I know many of you could not make the Children’s Books Ireland Conference today in the Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire, here are some notes and thoughts on the day…
Signatories including Robert Dunbar and John Boyne sign protest letter to Irsih Times
This newspaper recently published a profile of Michael O’Brien whose O’Brien Press celebrated 40 years of publishing this year. “Down the years, the company has broken new ground for the domestic trade in the fields of culture, conservation and environment, true crime and, most strikingly, children’s literature,” Mick Heaney commented in his profile.
How disappointing then to learn that the Arts Council has chosen to reward this 40 years of achievement by handing the press an 84 per cent reduction in its grant – from €63,000 in 2014 to a mere €10,000 in 2015.
It achieved this drastic cut by moving the publisher from regular funding to the Title-by-Title Scheme, a scheme designed to support the costs of individual titles by publishers not in receipt of any other funding.
Of the 14 titles submitted by O’Brien Press, a mere two were funded. The clear signal from the council is that Ireland’s leading publisher of children’s books, and one of Ireland’s leading publishers of adult books is undeserving of serious support.
Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) has announced the line-up for Stories Are For Everyone, a year-long campaign to get children across Ireland reading.
Throughout October, the first month of the campaign, local authors including Louise O’Neill, Nicola Pierce and Andrew Whitsun, will read from their books in libraries and schools, alongside international authors such as the German writer Binette Schroeder, American Dav Pilkey and Jeremy Strong from the UK.
Sarah Webb’s summer children’s books roundup for the Irish Independent:
Sarah Webb, writing in the Irish Independent:
THERE has been a lot of doom and gloom about the state of the Irish book trade in the press recently. Happily, however, children’s books are holding their own and now account for up to 25 per cent of overall book sales, a figure which is increasing year on year.
The next big event on the calendar is the Children Books Ireland Conference, where our newly minted Laureate will be joined by fashion illustrator and milliner turned book guru David Roberts (Dirty Bertie), spoken word darling and best friend of Adele (yes, that Adele), Laura Dockrill, and US picture book maker, Leslie Patricelli.
Taking place at the cool Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin, next Saturday and Sunday, it’s a must for anyone who wants to find out more about children’s books.
For further info about the world of children’s books visit www.childrensbooksireland.ie
There was a time when contemporary Irish fiction for young adults was thin on the ground.
Not so any more, says Irish author Natasha Mac a’Bháird. “I was always disappointed when I was younger that there were so few books set in Ireland. But I love reading teenage fiction now. You get to read about the Leaving Cert instead of high school or A Levels.”
Natasha’s latest book, her first for teenagers, is Missing Ellen, and it tells the story of the friendship between Maggie and Ellen.
Novelist Eoin Colfer has been named as the third Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s laureate for children’s literature.
The former primary school teacher, best known for his Artemis Fowl series, said: “I feel incredibly honoured and incredibly petrified to be taking on the Laureate mantle” after the work of his predecessors Siobhán Parkinson and Niamh Sharkey.
The shortlist for the 24th CBI Book of the Year Awards was revealed today, Tuesday March 18th 2014. Each of the eight titles will compete for the high caliber awards, which includes the innovative ‘Children’s Choice Award’ voted for by young readers located across the country. The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on May 13th.
The shortlisted titles are:
The Sleeping Baobab Tree by Paula Leyden
Warp The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer
Heart Shaped by Siobhán Parkinson
Hagwitch by Marie- Louise Fitzpatrick
Too Many Ponies by Sheena Wilkinson
Skulduggery Pleasant Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy
Mysterious Traveller illustrated by P.J. Lynch
The Day the Crayons Quit illustrated by Oliver Jeffers