Reading Ahead prize draw forms and data collection are now open with deadlines extended until November.
Bestselling author Mark Billingham has given his support to Reading Ahead 2019-20 with the pledge that he will include the name of the winner of our national prize draw in one of his future books.
Born and brought up in Birmingham, Mark worked as an actor until he published his first crime novel in 2001. Sleepyhead was an instant bestseller in the UK and was followed by a series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne and standalone thrillers that all became Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers.
Mark has been a supporter of The Reading Agency and Reading Ahead for several years and has written two extremely popular Quick Reads: Cut Off in 2018 and a short story in Dead Simple (2017).
In pledging this prize, Mark said: "Like most writers I know, I'm only a writer because I'm a reader, and much as I love telling stories, nothing beats reading them. Losing yourself in a well-told tale is truly a magical thing and one for which I'm always grateful. So, wherever you are, start turning those pages, because one day soon you might find yourself reading a book you're starring in...".
This is now the third year we've have been able to offer this unique opportunity as a prize to our Reading Ahead completers. This draw for Reading Ahead 2018-19 has seen Adele Parks commit to including Sunara Begum's name, a student at The Manchester College in her next book due to be published in 2022. In 2017-18 top crimewriter Ann Cleeves agreed to include the name of the winner Karan Pabla in a future title. His name will be appearing next year in her next Vera title.
Karen Napier, CEO at The Reading Agency said: "Mark's books are extremely popular amongst Reading Ahead participants, particularly his Quick Read, Cut Off, so we are delighted to have his support on this prize for 2019/20. The Reading Agency aims to tackle life's big challenges through the proven power of reading and Reading Ahead is all about inspiring new readers and broadening the reading community. We're always honoured when best-selling authors such as Mark join us in welcoming these readers."
The Reading Ahead 2019-20 year, originally planned to end in July, has been extended to November 2020 due to the disruption caused by Covid-19. The deadline for entering participants into the national prize draw has also been extended to Monday 30 November 2020. Ten runners-up for the top prize will each receive £25 vouchers.
Our feedback forms are now open for participants to share their experience and organisations to contribute your data to our evaluation and help shape the programme going forward. The completer numbers you submit will be used for our organisation roll of honour and certificates for the highest completer numbers. The deadlines for submitting feedback forms have been extended to Monday 30 November 2020 so that all completers for the 2019-20 year can be included in your final numbers.
Reading Ahead can be run at any time of the year and for any length of time so take a look at our Shop for materials and top up packs to keep your programme running through the Autumn.
Now in its 13th year, Reading Ahead is designed to engage new readers and help them to improve their literacy and language skills at the same time.
Visit the Shop to top up your materials for the Autumn.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the Reading Ahead newsletter and keep up to date on the latest developments for 2021.
Visit our case study page to see how other organisations are running Reading Ahead.
Use our Find a read database to choose your next book
Find out more about our Quick Reads for 2020 and titles for 2021.