetheless. We’re promised a range of publishing that stretches from pre-school through to teens. We’ve seen bits of an attractive looking Picture Dictionary at one end and a series called ‘Viewpoints’ at the other (looking at psychology and TV journalism amongst other things). Good to see a non-specialist, non-fiction publisher having a go at a notoriously difficult genre of publishing.
Faber Children’s Paperbacks
Faber launch themselves into the paperback listings proper on 20th March with Faber Children’s Paperbacks. Having watched other famous hardback houses take this precarious but seemingly inevitable step in today’s harsh and possibly declining hardback market, we wish Faber well. Of course they have some experience of paperbacking as those who remember their Fanfair imprint will recall. Others have burnt their fingers by not getting cover prices right nor understanding the necessity and practice of the vital promotional and selling-in push so critical in a hugely competitive paperback market. However the signs are looking good in Faber’s case.
Cover prices are in line, at £1.99, with other paperbacks, and the publicity and sales departments have been leaping up and down for months now with all the sales aids required for the launch of a new paperback imprint. The mix of the first eight titles, for 8 to 12 year olds, includes the reissue of Nicholas Stuart Gray’s Grimbold’s Other World and Ruth Tomalin’s Gone Away – out of print for too long – plus
The World is a Banana by Robert McCrum, not seen in paperback before. A further six titles for 5 to 8 year olds (due on 24th April) will include The Iron Man (Ted Hughes) and another two titles which have lingered in the limbo of o/p, Melanie Brown Goes to School by Pamela Oldfield and Alison Uttley’s Lavender Shoes. Faber tell us they’ll be happy to send more details. Contact: The Promotions Department. Faber & Faber, 3 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AU: Tel: 01-278 6881.
Simon & Schuster buy Macdonald Children’s List
More publishing musical chairs (hot on the heels of the mega battle for Collins by Rupert Murdoch), this time by the powerful American publishing conglomerate, Simon & Schuster who. rumour has it, has been looking for a chance to break into the UK children’s book market for some time. Macdonald, Purnell and Beehive (all previously owned by Maxwell Communication Corporation) are reported to have cost almost £8 million.
Anyone out to buy BfK will have fork out ten million, billion. Cash. And put the cat out at night.
The Top 100 Most Borrowed Children’s Books
Interested? Then collect a copy of The Public Lending Right Registry’s list of said Top 100 for 1988 from the Arts and Library Press Office, Government Buildings, Horse Guards Road, London SW I or telephone Sheila Armitage at the PLR Office on 0642 604699.
Great British Book Fairs
Launched in February by Scholastic Publications, Great British Book Fairs is a school-based bookselling venture, said to have been imported from the US two years ago by School Book Fairs Ltd, the Dorset company. The ‘idea’ is a week-long book display in a school of about 300 children’s paperbacks in mobile display cases. A commission goes to the school hosting the event. As for the newness of the ‘concept’- we’ve known of committed British children’s booksellers doing something remarkably similar for years. For further information, phone: Chris Day. 092681 3910
If you would like BfK to carry information about forthcoming events and news on this page, please contact us (see address and telephone number on page 3) and we’ll do our best to include it.
Apologies for the late arrival of the January issue of BfK
We had dozens of calls from readers at the beginning of February wondering what had happened to the January issue and whether their subscription was still in order. It was with this issue that we reorganised our mailing arrangements and placed it with a specialised mailing house. Everything went brilliantly, we sat back to congratulate ourselves on a smart move (not a smart thing to do) when we learnt that this particular type of mailing (pre-sorted rebated postage) takes the Post Office up to ten working days to deliver!! Nobody thought to ask and nobody thought to tell us.
Obviously we’re going to have to tweak the production schedule to take account of the PO and its wondrous ways. Under the new arrangements, we shall in future he sending out subscription renewal reminders separately.