Archive for June, 2018

Announced: Wicked Young Writers Awards

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

The 2018 Wicked Young Writer Awards, presented in association with the National Literacy Trust took place on the 21st June 2018. This year’s winners were announced at a ceremony that involved the 117 shortlisted finalists and their families. The Wicked Young Writer Awards ceremony was held at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, the home of the magical, award-winning musical WICKED.

The Awards encourage people aged 5-25 years to use writing as a way of expressing themselves. The result? Unique and original pieces of poetry. This year there were more than 4,500 submissions, with an increase i the number of entries from both individuals, primary schools in the 8-10 age category and from the 15-17 age category.

Among the finalists’ entries this year were stories, poems and non-fiction writing. The Shortlisted pieces were compelling and intense, often with dark themes and dramatic twists. In the older categories, issues such as gender discussions regarding the female roles, and stories connected to LGBTQ+ activism and gun control issues in the United States of America. A theme that features across all age categories was the awareness of an ageing population, with stories about dementia and old age. These important subjects were dealt with maturely and with respect.

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall is the patron and champion of the Wicked Young Writer Awards. The judges for this year’s Awards were:

Ed Balls – writer, broadcaster and former secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
Caleb Femi – writer and first Young People’s Laureate for London
Head Judge Cressida Cowell – Author and Illustrator of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’
Jonathan Douglas – Long-standing judge of the awards and Director of the National Literacy Trust
Michael McCabe – Executive Producer (UK) of WICKED
Guest Judge Nicky Cox MBE – Editor and Chief of First News (a joint sponsor of the Award prize for the ‘FOR GOOD’ category

Hosting this year’s award ceremony was Greg James, Recently announced as the new presenter of BBC Radio 1’s flagship Breakfast Show. The prizes were presented by Head Judge Cressida Cowell and the panel of prestigious judges.

Check out the Winners and runners-up for each category below:

5-7 Age Category:

Winner: Fern Brindle, 7, from Derbyshire, for “The Man on the Street”
(This is a heartfelt and compassionate poem about homelessness. It is thoughtful, emotive and reflective.)

Runner-up: Daniel MacAlpine, 7, from Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, for “A Bumpy Trail”
(A compelling story about rescuing a wounded otter with colourful descriptive language.)

Runner-up: Isabella Watson-Gandy, 7, from London for “Naughty Sam and the Tooth Fairy”
(An imaginative and funny story of a naughty boy who tries to trick Santa for presents, The Easter Bunny for more chocolate eggs and even the tooth fairy with his grandpa’s dentures.)

8-10 Age Category:

Winner: Robyn Blunden, 8, from Kendal for “The Snow Leopard”
(A magical fantasy story about an ancient guardian spirit watching over and protecting a village.)

Runner-up: Isobel Pitney, 10, from Essex for “The Lazy Farmer
(A potentially grisly but humorous tale about a farmer who should have been more careful about what he wished for.)

11-14 Age Category:

Winner: Freya Hannan Mills, 14, from Merseyside, for “Mushy Peas and Battered Bits
(A poignant and very mature account of an old man’s past reflections at the moment of death.)

Runner-up: Annie McCrory, 12, from County Antrim for “An Ode to War
(A chilling and intense poem written as The God of War exalting its continuing role to ruin and destroy.)

Runner-up: Ben Howarth, 13, from Edinburgh for “A Ghost Visits
(A clever, contemporary and imaginative take on Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.)

15-17 Age Category:

Winner: Kashif Chowdhury, 16, from Ilford for “All Quiet on the Western Front
(Sophisticated, rhythmic storytelling with subtleties and nuances of a very mature writer.)

Runner-up: Tiegan James, 17, from Dorset for “Redemption
(A sad yet forgiving and moving story of a grieving father seeking redemption.)

18-25 Age Category:

Winner: Imogen Usherwood, 18, from Hampshire for “Last Chance
(An unsettling and expressive story of familial dominance and of the young person’s yearning to be free to leave and study.)

Runner-up: Lottie Carter, 20, from Buckinghamshire for “Digging
(A discomfiting, atmospheric grisly tale with a dramatic twist.)

Runner-up: Anna Roisin Ullman-Smith, 22, from Lanarkshire for “Red Horizon
(An exciting story of survival and rebellion with expressive and graphic descriptive writing bringing the words to life.)

FOR GOOD Category:

Winner: Emer O’Toole, 23, from Northern Ireland “Dear Baby Girl
(An empowering message for a baby girl about sisterhood and the importance of self-belief and self-assurance as she grows up into womanhood.)

Runner-up: Jenny Pavitt, 19, from Essex for “Friendship” (“Friendship is a shapeshifter”, great phraseology and a powerful comment on the subtleties of the strong personal bond and relationship of mutual affection between people.)

Winning schools:

Devonshire House School, Hampstead,

Moulsham Junior School, Essex

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, Essex

CLiPPA 2018 Winner Announced

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

The Hip Hop artist and debut poet Karl Nova has been announced as the winner of CLiPPA 2018. Karl Nova created his debut, Rhythm and Poetry in order to bring poetry to children and young people through rap.

Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 Judges, Grace Nichols, had this to say about the winning book:

This book really stood out for me with its refreshing use of the rap genre, its musicality, its immediacy and thoughtful reflections on the creative process. Karl Nova’s poems ring true with a sincere charm that children and young people can relate to and that may inspire their own writing.

Karl’s win has come during a time where poetry is being embraced in to the mainstream – a trend that has been reflected in children’s poetry. The popularity has also helped to raise the profile of CLiPPA. This Award is the CLPE’s flagship event in their work all year-round championing poetry. The CLPE’s Power of Reading project works with teachers and with poets in order to understand how to make poetry engaging and impactful in the classroom. As a part of this scheme, 350 free copies of the shortlisted books will be sent to teachers nationally.

CLiPPA grows year on year, with an increase in submissions of nearly 70% this year alone. The trickle-down effect of this success is being seen throughout children’s poetry. Louise Johns-Shepherd, the Chief Executive of the CLPE has said:

At CLPE, we are determined to celebrate the very best children’s poetry by involving more schools, producing more resources and getting more poetry books into schools. We promote it, we research it, we help teachers to use it in schools – we are poetry because poetry is the gateway to literacy.

Karl Nova received the CLiPPA and a cheque for £1000 in front of a packed audience, filled with poets, educators, publishers, shadowing school children and media at an event held a The National Theatre. At the ceremony, all the shortlisted poets performed on stage alongside children from the CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme, whose winning performances were selected from hundreds of competition entries.

Rising Stars by Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme and Amina Jama is a poetry collection by poets and performers from under-represented communities. This shortlisted entry was also highly commended at the CLiPPA ceremony. You can view the entire shortlist in our special poetry category.

The CLPE have thanked ALCS, Siobhan Dowd Trust and St Olave’s Funds for their generous support of CLiPPA.

Discover a New World with Jonathan Litton’s new Book

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Jonathan Litton, author of Journeys, The Earth Book and Touch-and-feel 123 is back! This time we will be exploring burrows, boreholes, Cavities and Canyons. This is a fascinating book that looks at all of the different types of holes, from household to human.

Holes: Discover a Hidden World is a fascinating new book of discovery. Learn what’s going on, underground, and inside these man made and naturally occurring spaces. Jonathan Litton has written a number of books using both prose and verse. Holes (and many of his other books) have stemmed from Jonathan’s science background. Whether it’s sea creatures or sinkholes, Jonathan Litton tells brilliantly interesting stories about how our world is shaped.

From Jonathan Litton

“I’ve wanted to write about holes for as long as I can remember. I loved digging them as a child, whether in sand or soil, and enjoyed daydreaming about what I might find – a T. rex tooth, Roman coins, or a passage to New Zealand. I savoured the mud, sweat and sometimes blood of digging (yes, I was one of those kids!), and sometimes I was fortunate enough for my excavations to unearth real treasures – an ammonite the size of my head and an air raid shelter were two particular gems.

Decades passed, with limited digging. Then several years ago, I began hollowing out a huge hole, and a secret one at that. One in which I could squirrel away and hoard ideas. I placed all sorts of holes in there – black holes, white holes and wormholes, arrow holes, keyholes and sieve-holes, subways, tunnels and escape holes, sinkholes, geysers and lava tubes, caves, crevasses and caldera, groundhogs, snakes and spiders, xylem, phloem and lotus flower seed pods, sponge-holes, plugholes and sewers, mouths, bottoms and tear ducts, mathematical holes, philosophical holes and religious ones.

I waited until an opportune moment and then lured my publisher into the trap. Holes is the result of all this squirrelling and hoarding. And lots of new research too. The net was cast very wide as to what constituted a hole, and then came a sieving process and categorisation of the contents in collaboration with the editor and illustrator. Some of my most fascinating findings were of ‘true voids’ in space — huge ‘holes’ of nothingness — lizards which dug corkscrew burrows, a road tunnel which loops around six times in a spiral-like fashion as it climbs up the inside of a Norwegian mountain, the 50 million holes a woodpecker might make in a lifetime, and ingenious holes in the roofs of some Senegalese houses which funnel rainwater for family use.

But perhaps most fascinating of all is the philosophy of holes. I’m studying for a degree in Eastern & Western Philosophy and love wrangling with deep thoughts from different angles. Thus, a philosophical interlude begged to be included in this book, which begins by inviting the reader to think of a hole in a sock. It can be counted – there is one hole in this sock. Or are there two? What about the intentional hole for the foot? Or are there thousands? Think of the gaps between the threads where air and water can get in, and pungent smells can escape! The hole can grow bigger. But what if the hole becomes so big that there’s no sock left at all? What happened to the hole? Does it still exist? Did it swallow the sock? Or did it disappear in a puff of smoke when all the thread disappeared?

I hope readers will look at holes in a whole new light.”

Holes: Discover a Hidden World was published on the 14th June and is published by 360 Degrees, a new imprint of the Little Tiger Press Group. This non-fiction imprint publishes books that uniquely deal with a range of topics to make nonfiction more accessible to younger readers. The books available from 360 Degrees are filled with fun activities, high quality pictures and easy to understand presentation – great for making learning more interesting. Take a look at our 360 Degrees category for more books and information.

Dougal Dixon’s New Dinosaur Collection

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Dougal Dixon has released four fantastic new books, each of which focus on a different prehistoric creature. The first four in this brilliant new series are amazingly in-depth and look at some of the most fascinating animals in history, from the towering Titanosaur to the Massive Megalodon.

The Publisher, Ruby Tuesday Books Ltd, love this brilliant new series. Publisher Ruth Owen had this to say about the creation of this fascinating new collection:

‘I love science and I love dinosaurs – so it was a fantastic opportunity to work with author and paleontologist, Dougal Dixon, to create and publish our new series. It was also fascinating to work with the artists, from around the world, who created the life-like 3D artworks of the animals featured in the series.’

The first four books in the series were published on the 30th April and are filled with up to date information ideal for devout Dino fans! Our Editorial Expert Andrea Reece has read each of the four fascinating titles. Andrea’s full reviews and the publisher’s piece of passion can be found on each book’s pages.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex

Our June 2018 Non-fiction Book of the Month, Tyrannosaurus Rex- King of the Dinosaurs (7+ / 9+) provides a fascinating look at one of the most terrifying predators to ever walk the prehistoric earth. The latest research and scientific discoveries have been compiled in an exceptionally educational book. Find out more about this iconic dino’s behaviours and learn about the fascinating new use of technology in order to create CGI reconstructions of these awesome animals.

‘it explains how the study of ‘muscle scars’ on T.rex bones dramatically changed our understanding of how the animal stood and moved; it includes photos of fossilised scaly skin from an adult T.rex discovered only in 2017 … Full colour throughout and with a useful glossary, this will inspire young palaeontologists.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert



The Megalodon

Megalodon – The Largest Shark That Ever Lived (7+ / 9+) contains everything you could possibly want to know about this enormous prehistoric predator. The book explores how it used to hunt down whales. How did one of the most powerful predators in the sea became extinct? Was there a bigger fish? This richly illustrated book is filled with everything that is known about the earth’s first sharks.

‘Everyone loves a shark, and they don’t come bigger (18 metres) than Megalodon. This new book, part of the Prehistoric Beasts Uncovered series, doesn’t just give the known facts about Megalodon, awesome as they are, it also explains how we know what we do, and how scientists deduce information.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert



The Triceratops

Triceratops – The Dinosaur Built to do Battle (7+ / 9+) looks at how these interesting prehistoric animals fought to take control of their herds. Fossils and scientific breakthroughs have led to discoveries about this Dinosaur’s huge frill. Dougal Dixon’s expertise as a paleontologist, writer and book editor to bring to life one of the most popular dinosaurs to ever walk the earth.

‘Now scientists can look for Triceratops fossils in whole new areas, and new discoveries will certainly be made. Other pages show how modern technology has revealed new information about Triceratops eating habits, but that scientists learned lots too by recreating battles between Triceratops using plastic models. Full colour throughout and with a useful glossary, this is an inspiring information book.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert


The Titanosaur

Titanosaur – The Giant Earth Shaking Dinosaur (7+ / 9+) looks at all things large. From the latest scientific discoveries about the Dreadnoughtus, the largest dinosaur to ever live, to the discovery of thousands of Titanosaur eggs, and how new scientific developments has led to groundbreaking discoveries about these prehistoric giants.

‘As of 2018, about 50 species of Titanosaurs have been discovered but the amount we know about these giant creatures is expanding all the time thanks to the work of paleontologists around the world. This new book, part of the Prehistoric Beasts Uncovered series, is filled with fascinating information and some wonderful photographs of Titanosaur bones but its descriptions of the detective work that goes on in the laboratory will also inspire young readers.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert

The advances in research has led to us knowing more than we ever thought possible about this amazing prehistoric animals. A brilliant collection of books that will bring STEM to life for young readers and is a great read for children fascinated by dinosaurs! Privacy Policy Disclaimer