National Non-Fiction November

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National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to bring non fiction celebration in line with those of fiction.

Why not celebrate National Non-Fiction November by arranging an author visit or exploring one of the many types of non-fiction books for children and young people, any time during the month of November? You could team up with a local museum or organisation and build a session around books on a particular topic, such as local history or famous people.

This year’s theme is The First World War, but this theme is not exclusive; all non-fiction for children and young people will be celebrated. The theme is merely to provide a focus for those who want it.

All FCBG groups have recently been sent a directory of non fiction authors who are keen to visit groups for events. The directory includes details of topics of interest, geographical location (perhaps useful if you wish to build up a relationship with a local non-fiction author) and contact details. If for some reason your FCBG group did not receive this directory please email info@fcbg.org.uk requesting it to be resent.

If you are not a member of a local FCBG children’s book group, and would like to book a non-fiction author for a local event you can find details of many non-fiction authors at Contact an Author and Authors Aloud.

For 2014 We have also negotiated two free events for which FCBG book groups can bid:

(1) Sarah Ridley, author of Dear Jelly (Hachette) is available for one free book group visit.

(2) Usborne have very generously agreed to provide a large pack of their First World War themed books and activity sheets to one group anywhere in the country. This “book event in a box” will enable a group to run a Non Fiction event in November at very minimal cost to themselves.

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Details of both events and how FCBG groups can bid for them have already been sent to groups, but should you require further information please email nnfn@fcbg.org.uk. Bids for these events must be in by July 11th. Groups who have expressed an interest in these free events will be contacted by July 16th to confirm who has been successful in bidding for them.

Work is also under way with several publishers to produce downloadable activity packs to go with a selection of their First World War titles. These will be available to all FCBG groups after the Summer holidays and are being designed to provide a easy-to-use template for book group events. Given the nature of the theme this year it might be an ideal opportunity to run an event with your local museum or genealogical society.

The Autumn will see the development of a new section of the FCBG website focusing on non-fiction for children and young people. There will be new pages with details of non-fiction awards, how book groups can get involved with these, ideas for using non-fiction in groups, schools, homes, promotional material, videos and much more.

During November 2014 we hope you’ll also look out for special online initiative featuring 30 days of (children’s/young people’s) non-fiction around the web, on book blogs, publishers websites, the websites for literacy, reading for pleasure and teacher organisations. As well as author interviews, opinion pieces, and practical tips there will also be several competitions and giveaways which both members and non-members may take part in. Do keep an eye out for this nearer the time.

As you can see, we have a lot planned! We really hope as many children’s book groups, teachers, parents, children and young people as possible will get involved with celebrating non-fiction with us in November.

A very big thank you to all the non-fiction authors and illustrators who are supporting our non-fiction initiative, and to the publishers working with us on National Non-Fiction November, especially to Hachette, Usborne and Walker Books for supporting us with events and materials.

Philip Ardagh signing books on National Non-Fiction Day 2010

Celebrating National Non-Fiction Day 2010 with Ipswich Children’s Book Group