Category Archives: Writing for Kids

Writers & illustrators of children’s books

LBF: The Show

It wouldn’t be LBF without lots of famous faces. Unfortunately other commitments kept me away from the opening day, so I missed out what the International Authors Forum and LBF had designated as International Sir Terry Pratchett Day, to mark his phenomenal global success. Authors around the world will be asked to vote for their favourite Terry Pratchett character. Where do you start?

This year seemed at times to be somewhat quieter than 2013, but only the final stats will tell. It was great to see friends back again and to make new ones amid the rush and hubbub of the event. Katrine Konar from the Swedish publisher Fill & Tell paid a return visit to promote her wonderful memory books (all now available here) including dogs, horses and weddings as well as grandchildren and, of course, babies. I shouldn’t forget my favourite Fill & Tell character Låba, though sadly he’s not yet in translation.

Louise Jordan of the London based Writers’ Advice Centre, who kept me well supplied with bagels and chocolates, introduced her latest publishing venture Wacky Bee. This will see a range of children’s books offering light, pacey character-driven humorous stories but especially attention-grabbers. Check out her new site Wacky Bee for more info. Check back here for updates.


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LBF: New Writing Competition

A raft of supporters have lined up behind publisher Scholastic and Italian pen manufacturer Montegrappa to launch the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing announced at the show. The LBF, literary agents LBA Books and The Independent have joined the two main sponsors.

The organisers are looking for new talent for writing fiction for 7-12 years age group  –  open to unpublished authors aged over 18 from the UK and Ireland. The winner gets a publishing deal with Scholastic, plus a weekend for two in Venice to visit the home of Montegrappa and receive a handmade pen worth over £1000. Judges include: children’s author, Cbeebies presenter and Booktrust patron Cerrie Burnell; Samantha Smith, Fiction Publisher at Scholastic, Louise Lamont, children’s agent at LBA; Arifa Akbar, Books Editor of the Independent.

Time is tight for this competition with the first 5,000 words required by 2 June 2014. If you’re shortlisted then they need the rest of the story by August as the shortlist will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The winning novel will be revealed at next year’s LBF.

Is this you? Visit Scholastic for entry details.

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PiBoldMo 2013 Registration

Now registered as a ‘Participant’ this year. The 2012 event was my first attempt resulting in 30 story ideas, several rough drafts & even some thoughts on illustration. If writing for children is on your agenda give this one a go. Click on the link below right – PiBoldMo!

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LBF 2013 – Worth the wait

A little late reporting this, but just some brief comments on a great London Book Fair. Fascinating to see the digital section continuing to eat up more and more floor space. PEN, as usual, hosted a great range of interviews, but sometimes difficult to hear with the Russians opposite trying to shout down the speaker for their own benefit.

Always a delight to talk to Louise Jordan of the Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books. She’s a mine of information & comment. Always keen to meet new people so well worth potential writers checking her website This has nothing to do with the never-ending bowl of chocolates she had on her stand!

Can there be a market for all the books on display in the Children’s Zone. Judging by visitor interest and the packed talks in the Children’s Innovation Theatre, certainly.

Swedish Made

It’s always interesting to talk with overseas publishers – in this case Fill and Tell AB over from their offices in Sweden. Stand manager Katrine Konar introduced me to Låba – a wonderful little character who endeared himself to me straight away.


Proffsig_Låba new

These little interactive books, featuring Fredrik Einvall’s illustrations, were magic. Perhaps a distributor over here will find him quirky enough to take on board. Let’s hope their visit to LBF 2013 was worthwhile and we see them all back again next year.

Booki Reader

Watch out for this 8″ touch-screen e-reader aimed at 2 to 6 year olds. It should be hitting the marketplace in September. Shaped like a bear it includes voice recording and comes with 30 titles pre-installed. It’s Android based with 8Gb of flash memory check out

Cup Cake Mania

Our insatiable appetite for cup cakes brought eager visitors to Make Believe Ideas stand who were promoting Camilla the Cupcake Fairy as well as an enchanting Mouston Abbey book .  Their spring catalogue features some amazing sticker books complete with carrying handles!

LBF 2013 D755 a

  Fairies Jane & Hannah tempt visitors to the stand with freshly made cup cakes decorated while-u-wait.

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