While researching his next novel, author Julian Sedgwick arranged to make a journey right into the heart of the lands devastated by earthquake, tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. In our first guest blog, he writes about his travels in Japan, gives us an eyewitness account of a landscape that, eleven years after its triple disaster, hovers between decay and blossoming life. He meets its residents, and its ghosts.
The British Book Industry has a monstrous fair-trade and exploitation issue skulking beneath the surface which is slowly suffocating everything – it needs to be dragged in to the light and be seen for what it is. Discussion about having a fair-trading arrangement for the production and selling of books needs to be moved up a gear; we need a pricing agreement that is coupled with a covenant about the fair treatment of authors.
In December 2017 we wrote a letter and, enclosing a book, sent it to Theresa May, British Prime Minister. The letter set out the impact of library closures, the loss of employed, qualified librarians and the loss of funding for the purchase of new books, on the children and adults who use them today, on the future of literacy in this country and also on the British book industry as a whole. This is what we wrote:
There are a great many jobs dependent on the way that events turn now; and not just the jobs of booksellers, but of authors and illustrators, those working within publishing houses both big and small, and the great chain of designers, printers and distributors involved in our industry. We need to be careful not to talk about the tensions in this complex industry as if they were a mere scrap between the playground bullies and the geeky kids.
Is World Book Day a celebration of writing for children, or has it become a celebrity marketing exercise? We are lucky enough to be living in a truly great age of children’s book writing, to fill a day of book celebrations with celebrity is completely unnecessary; this year they had an entire casket of shining jewels to choose from, and they picked out the synthetic ones.
We were invited, by writer Nicola Davies and illustrator, Jackie Morris, to organise a project to get 100 copies of a new picture book, called The Day War Came, into Parliament. The purpose is to offer the support of a collective of the country's most prominent and prolific authors, illustrators and poets, for the reopening of The Dubs Scheme to protect 3000 lone child refugees. We set Tamsin to work writing the letter that would accompany the books and, using our connections and many wonderful offers of help, we got the support of the extraordinary list of people (or list of...
For decades the Graphic Novel was felt to be the reserve of the nerdy and of those who couldn’t face a ‘proper book’. But Graphic Novels have an important place in our cultural canon both in this country, and as a genre that links cultures across the world. Will Eisner’s work in the late 1970s is often credited with being the first Graphic Novel form, but there is a huge body of work that is of great importance to both adults’ and children’s literature that pre-dates it by decades, even centuries. Herge’s ‘Tintin’ books, and Goscinny and Uderzo’s ‘Asterix’ Series’ both told complete tales...