Archive for March, 2017

Win a Wheatle

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Win award winning Alex Wheatle visiting your school in 2017! 










To celebrate the release of Straight Outta Crongton, the new book from award-winning author Alex Wheatle, the publishers, ATOM, are giving you the chance to win him! Well, not forever, but to have him come to your school for a visit!

He’ll be able to join your class, after which, the possibilities are endless …

Maybe you’d like to ask him questions about his books and how he writes; maybe you’d like him to help you write a story, or get involved in a project you’re working on; maybe you’d like him to read from your favourite book, or get him to make something up on the spot! We even hear he’s a pretty good rapper…

In addition to winning Alex, they will furnish your library with copies of all three of his Crongton books – the Carnegie Prize-nominated Liccle Bit, the Guardian Children’s Prize-winning Crongton Knights AND a hot-off-the-press edition of Straight Outta Crongton.

To find out more and enter CLICK HERE to visit the publishers blog page. Entries close on 30 April 2017.

Lovereading4kids top 3 books, by age range, 12 – 19 March 2017

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Books for Babies and Toddlers

Funny Faces Funny Faces
This bright and bold, high-contrast novelty board book stimulates a baby’s developing vision as they look at the funny animals, play peek-a-boo, and giggle as they see themselves in the mirror.
Babies are able to react and respond to simple patterns …
Download free opening extract
Are You Sitting Comfortably? Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Leigh Hodgkinson
March 2016 Book of the Month   Leigh Hodgkinson’s picture book is a stylish investigation into how and where to read a book. Goldilocks-like, a young boy tries out a variety of chairs and reading locations. Not one of them suits: …
Download free opening extract
A Great Big Cuddle A Great Big Cuddle
Michael Rosen
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 | Joint Winner of the CLiPPA 2016 (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award).    Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen combine here to create a beautiful collection of ebullient poems for the very young.  …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

How Not to Disappear How Not to Disappear
Clare Furniss
Shortlisted for YA Book Prize 2017 | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award  |  August 2016 Book of the Month  Hattie’s life changes forever when she meets the great aunt …
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The State of Grace The State of Grace
Rachael Lucas
In a Nutshell: Living with Asperger’s * Dealing with change * New beginnings    “Being human is a complicated game”, and that’s certainly the case for fifteen-year-old Grace, the sparkling protagonist of this gorgeously heartfelt and often hilarious novel.
Grace is bright and …
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Black Moon Black Moon
L. A. Weatherly
March 2017 Book of the Month A fitting and truly fabulous end to the breathtaking Broken Trilogy. It’s 1942, nearly two thousand years after time was reset and war and atomic weapons were banned, yet a terrifying regime is attempting …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

Sunk! Sunk!
Rob Biddulph
March 2017 Book of the Month | No child’s bookshelf is complete without one, and preferably more than one of Rob Biddulph’s joyful, dazzling picture books. Sunk! is a new adventure for Penguin Blue, star of the award-winning Blown Away. …
Download free opening extract
Triangle Triangle
Mac Barnett
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month March 2017  Brilliant and hilarious, award-winning Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett’s Triangle is the gem of a book. Spare and sophisticated at one and the same time it tells how Triangle plays a …
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The Giant Jumperee The Giant Jumperee
Julia Donaldson
A new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.
Lovereading Review to follow. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

Many Moons Many Moons
Remi Courgeon
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2017   Beautifully produced to make the most of its clever design, this is a book whose charm lies in its visual simplicity which leaves space for readers to dream their own dreams …
Download free opening extract
Revolting Rhymes Revolting Rhymes
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl takes on the likes of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs and brings us a brilliant collection of comic and often gory versions of popular fairy tales.  Dahl’s Gobblefunk is brought to life …
Download free opening extract
Life on Earth: Farm Life on Earth: Farm
Heather Alexander
March 2017 Book of the Month   Unless they are regular visitors to the countryside it can be hard for children to connect the milk in the two litre cartons on the supermarket shelves or in their fridge with a cow …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

Hamish and the Gravity Burp Hamish and the Gravity Burp
Danny Wallace
March 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: original, clever, fast-paced and very, very funny |   With no messing about at all, Danny Wallace gets straight into the comedy action in this the third adventure for Hamish …
Download free opening extract
Black Cats and Butlers Black Cats and Butlers
Janine Beacham
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2017  Fun to read, this is a sprightly told tale of murder and trickery with a twisty plot and a cast of unlikely characters led by the smart and determined Rose Raventhorpe. …
Download free opening extract
The Clubhouse Mystery The Clubhouse Mystery
Erika McGann
In a nutshell: gang of three have hi-jinks in their very own clubhouse |   Cass is super-excited when she and her best friends decide to form a secret club, and even happier when they find the perfect place to build …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

The Wolf Wilder The Wolf Wilder
Katherine Rundell
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | September 2016 Book of the Month  Wolves, wildness and freedom are at the heart of this thrilling story. Wolf wilders are employed to …
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Just Call Me Spaghetti-Hoop Boy Just Call Me Spaghetti-Hoop Boy
Lara Williamson
March 2017 Book of the Month A touching and amusing story about belonging and the search for an heroic identity. Adam has always known that he was adopted and it never seemed to matter. After all, he loves his mum …
Download free opening extract
Women in Science Women in Science
Rachel Ignotofsky
March 2017 Non Fiction Book of the Month | In a nutshell: an inspiring introduction to 50 pioneering women scientists |     Hopefully everyone has heard of Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Ada Lovelace, pioneers in science. But what about Grace …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

My Name is Victoria My Name is Victoria
Lucy Worsley
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month March 2017  | Revered and deservedly popular as a Queen, Victoria was much less successful or celebrated when she was still a princess. TV historian Lucy Worsley spins a wonderful adventure around the …
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Survivors Survivors
David Long
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 – Best Books with Facts
In a nutshell: jaw-dropping true stories; survival against the odds  |    Proof that true stories can be every bit as remarkable as the most fantastic fiction, David Long …
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An Eagle in the Snow An Eagle in the Snow
Michael Morpurgo
Shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award 2017 – Books for Younger Readers  |  November 2016 Book of the Month   A ‘what if’ story based on a true life events, full of descriptions of heroism and selflessness: for any good writer …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

The Monstrous Child The Monstrous Child
Francesca Simon
January 2017 Book of the Month |  Shortlisted for YA Book Prize 2017 | Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children’s Book category   Francesca Simon has chosen a singular heroine for her first novel for teenagers. Hel is Queen of the …
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Anna and the Swallow Man Anna and the Swallow Man
Gavriel Savit
Written in spare beautiful prose, this extraordinary story will haunt readers. It begins in Krakow in 1939. Seven-year-old Anna is left to fend for herself when her father fails to collect her at the end of the day. Though Anna …
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Every Hidden Thing Every Hidden Thing
Kenneth Oppel
March 2017 Book of the Month |  In a Nutshell: Romancing the Bones | There’s rivalry, romance and skullduggery galore in this rip-roaring read following two epic expeditions to unearth an extraordinary dinosaur skeleton in the Badlands of early twentieth …
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Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival 30 Apr – 2 May 2017

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

CLICK HERE to win tickets to see Piers Torday at the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival.

There’s something for everyone in our impressive line-up this year. We have authors of biography, memoir and musings; writers of fiction, historical and heroic; stories for children of nature, family and friends; lively storytelling shows and a musical theatre performance for all the family. From the making of the British landscape, to the history of the Great War, from good mood food to coping with bereavement, from Brexit and Trump to great lives well lived – we’ve got a surplus of literary treats lined up, and a few surprises.

Bank Holiday Monday sees a range of author events for all the family along with storytelling shows for children, a Comic Art Masterclass, Sock Puppet Shakespeare, a tour of Chiddingstone with a local historian and much more. Tuesday’s Schools Day offers local pupils the chance to hear top children’s authors inspire and celebrate reading and imagination.

Come for one event or stay all day. Enjoy delicious food from our vintage vans, tea and cakes from our tea rooms, drinks from the bar and Larkins beer. All tickets to the festival include free entry to the castle and its collections. We are delighted to welcome back Sevenoaks Bookshop as our festival booksellers, and look forward to hosting literacy charity Beanstalk for Kent and Book Activist Victoria Dilly. A huge thank you to all our supporters, generous sponsors and donors, volunteers and book-lovers for helping us bring some very special authors to this beautiful historic house in West Kent.

To find out more and buy tickets visit

UK Literacy Association Book Awards 2017

Monday, March 6th, 2017


  • For the first time illustrated books in all three age categories
  • Past winner Philip Reeve shortlisted in two categories with Brian Selznick, Gill Lewis and Benji Davies each with potential second award
  • Debut authors challenge medal winning heavyweights in each category

 @The_UKLA  #UKLA17   #teachersbookawards

For the first time ever the awards that come with the teachers’ guarantee that these are the books which get their classes reading have an author shortlisted simultaneously in two age categories. Philip Reeve’s creative partnership with Sarah McIntyre will be looking to repeat their 2015 triumph in the 7-11 category. But they face stiff competition from another previous winner Gill Lewis who won with her debut novel, Sky Hawk in 2012. Debut authors Ross Welford and S.E.Durrant will see that as a very good omen. Completing the 7-11 list is the 2014 shortlisted author Katherine Rundell and the Kate Greenaway longlisted title The Journey by Francesca Sanna: a powerful picturebook which teacher judges described as “taking children to new experiences outside their own”.

Philip Reeve’s science fiction Railhead secured his second shortlisting in the 12-16 category, but once again he is up against stiff competition with the previously Highly Commended Brian Selznick. They both face competition from a cosmopolitan list which features Selznick’s American compatriot Gary.D.Schmidt, Canadian Susin Nielsen and Alaskan Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Carnegie longlisted debut title. Joining Philip in representing home grown talent is previously shortlisted award winner Jenny Valentine .

The 3-6 category sees Benji Davies repeating his 2016 shortlisting and hoping to improve upon his Highly Commended award. He will be up against Greenaway winner Emily Gravett, the inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honour winner, Ross Collins, Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning Jim Field in a new partnership with Rachel Bright and impressive debuts from Lucy Ruth Cummings and David Litchfield.

All three age categories once again show the fresh perspective that class teachers can bring to the judging process in their search for books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”,  as required by the criteria. This makes them particularly useful as co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids said:

“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents. We can’t wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply excellent.”

The enthusiastic judging discussions revealed how much teachers welcomed the opportunity to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles and enjoyed talking together in order to decide which books would best match the criteria for the award:

There have been so many great spin-offs from that initial decision to get involved: seeing teachers who had never been big readers catching the reading bug, avid readers who found a whole new treasure trove of books to keep them up reading till the small hours, colleagues queuing up to borrow the books and so many children inspired to share this reading journey with them. Jess Anderson, Group Leader

For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do. As Awards Chair Lynda Graham said:

Teacher judges in education authorities across Scotland clearly delighted in opportunities to discuss the best of newly- published, quality books with teacher colleagues and to share these books with children and young people in their classrooms. 

12 teachers nominated from the 55 involved in the shortlisting, who came from Aberdeen City, North Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk and Renfrewshire, will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all three age categories, which will mean nursery teachers reading fiction for teenagers and secondary teachers reading picturebooks!

The winners will be announced on June 30th at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Lynda Graham
The Shortlists in full


The Lion Inside written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books)

There’s a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster)

Grandad’s Island written and illustrated by Benji Davies(Simon & Schuster)

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)

The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln)



Little Bits of Sky written by S.E Durrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow)

Gorilla Dawn written by Gill Lewis(Oxford University Press)

Pugs of the Frozen North written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)

The Wolf Wilder written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury)

The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)

Time Travelling with a Hamster written by Ross Welford (HarperCollins)



The Smell of Other People’s Houses written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber)

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)

 Orbiting Jupiter written by Gary .D. Schmidt (Andersen Press)

Railhead written by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)

The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

Fire Colour One written by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

March eNewsletter

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

World Book Day and March is ‘hare’! And a Wonderland of ‘wordery’ awaits you this month. A top-notch tea party of jabber-rocking reads to send you on a whole new world of adventures, as we look forward to Spring. From tots to teens and everything in between, we’ve just the thing to keep your children loving reading.  We hope your children had a great WBD. Why not share your experiences at @lovereadingkids?

March’s Must-Reads – Books of the Month

A bookshelf burgeoning with bookie brilliance this month. We especially recommend:

Sunk! By Rob Biddulph (3+) – Characterful, swashbuckling, High-seas adventure for Penguin Blue and friends.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers who Changed the World (8+) – Our non-fiction B.O.M: inspiring, informative and gloriously illustrated celebration of female role models for the next generation.

My Name is Victoria (9+) by Lucy Worsley – Unique childhood friendship tale in the grand setting of the British monarchy, by one of TV’s favourite experts!

Following Ophelia by Sophia Bennett (11+) – Poverty, paint and heady romance. Glamour and excitement among the dirt and distress of the Pre-Raphaelite world.

Every Hidden Thing (13+) by Kenneth Oppel – Dusty adventure, danger and romance abound in this energetic, elegant and engrossing period piece. And look out for the paperback edition of remarkably original The Nest coming in April.

Optimists Die First (13+) by Susin Nielsen – ‘A wonderful novel. There is tragedy, but it’s sweetened it with laugh-out-loud moments and a great understanding of what it is to be a teenager.’ (Rosa, Reader Reviewer).


First Things First – Debuts of the Month

A first novel is a magical thing. These are the first-timers lining up to be your new favourite authors this month. Don’t miss:

The Silver Unicorn (7+) by Jessica Ennis-Hill – Inspirational, magical adventure tale, another first in a planned series, of ordinary people doing extraordinary things: from someone who should know!

Black Cats and Butlers (9+) by Janine Beacham – Darkly different, hugely enjoyable, witty mystery, the first in a planned series called Rose Raventhorpe Investigates.

See You in the Cosmos (9+) by Jack Cheng –  An unforgettable, poignant and inspiring story of a boy’s brave journey for the truth.


Well, I Never! – Fascinating Facts category

It’s always good to learn something mind-blowing. That’s why we’ve revamped our Fascinating Facts category! It’s more crammed than Dhaka (the world’s most populated city, don’t ya know?) with noggin-expanding nuggets for kids of all ages. We’ve split them into handy age-appropriate sections, so you can get straight to the right sort of ‘OMG!’. Try 101 Brilliant Things for Kids to do with Science by Dawn Isaac: creative and occasionally outrageous ideas for the scientifically curious. Click here to find it and all the new finds in our facts family.

ExperiMENTAL! Geek Chic for Science Week!

Everyone who’s anyone knows it’s SCIENCE that makes the world go around! Time to celebrate that.  10 – 17 March is British Science Week. How do I get involved you ask? – Clicking here. That’s how.  Become a ‘Citizen Scientist’, join activities, or even run your own event!  You’ll need a good book in your lab-coat though. Try George’s Marvellous Experiment by Roald Dahl: a must-have book for budding scientists, it features (completely safe) do-at-home experiments with simple, easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions to fire your passion! Find out more. Also check out our Fascinating Facts category where you will find some other fun and relevant reads too


Up For Grabs! – Free Prize Draw

This month we’re positively showing off with the calibre of prizes up for grabs. Sorry about that. Ignore our smugness and try and win a copy of Worst Years of my Life, part of the Middle School series by James Patterson and shortly to be a major film.  Or a copy of The Pavee and the Buffer Girl by Siobhan Dowd signed by the illustrator, Emma Shoard. Finally, you could be skipping away with copies and beautiful prints from Mac Barnett’s Triangle (3+) – a perfectly paced, picture perfect book for pre-schoolers. Click here for more!

Still Munching After All These Years – Very Hungry Caterpillar 20 March

What is it about the permanently peckish wriggly little chap that has captured our imagination for so long? Maybe it’s his voracious and varied appetite (who wouldn’t admire the eating of a lollypop and salami in one sitting?). Or perhaps we admire and envy the cocoon he gets to sleep the binge off in. Or the beautiful butterfly he leaves it as? Whatever the reason, it’s VHC Day on 20 March and you can celebrate with us, here!

Booked up for Mother’s Day?

Mum’s the word in our book! That’s why we believe that all Mums deserve to be shown just how much we love and appreciate them. And what better way than a well-chosen book? We’ve done a lot of the work for you to be honest. All you have to do is browse our top ideas and see which one suits her best!

The Latest Children’s Book Award News

Just announced are two prestigious children’s book awards. The Blue Peter Book Awards, uniquely voted for by children, went to Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood and the winner of the Best Book with Facts was Survivors by David Long.

Also, the winner of The Scottish Teenage Book Prize was announced 1 March and the deserved winner was Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall.

P.S. Top Drawer!  Illustrator of the Month – Sophy Henn

Brighton-based illustrator Sophy Henn escaped an accidental career in advertising to indulge her loves of tea and drawing. She now attends to both in her home where she happily writes wonderful stories for young children. Books like award-winning Where Bear? (3+) and the hilarious take on toddler tantrums: Pom Pom Gets the Grumps. Find out more.

P.P.S. Do you know a child who loves writing stories? Then click here to find out more about the 2017 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition. But don’t delay entries close 22 April 2017.

P.P.P.S How well do you know your children’s stories? Could you identify books and authors from just the opening line? Take our World Book Day Quiz and find out.

Can you name the children’s book from the opening line?

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

With World Book Day upon us once again why not take the quiz below to find out how well you know your Children’s books…

Many thanks to Ruth Ward Library & Resources Manager at Great Torrington School Torrington in Devon for sending through a brilliantly fiendish quiz for World Book Day she created for the pupils at her school where you have to guess the Children’s book and author by just the opening line.

Do have fun and do share.

It’s not easy – but fear not you can CLICK HERE to download a document with the whole quiz in a beautifully visual form and the answers.

‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ Through the Pages of a Book! (Dr. Seuss)

Opening lines: Can you name the book and the author?

  1. ‘All children, except one, grows up.’
  2. ‘When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.’
  3. ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a ………….’
  4. “Dad. He keeps saying it.”
  5. ‘Small Sam was playing in the car park behind Waitrose when the grown-ups took him.’
  6. ‘The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.’
  7. ‘……………. discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.’
  8. ‘The boat moved with a nauseous, relentless rhythm, like someone chewing a rotten tooth.’
  9. ‘We came on the wind of the carnival.’
  10. ‘Once I was living in an orphanage in the mountains and I shouldn’t have been and I almost caused a riot.’

Finish a story started by Branford Boase Award winner Horatio Clare

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Call for entries: 2017 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition.  For young people who enjoy writing stories!


The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, the annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the Branford Boase Award, is now open.


The Branford Boase Award recognises a debut children’s author and their editor and was set up in memory of the outstanding children’s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They both died of cancer in 1999.


The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition aims to find and encourage writers of the future, something Henrietta Branford was always keen to do.


‘The night we left was wild, clouds dashing across the moon and trees rocking and shushing in a wind so strong is seemed to make the stars blink and spin…’


The 2017 competition is open now and anyone under the age of 19 can enter. Entrants are invited to complete a story begun by last year’s winner, author of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, Horatio Clare.


The story should be no longer than 1000 words, must follow on from the starter paragraph, and have a title. All entrants must live in the UK and be under 19 years of age. Entries will be judged by Prue Goodwin,consultant and lecturer in children’s literature. She says: ‘We are looking for stories that keep the reader wanting to know what is going to happen from beginning to end, are imaginative and unpredictable, and are written with a genuine reader in mind’.


Six winners will be invited to attend the Branford Boase Award celebration party in London in July. There they will meet Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Horatio Clare and the authors shortlisted for the 2107 award as well as editors, publishers, agents, and other professionals in this field. They will receive a copy of each of the books shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and be able to have their books signed.


The closing date for the competition is Saturday 22 April 2017.


For more information about the award and the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition visit . Privacy Policy Disclaimer