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Michael Rosen and Sarah Crossan crowned CLiPPA 2016 winners!
Thursday 14th July 2016
Former Children's Laureate, poet, performer and broadcaster Michael Rosen wins for his collection 'A Great Big Cuddle', illustrated by Chris Riddell. He is joined by author and previous CLiPPA shortlisted poet Sarah Crossan for her verse novel, 'One'.
John Hegley, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2016 judges praised the winning books: “The five shortlisted titles are an exemplary spread of what poetry can be. The winning poets both have their very different inspirations so meticulously architected on the page. As one of the judging panel remarked, together the books proclaim,' it doesn't matter if you're 3 or 16, poetry, is for you!'”
Run by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, the annual Poetry Award is the only one of its kind in the UK, encouraging and celebrating outstanding poetry published for children. The winner’s announcement was made at the finale of The Poetry Show at the National Theatre, a lively celebration of poetry with children at its heart. All of the CLiPPA 2016 shortlisted poets alongside poet and chair of judges John Hegley and winners of the children’s Shadowing Scheme performed to a packed house of poets, educators, publishers, media and schools. Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell brought the ceremony to life, live-drawing the whole event from the stage.
Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “At CLPE we are committed to ensuring that poetry is central to children’s learning. Reading, writing, creating and performing poetry is integral to all aspects of developing literacy. The judges have chosen two winners who demonstrate the variety of the poetic form and its wide appeal to all ages. The winning works, and all the shortlisted books, show how important and diverse this art form is and together show just what an accessible and significant contribution poetry can make as children build a love of literature. ”
More than 1000 children from 80 schools took part in the Shadowing Scheme submitting between them nearly 130 films of children performing their favourite poems from the shortlist. The winning performers were invited to the National Theatre to meet the shortlisted poets and take part in specially planned theatre workshops. The winning children then performed on stage alongside the shortlisted poets before the winner announcement.
National Poetry Day’s 2016 theme of ‘messages’ was also announced today with CLiPPA award-winning poets Michael Rosen and Sarah Crossan calling on schools and children to ‘Say it with a Poem.’ Balloons featuring poems from the winning Shadowing Schools and the CLiPPA poets were released into the sky from the National Theatre from a spectacular poetic machine. Conceived by designer David Colombini, “Attachment” allows people to send digital messages, images or videos into the air attached to biodegradable balloons and highlights the power of poetry to convey a message.
Susannah Herbert, Executive Director, Forward Arts Foundation said: “On National Poetry Day, poetry takes centre stage, elbowing boring old prose aside. Children are instinctive poets: they love wordplay, rhythm, rhyme, breaking the rules and inventing joyful new combinations of sound and meaning. They know that anything you say with a poem will be remembered. So we’re thrilled to be launching this year’s NPD theme – Messages - here at the CLiPPA, which celebrates poetry written for children to enjoy, discover and, above all, to share.“
The 2016 Wicked Young Writer Awards announced its winners during a ceremony involving over 100 shortlisted finalists and their families and teachers at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, home of the multi award-winning musical Wicked.
Now in its 6th year, the awards encourage young people aged 5-25 years to use writing as a way of expressing themselves, producing unique and original pieces of prose and poetry. This year the standard of entries was higher than ever, revealing young people who are engaged in their communities and the world through their writing. The awards celebrate originality and the unique voice of the young writer.
Each year, thousands of entries are received across five age categories, with the addition in 2016, of the WICKED: FOR GOOD Award, encouraging 15–25 year olds to write essays or articles that recognise the positive impact that people can have on each other, their communities and the world in general. The new award celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical.
The ceremony was hosted by Gaby Roslin, TV and radio presenter, with prizes presented by Head Judge Cressida Cowell, bestselling author of the How to Train Your Dragon series of books.
Wicked cast members also performed songs from the hit musical, as well as readings of the winning entries, which were revealed as:
Joint winner: Aoife Stewart, 6, from Ealing London for ‘Problems in Potland’
Joint winner: George McGivern, 6 from Kent for ‘The King Who Hated Christmas’
Joint winner: Isla Whitford, 6 Kent for ‘William and the Dog Catcher’
Joint winner: Angelina Thakrar, 8 from Lewes for ‘The Day of the Dead’
Joint winner: Matilda Collins, 11 from Eastbourne for ‘Night Step’
Matilda said: “I wrote 'Night-Step' during one of my English lessons at school. We had been reading some fabulous description of settings from 'Skellig' by David Almond and I wanted to see if I could invent my own description of the night. I particularly like the night-time because it is very peaceful and, in the dark, when you can't see so much, all of your other senses come alive. I was able to write more about what I could hear, feel, and experience with my 'sixth sense'.
I love writing stories and descriptions because I feel that I can set free my imagination. I get a lot of my inspiration from my English lessons, with my teacher; from other great books that I have read, and from places that I have been to.”
Joint winner: Eilidh Laurie 12 from Stirling, Scotland for ‘As White as Snow’
Joint winner: Harry Watson, 14 from Enfield, London for ‘Prison Life: A Teenage Convict’s Perspective
Joint winner: Amber Marino, 15 from Sutton, Surrey for ‘The Journalist’
Joint winner: Charlotte Morgan, 16 from Bridport, Dorset for ‘Desire of the Soul’
Amber said: “The Journalist was inspired by two contrasting types of conflict, the brutality of war and barbaric nature of discrimination, which are implemented to highlight the true horror and mercilessness of the other. In History lessons, we’ve learned about the soldiers of WWI and WWII but the death toll and casualty numbers are so large they’re incomprehensible. However, during a trip to France and Belgium to visit the battlefields and memorials, these large figures dwindled to more personal and individual stories. This experience, coupled with influences from literature, compelled me to write about a soldier so the unsung heroes are made real and vivid in a fashion that statistics could never replicate. For example, War Poetry such as ‘Bayonet Charge’ and ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ illustrate the suffering and dispensable nature of young soldiers. Additionally, the novel ‘Private Peaceful’ plays a large role in my fascination of soldiers. Having a seventeen-year-old brother, I felt a connection to Tommo and the devastating impact war had on family and relationships.
Equally, homophobia and discrimination tore apart families and relationships in the same barbaric way that WWI and WWII did. During debates and discussions at school, I always felt passionate and strongly believed in equality so it is a theme I decided to include in my writing. Lots of progress has been made in modern day society since in 2013 same sex couples were allowed to marry. However, more subtle, even unconscious, forms of prejudice still exist in this country. In the media, somebody’s sexual orientation usually appears relevant and as a dominant trait if it is not heterosexual. When really, that is a part of somebody’s personal and private life and should be no more relevant than their shoe size. Gay characters in films and TV programmes can often fit a stereotype but I didn’t want my leading character to fall into that category, inspiring me to tell the story of somebody detailed and realistic who suffered two types of conflict equally as devastating as the other."
Winner: Fabiana Conte Luque, 25 from London for ‘Unforgettable Sounds’
For Good Category:
Joint winner: Isabelle Emma Stokes, 21 from Brighton
Joint winner: Sophie Arthur, 19 from Cheltenham, Glos
Amongst this year’s finalists were stories, poems and non-fiction writing showing the beginnings of real social awareness and conscience. Highlighted concerns included environmental disasters, the rights of women, arranged marriages, the plight of refugees around the world and more immediately, the homeless. A powerful and realistic cautionary tale showed the dangers and difficulties of life in a young offender’s prison. Fantastical ghost stories, wildly funny pet stories and great flights of imagination made the younger entries a joy to read.
Cressida Cowell said of the winners, “This year, my fellow judges and I read poems and stories that are poignant, amusing and captivating. They addressed really big issues, war, homelessness, prejudice, and abuse. There was an incredible range of styles and an array of brilliantly original voices, but they all had this in common: they made us judges feel something. ”
Horatio Clare and his editor Penny Thomas have won the 2016 Branford Boase Award given annually to the author and editor of the outstanding debut novel for children, for Horatio and the Terrible Yoot published by tiny independent Firefly Press.
Horatio Clare has won awards for his books for adults and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. Of writing for children he said: ‘I am absolutely lit up about writing for children. I feel there are no limits, their imaginations are so powerful, and I love being in dialogue with an imagined child reader. It is the most exciting writing I have yet discovered.’
On winning the award he said: ‘Winning this wonderful award means the world to me for three reasons. This is the book I am most proud of: it was written with heart and soul about something painful and important, but meant to read as a joy and an adventure.
It was not even given a chance at London publishers because it was not thought 'commercial', but the brilliant Firefly, run by Penny Thomas, grabbed it and made it happen.
It was funded by the Welsh Books Council: state support for writers in Wales is exemplary; I and many other Welsh writers are working to repay the support and faith placed in us by the executive and the people of Wales, with books which will travel and last. This award is theirs as much as mine.’
Founded in 2000 the Branford Boase Award has an impressive record in picking out future stars. Frances Hardinge, winner of this year’s Costa Book of the Year won the Branford Boase in 2006 while Meg Rosoff, recent recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, is also a previous winner, as are Marcus Sedgwick, Mal Peet, Siobhan Dowd and Kevin Brooks.
Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot describes how Aubrey, a ‘rambunctious’ boy, receives help from the wild animals in the woods around his home to break the depression that is weighing down his father. The source of the depression is a beetle, the Terrible Yoot, and through their encounter with it, Aubrey and his father discover the infinite wonder of the world.
Chair of the judges, children’s literature expert and children’s books editor of The Guardian Julia Eccleshare said, ‘Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is beautifully written and highly original, proof that children’s books is a very exciting place in which to write. Clare describes both the natural world and the misery of depression with extraordinary accuracy, and acknowledges a child’s power to imagine a better world. This year’s shortlist was particularly strong, a great representation of what authors are writing today. It is very exciting to think about what is to come from all the shortlisted authors.’
The Branford Boase Award is the only award to recognise the role of the editor in nurturing new talent.
Winning editor Penny Thomas said, 'I was bowled over by Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot from the minute I read it and so delighted to sign Horatio for Firefly. The book is funny, big-hearted and original and derives its brilliance from a superb use of language, an empathy for people and nature and a refusal to patronise the reader. It also has one of the best visionary endings I’ve ever read. I’m overjoyed for Horatio and for Firefly that the Branford Boase judges loved Aubrey too. It means an enormous amount to all of us at Firefly to win this unique award.’
Horatio Clare’s first book Running for the Hills, an acclaimed account of a Welsh childhood, won a Somerset Maugham Award, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and saw Horatio shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. His subsequent books included Truant, A Single Swallow, The Prince’s Pen and most recently the travelogue Down to the Sea in Ships, shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year Award 2015. Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is his first book for children.
Penny Thomas has a BA in English Language and Literature from Keble College Oxford and a lifelong passion for children’s books. She has worked as fiction editor for literary publisher Seren for ten years, where she has edited a number of award-winning titles. She and co-founder Janet Thomas set up Firefly Press in 2013 to publish quality fiction for 5-19 year olds. To date the press has published 20 titles including books by Shoo Rayner, Heather Dyer, Malachy Doyle, Wendy Meddour, Paul Magrs and Rhian Ivory, several of which have been listed for regional and Wales awards. Penny lives in Cardiff with her two teenage children.
Firefly Press is an independent children’s and YA publisher based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth. Set up in 2013, Firefly is the only dedicated children’s publisher in Wales and publishes quality fiction for 5-19 years olds. Their aim is to publish books by great authors and illustrators wherever they are from.
The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of prize-winning author Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, editorial director and one of the founders of Walker Books. Both Henrietta and Wendy died of cancer in 1999. The award is specifically to encourage new writers and to highlight the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent. It has an excellent record in identifying talented authors.
This year the judges are Russell Allen team leader for children’s services across the West Sussex Library Service, recently awarded Public Librarian of the Year; Simon Key, bookseller from the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green; Marion Lloyd, former children’s editor; and Rosie Rowell, author of Leopold Blue, winner of the 2015 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian.
The 2016 winners of the Award were announced on Thursday 7th July at a ceremony at Walker Books in London. Former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson OBE presented Horatio Clare with a cheque for £1,000 and both Horatio and Penny Thomas received a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.
Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime in Stories is an exclusive exhibition curated by Seven Stories, running from Saturday 2nd July 2016 – June 2017.
Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best loved story makers and this unique exhibition showcases, for the first time, the notebooks and manuscripts that have become the classics we know today, including War Horse (1982, Egmont), Private Peaceful (2003, Harper Collins), Kensuke's Kingdom (1999, Egmont) and The Butterfly Lion (1996, Harper Collins).
Kate Edwards, Seven Stories’ Chief Executive said: “Michael is one of the most influential authors of our time who has done more than most to harness the power of storytelling to touch the hearts and minds of young readers. It’s a privilege to be custodian of his archive and we are excited to be sharing its treasures through this exhibition.”
On display in the characteristically playful Seven Stories exhibition are draft manuscripts, photographs, notebooks and correspondence that chronicle Michael’s creative process and writing career. A replica of Michael’s creative caravan is reconstructed, so that visitors can imagine, daydream and pen story ideas, inspired by Michael’s beloved Devon. Surreally, vast amounts of orange school notebooks reveal themselves as an important repository for Michael’s first ideas and drafts.
The exhibition includes an atmospheric soundscape to introduce the various and familiar themes in Michael’s story telling - war, the countryside and farming, the Scilly Isles and friendship. As well as manuscripts for Michael’s novels, his archive also contains material relating to adaptations, in particular War Horse, first published in 1982 by Egmont. It had its premiere at the National Theatre in 2007 and almost 10 years later it has been made into a blockbusting film by Steven Spielberg. The stage production has been enjoyed by over 6 million people worldwide.
A handwritten draft of War Horse will be on display for the first time, showing how the story evolved from first draft to publication of the book, to adaptation for the National Theatre and Steven Spielberg film scripts. Props from stage and film including a goose puppet, on loan from the National Theatre, a maquette of the Joey puppet and a World War I painting that inspired War Horse, by war artist F. W. Reed are also on show.
Michael’s writing style is inspired by fact and real events, “Before you find a voice for a story, you have to find a voice as a writer. Before you find a voice as a writer there is something even more important – you have to find something to write about.
“It’s no good trying to write about what you don’t care about. You only find out what you care about when you discover what really motivates you to write. The more time you spend in “dream time“ living in your head where the story is, imagining how the people involved would feel - then you can lose yourself utterly in the story. That’s what I try to do.”
Taking inspiration from Michael’s daydreaming, Seven Stories has developed an exclusive new ‘The Dreamer’ show, which will lay with the idea of dream and reality and will encourage young visitors to pen their own stories. The performance will take place daily during the summer holidays.
Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s greatest living authors for children. His work spans 40 years and a career that has seen the publication of over 150 books for children, traversing wide-ranging topics that explore historical events, natural history and the environment, adventure and family life.
Morpurgo is a true champion of children and young people’s culture, creativity and their right to read and enjoy stories. He was instrumental in setting up the Children’s Laureateship in 1997, and his services to children’s literature were recognised in 2006 when he was awarded an OBE. In 2015 he donated his entire archive to Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books.
“I have known Seven Stories for a number of years and admired the way that it has worked quietly and diligently to fill an obvious gap in our culture by founding a National children’s literature archive and by using it to make amazing exhibitions” says Michael Morpurgo, explaining his reason for the donation. “We have a huge admiration for what everyone has done at Seven Stories – this is significant and it matters in the world of the arts. That’s an extraordinary thing to have created. It made sense to us that it should be the home for my stuff”.
Additional exhibition highlights include:
A replica ship wrecked boat, featured in Wreck of the Zanzibar (1995, Egmont).
A multi-sensory sculpture of Billy the Kid (2002, Harper Collins).
A playful under 5 area inspired by Mudpuddle Farm Series (Harper Collins) and It’s a Dog’s Life (2004, Egmont) with dress up and props.
Artwork loaned from some of Britain’s greatest illustrators, including Sir Quentin Blake, Patrick Benson and Michael Foreman.
Original material showing handwritten drafts of Private Peaceful (2003 Harper Collins), Why the Whales Came (2011, Egmont) and Kensuke’s Kingdom (1999, Egmont).
References and CVs from Morpurgo’s time working as a teacher, plus documents from his time as an army cadet at Sandhurst.
Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime of Stories will run at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books from Saturday 2nd July 2016 – June 2017, and will then tour Nationally. A digital exhibition will be available via www.sevenstories.org.uk from Monday 5th September 2016. Michael’s digitised archive will also be available to view via www.sevenstories.org.uk/collection from 1st July 2016.
The Savage, a new stage play for Live Theatre, Newcastle
by Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond
Tuesday 28th June 2016
Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond is adapting his uplifting illustrated novel The Savage for the stage, in his first full length commission for Live Theatre. The play has its World Premiere at Live Theatre, Newcastle, between Thursday 30th June to Saturday 23rd July 2016.
The Savage is a contemporary fable about creation and renewal, wildness and civilisation and the importance of creativity in making us whole. The novel is popular for reading in schools and also used discuss behaviour with young people.
David Almond, said: "It's a real thrill to be working with the great Live Theatre, to bring this story to vivid life in Newcastle, right on the banks of the river. Tyneside is my literary heartland. It's where my stories, my dreams and my language come from, and it's where the strange, scary, tender savage was born."
The Savage is a family friendly play suitable for ages 9+ with music, movement and eye-catching visuals that will appeal to young people, families and adults alike.
Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said: "It's great to have a writer of David's quality and reputation writing for Live Theatre. I'm very much looking forward to bringing David’s play to fruition moulding his rich lyrical writing with music and beautiful settings that will appeal to a wide age range of audience.”
In the play, Blue Baker wants to write a story. After the death of his dad and to escape the unwanted attention of Hopper, the neighbourhood bully, Blue imagines a ‘truely wild’ character - full of anger, adventure and thoughts of revenge. Life is dark and complicated and so is Blue’s story. Helped by his friend Elaine, his mum and baby sister Jess, he tries to discover where life starts and the story ends.
The Savage it is an uplifting contemporary fable about creation and renewal, wildness and civilisation. It shows the importance of creativity in finding consolation, redemption and fulfilment in the world around us.
The Savage has been commissioned to coincide with the launch of Live Tales, Live Theatre’s new writing centre for children. This new strand of Live Theatre’s education programme is an extension of its successful playwriting initiatives for young people. Live Tales will offer creative story writing sessions to pupils aged 7-12 from September 2016.
Max Roberts added: “David’s enthusiasm and support for Live Theatre has been enormous. We have commissioned The Savage to mark the opening of Live Tales, our new children’s writing centre, of which David is a champion.”
A series of events accompany the play including two free talks for audiences. In Live Tales Introduction, David Almond will discuss the importance of children’s writing and creativity, with Christina Castling from Live Theatre’s Education & Participation team, and discuss the plans for children’s writing centre Live Tales, of which he is a champion, following the 2pm performance of the play on Saturday 9th July. In a Meet the Writer Event David Almond and Director Max Roberts discuss the making of the play, and transforming the story for the stage, after the 7.30pm show on Tuesday 12th July. David will also be available for book-signing after this talk. Both events are free but booking is essential. David will also lead a Wild Writing Workshop between 11.30am and 1pm on Saturday 16th April, at Live Theatre. Participants will be encouraged to lose their writing inhibitions and explore their imagination to discover their inner wild writer. The Wild Writing Workshop costs £10, £6 concs and is suitable for young people age 9+ and adults.
For school groups a free 90 minute Telling TalesWorkshop is available for groups visiting daytime performances of the Savage at 2pm on Wednesday 6th July, 10.30pm on Tuesday 12th July, 1.30pm at Tuesday 19th July (also a captioned performance) and 10.30pm on Thursday 21st July (which is also designated as a relaxed performance for young people with special educational needs). Workshops have limited places and must be booked in advance.
Tickets for The Savage cost £22-£10 full price, £16-£12 over 60s concessions and £15-£6 for other concessions. For more information or to book tickets visit www.live.org.uk or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.
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