News round-up: The search for the next JK Rowling continues…
Are you the next JK Rowling?
Writers who fancy themselves as the next JK Rowling are being invited to submit entries to a national children’s book writing competition. The competition, which is open to previously unpublished authors over the age of eighteen, carries a first prize of £2,000, with second and third prizes of £300 and £200 respectively.
The competition is run by The Academy of Children’s Writers and a spokesperson said competition is fierce.
"This is the most prestigious competition for unpublished authors of children’s books in the UK. With over two thousand entries received in 2009 it proved that writers everywhere are on the alert to hear the announcement that the competition is up and running every year."
Independent judges will read the entries and they will be looking for qualities such as originality, imagination, and how the story will appeal to children.
The closing date for receipt of entries is 31st March 2010. Details of winners will be sent to all entrants.
Entry forms, along with competition rules, are available on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope from The Academy of Children’s Writers. PO Box 95, Huntingdon, Cambridge, PR28 5RL.
Alternatively download the information from the website at: www.childrens-writers.co.uk
Source: Bexhill Observer
Steven Erikson versus R. Scott Bakker
ED Kain compares the virtues of Canada’s leading fantasy writers in a very interesting article on The League of Ordinary Gentlemen website. Read the piece in full here.
“And that’s my take on the Erikson vs. Bakker question. Read both authors, but only read Bakker if you want something really, really painfully dark. Erikson’s work is violent and dark, too, but it’s palatable. There’s some comic relief, and you (mostly) like the characters, which is always nice. That’s also one of Martin’s strengths. Even his anti-heroes have a good side, or at least a side we can relate to.“
Source: The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Post-Christmas book sales down on last year
January sales have had book-buyers flocking to the high street but post-Christmas sales are down on last year. In total, £28.2m was spent at UK book retailers, including online, last week – down 26.6% on the previous week and 9.7% year on year.
The high street performed slightly better, with sales through Nielsen BookScan’s General Retail Market, a strong indicator of high street bookshop performance, down a shallower 7%, to £18.6m year on year.
Source: The Bookseller
Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Samarkand is The Telegraph’s January book choice
Once upon a time, in children’s literature, the young protagonist’s best friend would be a faithful hound or well-groomed horse. Since Harry Potter, though, all that’s changed. In our January book choice, The Amulet of Samarkand, our hero’s constant companion is not a lovable, furry animal, but a smoke-emitting, wisecracking demon called Bartimaeus, who not only doesn’t like children, but absolutely can’t stand being summoned and bossed around by them.
Read this article in full here.