15th Jun '12

Subject 'LIKE THIS ... BUT NOT THIS ...'


Write THAT!

This Mitchell and Webb sketch has long been a favourite in the Chicken House office.

Today, we would like to dedicate it to all authors who have valiantly negotiated their way through the editing process.

We salute you!

5th Jun '12



Festival season is well and truly upon us and literature festivals are as popular as ever before. In particular, the children's programmes of the major literature festivals in the UK have grown in their popularity year-on-year. The Telegraph is the media sponsor for both the Bath Kids' Lit' Fest and the children's programme at the Hay Festival of Literature. I asked the Telegraph's children's literary critic, Lorna Bradbury, why she feels festivals are a great way to celebrate all that's good in the children's book world:

"Children's books are currently thriving – whether you're talking about illustrated picture books for toddlers or, at the other end of the spectrum, the recent explosion in excellent fiction for teenagers. Literary festivals are a big part of what we do at the Telegraph, and we are lucky enough to sponsor the two leading children's festivals: Hay Fever, which takes place later this month, with a terrific line-up including Philippa Gregory, Lauren Child and Francesca Simon, and the Bath Festival of Children's Literature, in September. These festivals are important for us because they make our alliances with children's writers more publicly prominent – and this in turn nourishes our coverage in the paper and online. Perhaps one reason that children's festivals are growing in popularity has to do with how creatively programmed they are. Children's writers are among the best performers out there."

Last year Freddie Rawlins, age 11, went to his first ever literary festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Here on The sCoop!, Freddie tells us all about the experience and about why he can’t wait to hit the festival circuit again this year:

“When I went to Edinburgh last summer I was blown away! I’d never have considered going to a book festival but I got the chance to go to Edinburgh with my mum and it really set the bar. To me, book festivals are all about meeting the creators of other worlds and seeing the pure genius that went into books like CHERUB and the Skulduggery series. I think a book festival is all about escaping into fantasy.

We first went to see Cathy Cassidy, who talked about where she writes and the environment she likes to write in. I enjoyed her talking about how a small caravan in her garden inspired her new book. We then joined the queue for Robert Muchamore. He was brilliant talking about the reason that he writes for children but still uses more realistic and adult vocabulary. I loved the book signing afterwards and because my mum was an author (Sophia Bennett) I was allowed in the authors’ tent where I spoke to Robert Muchamore about his new book The Prisoner.

But I have to say my favourite author was Derek Landy. He spoke without any script or podium, explaining that as a child he loved 1940’s fast-speaking detectives and that’s what Skulduggery is based on. Derek spoke about Skulduggery as if he was a real person. He was entertaining, enthusiastic and hilarious! His new book had just come out and I had got it signed and had read it by the time we got home. Can’t wait for this year!”

Festival season kicks off with the wonderful Hay Festival. You can catch some great Chicken House authors in action this week, on the children’s programme, Hay Fever:

Daniel Blythe

Author of Shadow Runners, and Doctor Who novel writer, Daniel Blythe, will unlock the secrets of creating strange and mysterious worlds.

Event HF80 • Wednesday 6 June 2012, 11.30am • Venue: Starlight Stage

William Osborne (with H.M. Castor)

Hollywood script-writer and debut children’s novelist William Osborne, will talk about the blending of fact and fiction in his faced-paced adventure Hitler’s Angel.

Event HF103 • Thursday 7 June 2012, 1pm • Venue: Starlight Stage

Sophia Bennett

Author of the Threads series and The Look (and Freddie’s mum!), Sophia Bennett will be joined by Bliss magazine as she talks to teens about the challenges of following your dreams.

Event HF109 • Thursday 7 June 2012, 4pm • Venue: Digital Stage

Don't forget to check out Lorna Bradbury's great weekly column in the Telegraph, 'Ask Lorna', which answers readers' letters, and presents children's books, both old and new, in a useful way for parents and grandparents.


rssSubscribe to our
RSS feed