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Rising Stars Wales Award 2020

New initiative launched to find talented children’s poets from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds based in Wales

If you write poetry for children and come from an under-represented background in Wales, a new award run by Literature Wales and Firefly Press, could be great news!

The Rising Stars Wales Award aims to discover new talent, provide opportunities and spotlight emerging writers of all ages from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, living in Wales.

We’re looking for up to five individuals who write poetry for children aged 8-12 years old.  

This opportunity is open to emerging poets of all ages, and entry is free. Prizes include a cash prize of £250, sponsored by Quarto Translations and the chance to stay at a writer’s retreat in North Wales, worth £400.

And the organisers hope that as well as discovering and nurturing talent, this call-out could also lead to a poetry anthology and events for primary school children in Wales.

Firefly Press publisher, Penny Thomas said: 'We’re so excited to launch the Rising Stars call-out, and would encourage anyone who is thinking of entering to go right ahead and do so! Firefly publishes for 5-19 year olds and is always looking for new writers for these age groups from diverse backgrounds. It’s so important that all children can see themselves in the stories they read.'

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: 'The literature sector is vibrant and diverse but true representation is still a long way off, and our priorities will address these inequalities of access and opportunities. To achieve this, we will continue to work with partners to amplify unheard voices. This isn’t about excluding anyone. It is about creating equal and fair access to artistic innovation and professional development.'

To enter, budding poets need to submit between three and five poems by the deadline of Friday 11 November to post@literaturewales.org

For more information go to:

English: https://www.literaturewales.org/lw-news/rising-stars-wales-award-2020/

Cymraeghttps://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/lw-news/gwobr-rising-stars-cymru-2020/

Eloise Williams named first Children’s Laureate Wales

Huge congratulations to Firefly author Eloise Williams who has been selected as the first Children's Laureate Wales (2019-2021). This new national ambassadorial post run by Literature Wales, aims to engage and inspire the children of Wales through literature, and to promote a child’s right to have their stories and voices heard.


 
Eloise was one of the first authors to be published by Firefly Press in 2015, after her first story for children, Elen's Island, was shortlisted for the Firefly Children's Book Award. The story, for 7-9 year olds, is set on a magical island off the coast of Pembrokeshire and reflects Eloise's love of the sea and the Welsh coast which echoes through her other books, Gaslight and Seaglass, both for 8-12 year olds. Eloise's fourth book, Wilde, will publish with Firefly Press in May 2020.
 
Firefly publisher Penny Thomas said: ‘Eloise has a talent for creating magical setting and characters in her books, and for engaging children in stories and reading. She will make a wonderful first children's laureate and we are extremely proud to be her publisher.'
 
Eloise Williams worked as a touring actor and creative practitioner for over a decade before becoming a children’s writer. Her novel, Gaslight - which was written with the support of a Literature Wales New Writer’s Bursary - won the Wales Arts Review Young People’s Book of the Year 2017, the YBB Book Awards 2018, and was shortlisted for the Tir na nOg Awards 2018. Her latest novel for young people, Seaglass, was also shortlisted for the Tir na nOg Awards in 2019, and the North East Book Awards 2019.
 

  

A regular speaker at festivals and events, Eloise uses her drama skills to engage young people in children’s literature and now finds herself onstage more than she ever did as a professional actor.
 
Eloise said: 'I’ve always loved stories. The joy of losing yourself in a good story is simply magical. Stories connect us, give us empathy and understanding, exercise our brains and imaginations, let us travel the world and experience the greatest wonders.
 
'Children’s literature is thriving and there couldn’t be a more exciting time to be involved in its growth in Wales. I feel passionately that there is a connection between children’s books and the hope I feel every time I walk into a classroom. I truly believe that young readers will make our futures bright and I’m honoured to be a part of that.'
 
The Children’s Laureate Wales will work alongside the Welsh-language equivalent, Bardd Plant Cymru, primarily working with children between the ages of 5-13. Eloise was appointed following a public call-out for writers to express their interest in the role.
 
The Children’s Laureate Wales will visit a number of schools, clubs, festivals and events across Wales during their two-year tenure, as well as devising and delivering bespoke activity with Literature Wales’ target client groups.

Read Eloise Williams' letter to the children of Wales
 
To arrange a Children’s Laureate Wales school visit, or to discuss other activity, email Literature Wales on: childrenslaureate@literaturewales.org.

Back to School Half Price Sale!

STOP PRESS! We are selling all Firefly books published before 30 August 2019 at half price plus free P&P to all registered schools in the UK. Browse our catalogue on the website and place your order at hello@fireflypress.co.uk

 

Cupcakes, detectives, foxes, witches and zumbies, we have a book for every child this autumn

 


For ages 9+  £6.99  Published 5 September
Catherine O'Flynn

The Times Children’s Book of the Week

Lori wants to be a detective but, so far, the most exciting mystery she has solved is the disappearance of her nan’s specs down the side of the sofa. Max is the new girl at school and Lori is asked to look after her. Max is odd. She doesn’t fit in – but then Lori doesn’t really fit in either.

When some charity money goes missing and Max disappears, Lori seems to be the only person who doesn’t think Max has stolen it and run away. Even the police don’t want to investigate and suddenly Lori finds she has a real crime on her hands.
 
Praise for Lori and Max

'This thrilling, funny, perceptive detective story is in a class of its own.'
The Times Children’s Book of the Week

'A wittily told detective story about two eccentric and endearing girls - it’s a real page-turner.' Jacqueline Wilson

'the story is by turns funny, sad and challenging but always engrossing and a true page-turner.' BookTrust 

‘Full of wit, hope, friendship and all the clever clues and twists you’d expect from a story with ‘detecting’ at its core.’ Library Girl and Book Boy

Buy Lori and Max here with free P&P

 

 
For ages 11+  £7.99  Publishing 11 September
Anna Mainwaring

Jesobel Jones is bold and beautiful. The daughter of a hand model and a washed-up rock star, she sees no need to apologise for her rambling house, her imperfect family, her single status ... or her weight. Jess makes her own cupcakes and she eats them, too. That is, until Own Clothes Day when a wardrobe malfunction leaves Jess exposed, and a mean girl calling her the one thing that’s never bothered her before: fat.

Pre-order Rebel with a Cupcake with free P&P here


 


For ages 9+  £6.99  Publishing 12 September
Jennifer Killick

 
Latest in the hilarious Alex Sparrow series

The Zumbies are on the rampage – members of the Cherry Tree Lane zumba class are apparently dying and then mysteriously coming back to life!

Alex, Jess and Dave have to put a stop to it before Alex’s mum and nan join the living Zumba dead or there’ll be no family Christmas.

But why are the Zumbies curiously drawn to the Christmas lights? What does the Octopus sign mean? And who is the evil genius behind it all?

Praise for Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse:

'Christmas has turned creepy on Cherry Tree Lane. Beware the Zumbies'  Charlie Crisp, aged 9
 
'It's the best book we've ever read,' Kestrel Class, Year 4, Holy Cross Primary School, Liverpool


Pre-order Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse with free P&P here

 



For ages 7+  £6.99  Publishing 30 September
Sharon Marie Jones
 
Sequel to Grace Ella: Spells for Beginners

Grace-Ella is nervous and excited to go to Witch Camp, with her cat Mr Whiskins, of course. She is put in a cabin with Dilys, Mati and Aisha. Grace-Ella likes them all. But when Dilys’s broomstick flying goes very wrong, and Mati convinces them breaking the rules and going into the woods at night is the only way to help her, Grace-Ella finds herself on a real adventure. Will she be able to save her friends?

Praise for Grace Ella: Witch Camp

'Absolutely enchanting - a spell-binding tale of friendship and magic.' Claire Fayers
 
'Shimmers with magic, friendship and adventure.' Julie Sykes
 
'Bubbling with magic, bravery and friendship.' Bookloverjo
 
'Prepare to be bewitched ... An awesome read.' Nina, Family Bookworms
 
'The young witches need to find courage and self-belief to succeed ... a thoroughly uplifting and satisfying read.' Wendy White

Pre-order Grace Ella: Witch Camp with free P&P here






For ages 9+  £6.99  Publishing 3 October
Catherine Fisher
 
Sequel to the award-winning The Clockwork Crow

Orphan Seren Rhys is enjoying her first summer at Plas-y-Fran. But as autumn arrives, it brings with it a mysterious new governess who seems intent on drawing Tomos away from Seren and his family.
 
Dangerous figures from a bewitched toy carousel stalk the house and, fearing the worst, Seren calls on the clockwork crow to help her. But can he reach her in time, and will Tomos be able to escape the magical creatures threatening to ensnare him, led by the Velvet Fox?


'A writer whose strange magic is impossible to resist.' Daniel Hahn

'Catherine Fisher has woven her magic once more, twisting fairy tales, folklore and fantasy into a spellbinding tale.' Family Bookworms

'A magical thriller with a difference.' Amanda Craig

Pre-order The Velvet Fox with free P&P here

 

Firefly Press acquires YA thriller by Nicola Davies

We are super excited to announce that we have acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Skull Gully, the first novel in an environmental thriller trilogy Speakers by Nicola Davies, from Veronique Baxter of David Higham.

Skull Gully is set in a world where Speakers, who can communicate with animals, were once revered but are now shunned and hunted by government forces. So when Harlon’s younger brother and sister, Ash and Xeno, began lining up robins and mice in the garden, their parents packed the whole family off to a place where no one would find them. But now they have…
 
Penny Thomas, Firefly Press Publisher, says: 'Nicola is a wonderful writer whose books for younger children are deservedly much loved. Skull Gully is a riveting rollercoaster ride for older readers through our perceptions of the natural world and what binds us to it. We are so delighted to be working with Nicola and publishing this terrific and important novel.'
 
Skull Gully is publishing in spring 2021.