Authors know all about the power of words, the joy of reading and the importance of libraries. Reading not only sparks the imagination and raises spirits but it also opens doors to education, employment, community and culture.
However, recent reports highlight shocking statistics about UK literacy and reading for pleasure levels:
- Children who read for pleasure do better at school, yet only 40% of England's ten year olds have a positive attitude to reading
- 46% of the UK's young people don't read for pleasure
- 5 million working aged people in England have poor literacy skills
We're calling on authors to help us reach those who are yet to become competent and passionate readers by supporting our work with libraries and people who struggle with reading. We'd appreciate your involvement in any of the following activities, but do get in touch if you've got more ideas.
Become an Author Champion
Your support as an Author Champion might include:
Promoting our programmes and campaigns
- Tweeting and blogging (we can send you key messages)
- Doing PR and media work
- Attending high profile events
- Helping with political advocacy.
(Malorie Blackman at Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge launch at Scottish Parliament in June 2013)
- Introducing us to philanthropists or contacts in businesses who might be interested in sponsorship or a corporate social responsibility link.
Contributing to the Author Fund
In response to the financial support authors have recently chosen to give us we have set up an Author Fund to recognise authors' commitment to helping those needing support to become readers. There are several ways you can contribute to the Author Fund:
- Sign up to donate £50 a year - enough to help 5 young people volunteer and inspire disadvantaged children - and pledge to sign up 2 more authors as Author Champions or Author Fund donors.
- Adopt us as your charity for a year - ask people to donate at your events and via your website (we can provide key messages and technical support)
- Donate royalties from e-books or fees from newspaper articles or festival appearances
- Donate prizes for competitions, raffles or auctions.
All authors who donate £50 or more will be publically thanked below (with their permission), will receive a quarterly update about our work and will be invited to certain special events.
How the Author Fund will help
- £5,000 could help us enable 2,000 emerging adult readers to start reading for pleasure through the Reading Ahead
- £10,000 could help us set up and run 5 World Book Night reading groups for homeless people
- £20,000 could help us reach an additional 20,000 disadvantaged children through the Summer Reading Challenge.
Author Fund contributors
Peter James is championing the author fund and has been fundraising for us via his JustGiving page
Karin Slaughter donated UK royalties from Thorn In My Side (Kindle ebook)
Julian Barnes awarded us £12,500 for our literacy work through libraries in young offender institutions, when his David Cohen Prize win allowed him to pass the linked Clarissa Luard Award to a charity of his choice.
- Val McDermid and Andy McNab donated the fees from published articles in the Times, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday.
Cressida Cowell donated a raffle prize for our 2013 lecture.
A number of authors including Stephen Fry, Alan Bennett, Caitlin Moran and Julian Barnes contributed a chapter for The Library Book published by Profile Books. The book can be purchased from our shop and every copy sold will be helping us to change people's lives through reading.
The Author Fund is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England's Catalyst programme.
If you'd like to made a donation to our Author Fund please visit our JustGiving page.
If you'd like to get involved as an Author Champion please contact Sue Wilkinson.