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Tir na n-Og Awards 2018

We were delighted to have two titles shortlisted for the Tir na n-Og Awards 2018, Gaslight by Eloise Williams and The Jewelled Jaguar by Sharon Tregenza. The Tir na n-Og Awards are sponsored by CILIP Cymru Wales and presented annually by the Welsh Books Council to honour original work by authors and illustrators of children's books in Welsh and English.
It was a stonkingly good shortlist this year. Find out more here. 
The English award ceremony was held at the National Library of Wales as part of the CILIP Cymru Wales conference at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
Here is Firefly editor Janet Thomas with Sharon Tregenza at the ceremony.

And here are the shortlisted authors together.

Congratulations to Hayley Long who won this year's Award!

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury launch party

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury by Jennifer Killick was published this month with a brilliant launch party at Waterstones Uxbridge with storytelling, fun activities, hedgehog petting and plenty of laughs.  
Catching the school’s runaway guinea pigs is not really giving Alex job satisfaction, but how can he find a bigger test for his and Jess’s awkward superpowers? Jess is more worried about the bullied new boy, whose Mum runs the local animal sanctuary. To befriend him she gets a voluntary job there, but she soon realises that something is very wrong; the animals are terrified. People start reporting strange events: things missing, property destroyed, and the local squirrels have turned mean. The police have no suspects. It looks more and more like a job for Agent Alex...
Praise for Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury: 
Selected for the Summer Reading Challenge 2018.
'Cracking adventure full of daft stunts, villainous villains and one far-too-cute hedgehog.’ James Nicol
'A non-stop, action packed, laugh out loud adventure that will keep you turning the pages until you’ve devoured the whole story.' bookloverjo
'Exploring friendship, both the human and the animal kind, Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury is snortingly good fun.' My Book Corner

Firefly at Cardiff Children's Literature Festival

Calling all bookworms…

The Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival is now in its 6th year, running across two weekends with free school events mid-week. With over 40 ticketed events, FREE craft sessions and an extensive programme of school events running across iconic venues across the city centre including Cardiff Castle, City Hall, National Museum Wales and Cardiff Story.
The festival, aimed predominantly at children ages 3-11, continues to create lifelong readers whilst entertaining and enthusing them about reading. Events include writing workshops, book readings, craft activities, quizzes and games and the occasional appearance of a character or two!
You can catch some of our wonderful authors at the festival.
Sunday 22 April, 1pm
National Museum Cardiff
Bree is an ordinary teenage girl living in a Martian city two thousand years in the future. She is amazed when she is picked for a special mission to Earth, which has been abandoned for hundreds of years. Why has she been selected and what are they really there to do?
Many of the key scenes in Ruth Morgan‘s high-octane YA sci-fi thriller Alien Rain take place in National Museum Wales, one of the author’s favourite places.
Join Ruth as she takes you on a tour of the museum and describes how the special atmosphere of the Museum inspired the story, with readings and discussion about how different Cardiff might look two thousand years in the future.
Wednesday 25 April, 7pm
Room D, Cardiff City Hall
Calling all children’s authors! If you’re in the middle of a creative writing project, or just need some inspiration then this is the event for you. Packed with insider’s advice from top children’s literary agent, Philippa Milnes-Smith and multi-award winning author, journalist and radio producer Horatio Clare. Philippa Milnes-Smith was Managing Director of Penguin Children’s Books for many years, and Welsh-British author Horatio’s Aubrey books have been long listed for the Carnegie Medal,
They will be sharing their experience, answering questions and giving top tips on creating the best stories for children, and getting those stories published. The event will be chaired by Cardiff-based author Claire Fayers whose Accidental Pirates series is published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
Saturday 28 April, 11am
Cardiff Castle Undercroft 
Jams lives with his mum, dad and his best friend Thimble, a hugely clever monkey who isn’t Dad’s biggest fan. (Don’t tell anyone what Thimble did with the superglue…) When Mum organises a house-swap holiday to France, what can possibly go wrong? Then Thimble, Jams and Dad find the keys to a speedboat, a drill and a makeshift burglar outfit… Best-selling Cardiff author Jon Blake will be reading from his hilarious books Thimble Monkey Superstar and Thimble Holiday Havoc and talking about his career as a writer.
Sunday 29 April, 11am
Cardiff Castle Undercroft 
Alex and Jess are unlikely superheroes whose powers have unfortunate side effects. In their latest adventure, they must pit their unusual powers against a furry menace and a shadowy villain, aided by Bob the goldfish, Dexter the pigeon and Alex’s new best friend, the hedgehog Mr Prickles.  In this interactive session, Jennifer Killick will talk about why we love stories and how to go about writing our own – starting with a story seed and making it grow.
With games and questions, Jennifer will talk about her books, where she gets her ideas and what life as an author is really like.  By the end of the session, Jennifer hopes that the children will leave raring to pick up a book and read, or to write one themselves.

Magical middle grade adventure coming soon from Catherine Fisher

We are extremely excited to announce that we have acquired world rights to a ‘magical story of snow and stars’ by Catherine Fisher, author of the best-selling Incarceron and The Obsidian Mirror series.
Middle-grade novel, The Clockwork Crow is a mysterious gothic Christmas tale set in a Victorian country mansion. It will publish in paperback in October 2018.
When orphaned Seren Rees is given a mysterious package by a strange and frightened man on her way to her new home, she reluctantly takes it with her. But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, before the owner of the parcel finds her? The Clockwork Crow is a gripping Christmas tale of families and belonging set in snowy Wales from a master storyteller.
'Catherine is a world-class author and we are delighted to be publishing this wonderfully imagined story for Christmas,' said Firefly Press Publisher and editor Penny Thomas 'Magical snowfalls are a key part of this story, and we’re only slightly concerned that every time we have worked on the novel so far this year it has started to snow...'
The Clockwork Crow is part of a wide-ranging 2018 list from Firefly which also includes Seaglass, a second MG novel from Eloise Williams (September), YA chiller Three Strikes from authors Lucy Christopher, Kat Ellis and Rhian Ivory (October), and Flight, a WW2 story of the Lippizaner horses from debut novelist Vanessa Harbour (August).
Catherine Fisher will be appearing at London Book Fair on a panel event on magical realism in children’s fiction from Wales, chaired by Penny Thomas, on Wednesday 11 April, 4-5pm in the Children’s Hub.