The best-selling author, who receives hundreds of fan letters each week, told The Independent that children from Eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal all had better spelling and grammar than British children.
“They’re writing in English, and apologising for their English, yet these letters will be more grammatical and spelt more properly than [those from] our own children. It’s quite extraordinary.” Around 90 per cent of children who write to her cannot even spell Jacqueline correctly, she said, adding that standards had slipped in the two decades that children had regularly written to her.
Adobe has been on a mission over the last year to better understand where digital publishing is headed. As well as working with publishers using its Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to push out tablet editions, Adobe has been meeting with these partners to get a feel of the state of tablet publishing.
Now, 12 months later, Adobe has compiled the results of its research that should be of particular interest to magazine publishers, advertising agencies and media ad buyers.
David Almond welcomes a new publishing imprint by Pushkin books which will concentrate solely on international children’s fiction
Millions of children are missing out on the best books in the world because so few are translated into English, according to award-winning children’s author David Almond.
The Felling-born novelist, whose book Skellig won the Carnegie Medal in 1998 and was made into a film starring Tim Roth, said more needed to be done to bring international best-sellers to this country after figures showed translated fiction accounts for less than 3% of all books sold in the UK.
Almond, who lives in Northumberland, said: “Children need to read the best books by the best writers from all parts of the world. Of course they do.
“But the plain fact is that there is very little translated children’s fiction published in the UK, and our children are missing out.”
He said the launch of a new publishing imprint by Pushkin books which will concentrate solely on international children’s fiction was “a bold new venture”.
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
The Expats by Chris Pavone (Crown Publishers)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
The Last Policeman: A Novel by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)
BEST FACT CRIME
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted
the Last Days of Old China by Paul French (Penguin Group USA – Penguin Books)
The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics
by James O’Brien (Oxford University Press)
BEST SHORT STORY
“The Unremarkable Heart” – Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance
by Karin Slaughter (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company – Mulholland Books)
The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo (Abrams – Amulet Books)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Disney Publishing Worldwide – Hyperion)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“A Scandal in Belgravia” – Sherlock, Teleplay by Steven Moffat (BBC/Masterpiece)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
“When They Are Done With Us” – Staten Island Noir
by Patricia Smith (Akashic Books)
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego & Redondo Beach, CA
ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, May 1, 2013)
The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
Full lists of the nominees are on ther weblink:
Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan’s most recent novel, is published in paperback next week. In the course of an interview with the Telegraph, he has this to say of John le Carré:
“I think [le Carré] has easily burst out of being a genre writer and will be remembered as perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He will have charted our decline and recorded the nature of our bureaucracies like no one else has. But that’s just been his route into some profound anxiety in the national narrative. Most writers I know think le Carré is no longer a spy writer. He should have won the Booker Prize a long time ago. It’s time he won it and it’s time he accepted it. He’s in the first rank.”
At the heart of the retrospective is a large collection of Blyton typescripts and rare artefacts formerly in the private collection of her eldest daughter, Gillian Baverstock, who died in 2007.
These will be of little interest to those small and lucky enough to be reading Blyton for the first time. Instead, young visitors are invited to open a wooden desk in a mock Mallory Towers classroom and find a whoopee cushion; climb into the Secret Seven club house or sit in Noddy’s car. Many will finally discover what a lacrosse stick looks like.
But grown-up visitors will be intrigued to see how little editing Blyton’s manuscripts needed. She would cross out the odd word, insert an adjective here and there, but what was published was more or less what she battered out with two frantic fingers on the typewriter, also on display in Newcastle.
Seven Stories is expecting the retrospective to be its most popular since it opened in 2005, surpassing its Gruffalo exhibition which closed at Easter. Just another feather in Blyton’s cap.
Simon and Schuster Children’s Books UK [have] announced a partnership with Box of Awesome, a unique new initiative delivering boxes of free goodies to children across the UK. Described as ‘a free Birchbox for kids’, Box of Awesome aims to solve the discovery and noise problems faced by consumer companies targeting children and teenagers.
As well as collaborating with major brands aimed at the youth market, Box of Awesome has a policy of including a book in every box, to encourage a culture of reading amongst the target audience. The company has teamed up with Simon & Schuster Children’s books to feature books from bestselling authors and series, including Zom-B by Darren Shan and Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell.
Find out more on http://www.boxofawesome.tv/
Extracted from a rather good profile of Peter Sis:
Sis admits that his approach to storytelling — described by some as “cerebral” — has been a strength as well as a deficit, especially in the face of editors who weren’t sure that his sensibility was right for kids. He came over originally as an animator, and found this reaction to be a continuity between the two fields.
“I started to shop my own ideas, and very often I would be told that it’s too cerebral and it’s not American and lots of people told me to go back to Belgium,” he said. “Then the same thing started to happen in the books. They said your ideas are way too serious, too cerebral.”
The un-American quality of Sis’ work became a reason for some editors to attempt micro-managing, to the point where they were directing him to draw bigger eyes on faces, so his characters didn’t look as foreign. Eventually, Sis was able to adapt ordinary American aspects to his stories in a more natural way.
Sis adds at the end of this piece:
“All those houses that I used to know 25 years ago, now it’s down to three big corporations, which are merging and merging. It used to be seven different publishing houses, which had their own identity. In that sense it’s very difficult. Illustrators will be dealing with basically three art directors, who will have to decide if this fits the mainstream market.
“Maybe it’s because I’ve been around the block too long. Could be that when we get older, we get more skeptical. Maybe there will be some other new ways how to do it, but I don’t know at the moment. I’m in this situation where I feel a lot like Maurice Sendak, that there is no publishing left, there are only three editors.”
A highly recommended podcast:
Michael Rosen goes to Berlin to follow the trail of one of his favourite children’s books, Emil and the Detectives. He is giving the book pride of place at the Brighton Festival, which he is guest directing
The shortlist for the Branford Boase Award 2013 was announced yesterday. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.
For the second year running, over 60 books were submitted for the award, an indication of the wealth of talent amongst new authors for children, and of UK publishers’ enthusiasm to nurture and promote them. The shortlist is particularly varied and includes outstanding novels for young readers, historical romances, a ghost story, a challenging dystopian thriller and a time-travel adventure set in 16th century London, the last by a writing duo. The seven shortlisted books are:
- After the Snow by S D Crockett, edited by Emma Young (Macmillan)
- The Things We Did for Love by Natasha Farrant, edited by Julia Heydon-Wells (Faber)
- Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker)
- A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour, edited by Janetta Otter-Barry (Frances Lincoln)
- Black Arts by Andrew Prentice & Jonathan Weil, edited by Simon Mason (David Fickling)
- A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton, edited by David Fickling (David Fickling)
- A World Between Us by Lydia Syson, edited by Sarah Odedina (Hot Key)
This year the judges are Joy Court, Learning Resources Manager for Coventry City Council; Prue Goodwin, consultant and lecturer in children’s literature; Julie Randles, former Managing Director of Scholastic Book Clubs; and Annabel Pitcher, author of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, winner of last year’s Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of The Guardian.
Julia Eccleshare says: ‘This year’s longlist was exceptionally strong and the shortlisted books are extremely accomplished. Here are eight really interesting authors, doing really interesting things in their writing.’
The winner of the 2013 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 11th July at a ceremony in London. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box in the shape of a book.