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News story

Top authors join Story Explorers: a new podcast for kids, by kids

09 Nov 2020

Story Explorers logo.png

Today we launch a brand new children’s radio and podcast series Story Explorers, which is all about stories for 7 to 11-year-olds, available weekdays at 6.15pm on the national children’s radio station Fun Kids.

We developed Story Explorers alongside Pixiu, with funding from The Audio Content Fund.

The series, hosted by CBBC presenter Ben Shires, will feature a different children’s author and group of school children each week.

Budding young podcasters from Years 5 and 6 will interview and chat virtually with top authors about their work, the stories they love and also take part in fun games together.

Each interview will be broken down into five episodes, each five minutes in length and a new episode will be released weekdays at 6.15pm throughout November and December.

The episodes will be broadcast on Fun Kids during The Club with Bex, available on their website at and in all popular podcast apps.

What’s more, at the end of each week, there will be more fun content and quizzes on Words for Life specially created for listeners of Story Explorers based on the episodes from the week for teachers to share with their class or for children to do at home.

Episode one released today!

The first episode launches today and features Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series, Hachette UK). Listen to Cressida and children from Ashmole Primary School in London chat about dragons, quiz Cressida on her writing and get her to finish their amazing story ideas.

The fantastic line up of authors also includes:

  • Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl and the Fowl Twins series, HarperCollins Children’s)
  • Greg James and Chris Smith (Kid Normal series, Bloomsbury Children’s)
  • Katherine Rundell (The Good Thieves, Book of Hopes, Bloomsbury Children’s)
  • Onjali Q. Raúf (The Night Bus Hero, The Boy at the Back of the Class, Hachette UK)
  • Lauren Child (The Goody, Clarice Bean series, Hachette UK)

Podcast consumption has increased steadily in recent years. In fact, our new research shows that 1 in 5 children and young people say they listen to podcasts and nearly 1 in 4 children and young people listened to podcasts or audiobooks more during lockdown than they did before.

Podcasts can be a great tool to support children’s learning, giving them greater access to a whole world of topics and this series offers insights into an author’s world from children’s perspective, with reading and storytelling at the heart of the discussions.

I’m really glad the National Literacy Trust and Pixiu invited me to join in with this truly fun project! I loved the children’s energy and curiosity and really enjoyed the wonderful discussions we had together. Listening to interesting discussions about stories, books and reading can inspire children to get into stories in whatever way is best for them and I hope we spark the magic of reading in those who listen to the show. It looks like it’s going to be a fantastic line-up in the coming weeks, so do tune in!

Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and first guest on the show

To listen to the show, please visit:

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