Happenings in November in the Federation and beyond

November is a very busy month for the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, celebrating Non-Fiction November, with the chance this year for children to make their own books. The Jean Russell Storytelling Project reaches its rousing finale at Oxford on the 18th November, with Anna Conomos re-telling Greek myths with 3 primary schools in Oxford. There are also exciting events at the Bath Film Festival and an fantastic publishing opportunity with the Stratford Literary Festival and Salariya Book company.

Within the Federation, Saddleworth Children’s Book Group is celebrating Non-Fiction November with Saviour Pirotta, best-selling author of over one hundred books. He will be telling the group about Ancient Greeks and Myths and they will have a chance to make their own non-fiction books. There will be an opportunity for Saviour to sign books too and, the group says, Ancient Greek dressing up is highly recommended. There is also a raffle with bags of books to be won and plenty of non-fiction cakes, as always.

Tickets members: £4.50 per child non-members: £5.50 per child and to book tickets, please email saddleworthchildrensbookgroup@gmail.com.

Beyond the Federation, the Stratford Literary Festival and The Salariya Book Company are launching their debut Children’s Picture Book Prize to mark its 10th anniversary in 2017, to find the next big children’s author/illustrator.

The winning story will be published in the UK and the winner or winning team will receive an advance of £5000 against royalties. The prize, which will form part of the Festival’s 2017 Sharing Stories Project to encourage reluctant readers and parents to read with their children, is unique in offering guaranteed publication by Scribblers, an imprint of The Salariya Book Company, and is being supported by some of the biggest names in children’s writing and illustration.

The judging panel includes David Salariya, Founder and MD of The Salariya Book Company; Annie Ashworth, Director of The Stratford Literary Festival; the award-winning author/illustrators Nick Butterworth and Sarah McIntyre, who is also the Festival’s Guest Children’s Director for 2017, as well as Tamara Macfarlane, owner of the multi-award-winning Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop and Ashley King, illustrator and bookseller at Waterstones. The winner or winning team will also receive advice and guidance as part of the prize from the children’s literary agent Jodie Hodges of United Agents.

The Stratford Literary Festival/Salariya Book Company Children’s Picture Book Prize 2017 is open to author/illustrators or author and illustrator teams aged 16 and over based in the UK who have not previously been published and distributed online or in bookshops. The winner will be announced in February 2017, with printed copies available in late Autumn 2017. ‘As a festival, we are passionate about championing new writers and illustrators, and about sowing the seeds of a love of reading at a young age, so a prize seemed the perfect way to do this,’ says Anne Ashworth, Director of the Stratford Literary Festival.

‘We are very excited to be working with Stratford,’ says David Salariya, founder and managing director of The Salariya Book Company. ‘To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a publisher and a festival have collaborated on a prize, and we are looking forward to seeing some very creative submissions.’

The deadline for entries is Thursday, 12th January 2017 and full details, including rules of entry, can be found at stratlitfest.co.uk/picturebookcomp and at www.salariya.com.

And finally, best-selling author Lauren Child is appearing at the Bath Film Festival to tie in with the recent publication of the sixth and final Ruby Redfort book, Blink and You Die. She is introducing a screening of the original Jodie Foster version of Freaky Friday – now 40 years old! – and afterwards discussing the film and other influences in the creation of Ruby Redfort. Tickets are on sale from the Film Festival web site and are priced at £9 for full tickets and £7 for concessions. The film is being shown at 12.00 at the Little Theatre Cinema on Sunday 6th November.

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