National Literacy Trust introduces Read North East campaign to get kids reading

Our friends at the National Literacy Trust have launched read north east to get the region reading with thousands of free books and storytelling for families.

Just under 2000 free Puffin and Ladybird books were given away to families at intu Metrocentre in Gateshead this week as part of the Read North East campaign. With appearances from children’s favourite Peppa Pig and local artists Chris Callaghan and Chris Bostock, the event was the first in a series of book giveaways that will take place across the North East over the next year to inspire children to fall in love with reading.

Reading for just ten minutes a day is enough to male a difference to children’s literacy skills – with the help of Peppa Pig we’re looking forward to showing families how fun this time can be.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of National Literacy Trust

The free books, donated by Penguin Random House Children’s will encourage parents to talk and read to their babies and children every day, supporting their literacy and give them the best start in life.

The programme has been designed to help raise the region’s literacy levels which are among the lowest in the country. It was found that 60% of wards in the North East are at risk of serious literacy problems, making it the second most vulnerable region in the country.

We  want every child to have the opportunity to experience the magical world of stories. as a proud partner of Read North East we were delighted to give away books for local families to take home and enjoy reading together.”

Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children’s

Families can enjoy future storytelling and book giveaways at the following events:

Thursday 2 November – Bookworm Babies @ Seven Stories, Newcastle

Sunday 5 November – Read North East Book Giveaway @ middlesborough v sunderland, riverside stadium

saturday 18 november – northern children’s book festival gala @ the word, national centre for written word in south shields

thursday 30 november – read north east book giveaway @ the stockton sparkles christmas lights switch on event

saturday 30 and sunday 31 december – around the world new years eve part for under 5s @ seven stories, newcastle


The Short Story Prize 2017: Could you recreate a classic fairy tale?

Our friends at National Literacy Trust have teamed up with Bloomsbury Publishing (J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Louis Sachar) to search for aspiring children’s writers.

The Short Story Prize 2017 is calling on budding children’s fiction writers to recreate a classic fairy tale – with the chance of having their work published!

The competition challenges unpublished authors to put a modern twist on a well-known fairy tale that will capture children’s imaginations.

Entries should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words and the writing should be aimed at children aged 8 – 12.

The top 10 stories will be published in an eBook anthology by Bloomsbury and each winner will receive £200.

Emma Cox, winner of the New Children’s Author Prize 2015 said:

“This is a magical opportunity to grasp with both hands – how fabulous to write a twisted, wicked modern take on a fairy tale…. I’d say don’t doubt yourself: enter this competition. Have faith in the talent that you have, throw in a bit of luck, some powerful magic and support the wonderful work of the National Literacy Trust. Set yourself achievable targets, start scribbling ideas down now, carry your story in your head wherever you go … it’s a wonderful experience, and if you’re one of the 10 winning writers you will have created your own happy ever after. Just think of that.”

The competition closes on June 25. For full details on how to enter visit National Literacy Trust.