Quick Lit: April news

A round-up of the month’s Scottish children’s book news. 

Cranachan Bologna 210
Cranachan Books at the Scotland at Bologna stand

This may be a post about book news from Scotland, but much of the action this week is taking place in Italy, at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. A collective of Scottish publishers, illustrators and agents have had their talents and their latest titles on show there, at a stand and events hosted by Publishing Scotland.

At Bologna, it was announced that Andersen Press will publish a new middle-grade fantasy series from Glasgow-based author Ross MacKenzie. Evernight will be the first of three books from the Blue Peter Book Award-winning author, and was described as “a darkly-magical adventure story with a strong mixed-race heroine.” (We loved The Nowhere Emporium and can’t wait to get our hands on this one.)

Bologna was also the platform for Little Door Books to launch a crowd-funding campaign for their first Little Door Debuts title What Not to Get An Ogre for His Birthday, by Will Hughes.

Image from What not to Get an Ogre for His Birthday
One of Will Hughes’ illustrations from What Not to Give an Ogre…

Little Door, which started only three years ago, has seen success with titles including the Bookbug Prize-winning One Button Benny. The team are passionate about discovering and promoting new illustrating talent.

“Being a very small, indie picture-book publisher, we can only afford to publish three or four titles per year,” says author and founder Alan Windram. “We have set up this crowd-funding campaign to help raise money, not only to publish Will’s book, but more importantly, to provide a platform that will help Will gain maximum exposure for his work.” Find out more about the book and campaign at  crowdfunder.co.uk/little-door-debuts or via @littledoordebuts on twitter.

 Meanwhile, on Twitter, April is #KidBookBingo month – an initiative organised by Annaliese Avery to help raise the profile of great children’s books (not written by celebrities). The event spotlights a different book each day and encourages readers to post and share reviews on social media and sites like goodreads and amazon (with the chance to win book goodies). Flying the flag for Scottish authors is Alan Dapre, with Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Loch Ness Mess.

April Events

Soutar-Festival-FeatureA new literary festival launches in Perthshire this month. Starting on April 26, the Soutar Festival of Words will host over 20 events, including several with a children’s book/family focus. (More info and programme here). 

We particularly like the sound of Creating Characters, in which the (amazing) illustrator Kate Leiper will share some tips and reflect on her work, and Nip Nebs with Susi Briggs, a story and music session introducing her Scots language picture book (illustrated by Ruthie Redden) about Jack Frost. Liz MacWhirter, author of the YA story Black Snow Falling (which is very high on our TBR list) will appear in the Emerging Authors Showcase.

Lindsay Littleson’s much-anticipated middle-grade mystery: The Titanic Detective Agency (Cranachan) will be published on April 15, with a launch event at Waterstones Braehead on April 25. Fellow Cranachan author Ross Sayers will launch his book Sonny and Me, at Waterstones in Stirling, on May 16.

Thorfinn Dreadful Dragon 150Thorfinn the Nicest Viking and the Dreadful Dragon is the new title in David MacPhail’s Thorfinn the Nicest Viking series (Kelpies). David will be celebrating its launch at Waterstones Aberdeeen on Saturday, April 13.

And finally…a reminder for teachers that the deadline to apply for an author in residence for your school (through the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature scheme) is May 15. This is a fabulous, fully funded opportunity, which includes training, a grant for materials and 12 sessions with the author. More info here.

  • If you are organising a children’s book event or have some news to share, let us know via roaringreads@outlook.com or @roaringreads on twitter.

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