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News story

Brilliant publishers and authors join our Connecting Stories campaign

18 Jan 2021

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We are delighted to announce that 18 publishers and 32 authors are involved in our Connecting Stories campaign.

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Connecting Stories will address the literacy attainment gap in our 14 Hub areas and increase children and young people’s access to literary experiences and books.

From today until 31 January, each of our Hubs will announce the publisher and author or artist who will be championing reading and creative writing in their community. Celebrated children’s writers including Sathnam Sanghera, Konnie Huq and Steve Antony are just some very exciting examples of authors working in areas where they fit the age group and demographic of the audience of children and young people. To further support the goal of encouraging children to become readers and writers, publishers will generously donate books to each area.

Children and young people in our Hubs will be invited to take part in a creative writing competition with a unique theme. Entries will be part of one of 19 Connecting Stories anthologies and displayed in exhibitions supported by each Hub’s cultural institutions, such as Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Bradford Literature Festival. The competition launches on 1 February and age requirements vary in each Hub area. Keep an eye on each Hub Facebook page and website!

I am staggered by the response from publishing partners and authors to join our Connecting Stories mission and develop reading skills and creative writing abilities in communities with significant literacy challenges. “Arts Council England have funded a brilliant opportunity for children to be connected with celebrated authors and improve attitudes and behaviours towards reading for pleasure, while raising awareness of all that libraries can offer young people and their families. I am so excited to follow the campaign in each of our 14 Hubs, and I cannot wait to see some of the creative writing entries.

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust

Far too many children have difficulty accessing books and hundreds of thousands don’t own a book of their own. As a result, our future generations are being severely limited from reaching their full potential – a problem that is only being exacerbated by covid-19. Connecting Stories works with the communities with the most significant literacy challenges to help to bring reading to life to and encourage children to read and write. It’s wonderful see so many publishers and industry colleagues engage with this vital initiative.

Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books and chair of The Publishers Association Consumer Publishers Council

For more information, please visit the Connecting Stories site.

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