- Battle of the Book and The History Mystery
Ever heard of the Battle of the Book? No? Well, it’s not quite as violent as it sounds, but it is just as exciting.
From the end of January, five schools in the Fingal area have put their fifth class students out to battle one another – not with pointy spears but with knowledge! Over the next couple of months, these two hundred students will read The History Mystery by Ana Maria Machado and come together for a giant quiz in May. This event will be hosted by RTE in Dublin Airport and all two hundred readers will be tested on their knowledge of the book – its characters, themes, storyline and everything in between.
The participating schools are St Colmcille’s Girls School, Swords, St Mary’s National School Garristown, St Patrick’s SNS, Skerries, Bracken Educate Together, Balbriggan, Rush National School and Scoil Mhuire, Howth.
Battle of the Book was launched in the Council Chamber in County Hall Swords on Thursday 29th January, and two or three representatives from each of the participating schools came along to meet the Fingal librarians, the Deputy Mayor and our publishing manager Gráinne Clear. They brought their teachers along too to carry big boxes of books back to their schools in preparation for the upcoming battle. After officially launching the reading programme, the Deputy Mayor Ted Leddy surprised the pupils and this little publisher with a visit to the Mayors office!
Every month there will be an event that relates to a topic in the book, many of which will be hosted by the brilliant author herself – Ana Maria Machado. She is one of the most significant children’s book authors in Brazil and has written more than a hundred books for children and adults. In the year 2000, Ana Maria was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award for her life work, the most significant international prize for children’s literature.
Keep an eye on our blog for updates on her events and the outcome of the battle and click here for more about The History Mystery.
- Deirdre Sullivan shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature
Our superb author Deirdre Sullivan has just been shortlisted for one of the biggest prizes for emerging talents in the field of contemporary fiction – the EU Prize for Literature 2015 – and we couldn’t be prouder or more excited for her! The two other shortlisted authors from Ireland are Donal Ryan for The Spinning Heart and Mary Costello for Academy Street, and they’ll be up against Deirdre’s Primperfect – the final instalment in her Primrose Leary trilogy – for the prize.
Not only is this nomination a superb recognition of Deirdre’s own work, but also shows a hugely encouraging step forward in placing adult and young adult books on a par under the banner of excellent literature. The panel of judges for the awards have made a strong and reassuring statement with this shortlist that books for young people are as important and as challenging to produce as those written for more mature readers. And how fantastic is that?
Ireland is one of 12 countries who will choose a national winner of the EU Prize for Literature in 2015, and all 12 winners will be announced on April 14th during the London Book Fair. The aim of the award is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of contemporary European literary fiction, to promote literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.
The €5,000 prize is financed by the Creative Europe programme of the EU whose objective is to achieve three main goals: to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural dialogue.
Conor Kostick, president of the Irish jury, said: ‘We were all extremely impressed by the high quality of entries and also struck by the tone of the novels and short story collections published by Irish writers in the last few years, which overall was a dark one … We are also very pleased that a young-adult novel has made the shortlist. Ireland has a notable tradition of successful literary works for young adults and in Deirdre Sullivan’s work we see an emerging voice of tremendous vivacity.’
The Irish jury consists of :
Conor Kostick, former chairperson of the Irish Writers’ Union, board member of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency and author of 14 books of fiction and history, including the award-winning Epic;
Fergal Tobin, who was publishing director of Ireland’s largest publishing house for more than 20 years and was president of the Federation of European Publishers from 2010 to 2012;
Nessa O’Mahony, who has published four volumes of poetry, including a verse novel.
Stephen Boylan, books category manager for Eason’s, the largest suppliers of books in Ireland. He also reviews books for RTÉ.
Louise Phillips, bestselling author of the psychological crime thrillers, Red Ribbons, The Doll’s House and Last Kiss.
Congratulations to our wonderful Deirdre Sullivan – we’ll have every finger crossed for you on April 14th!
- UK YA Easter Egg Hunt!
Welcome to the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt! One very lucky winner will win a huge grand prize of signed books by over thirty YA authors who write and live in the UK. As far as I know I’m the only Northern Irish writer taking part.
I’m super generous and am donating THREE of my books, Taking Flight (2010), Grounded (2012) and the brand-new Still Falling – just out! As you’re reading this blog on my Irish publisher Little Island’s website, you can see what a lot of other great YA titles they publish.
All you have to do is read this blog, count up how many UKYA branded Easter eggs you see in the blog, and follow the link at the end to the next blog. Keep going until you get back to the blog where you started, and add up how many eggs you’ve seen along the way. (I don’t know how many eggs other writers will include but I’ve made mine quite easy as I’m not the best counter-upper in the world myself. I spent my Maths classes writing stories in the back of my jotter, and funnily enough I never became a mathematician, but I DID become a writer.)
Email your answer to: UKYA2015egghunt@gmail.com. A winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries, and contacted by email.
This closes at noon (UK time) on Sunday, 5th April, and is open internationally.
So get finding those eggs! And some awesome UKYA authors and books along the way. And while you’re here on our Little Island, check out their other fab YA titles.