The Booker Prizes Announce the International Booker Prize 2024 Shortlist

Today, Tuesday 9 April, the 2024 shortlist for the International Booker Prize, the world’s most significant award for a single work of translated fiction, is announced.

Featuring titles that ‘interweave the intimate and political in radically original ways’, the list introduces readers to the best novels and short story collections from around the world that have been translated into English and published in the UK and/or Ireland.

The shortlist

  • Not a River by Selva Almada, translated from Spanish by Annie McDermott
  • Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Michael Hofmann
  • The Details by Ia Genberg, translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson
  • Mater 2-10 by Hwang Sok-yong, translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Youngjae Josephine Bae
  • What I’d Rather Not Think About by Jente Posthuma, translated from Dutch by Sarah Timmer Harvey
  • Crooked Plow by Itamar Vieira Junior, translated from Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz

The 2024 shortlist features books translated from six original languages, (Dutch, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish from six countries (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden).

The judges

The six books on the shortlist have been chosen by the 2024 judging panel: broadcaster and journalist Eleanor Wachtel as chair; award-winning poet Natalie Diaz; Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera; ground-breaking visual artist William Kentridge; and writer, editor and translator Aaron Robertson.

Eleanor Wachtel, International Booker Prize 2024 Chair of judges, says:

Reading is a necessary enlargement of human experience. Why be confined to one perspective, one life? Novels carry us to places where we might never set foot and connect us with new sensations and memories. Our shortlist opens onto vast geographies of the mind, often showing lives lived against the backdrop of history or, more precisely, interweaving the intimate and the political in radically original ways.

The thing about great writing is that it’s implicitly optimistic. From Selva Almada’s economical evocation of foreboding and danger in a remote corner of Argentina, Not a River, to Kairos, Jenny Erpenbeck’s intense, rich drama about the entanglement of personal and national transformations during the dying years of East Germany, words have the power to make connections and inhabit other sensibilities – to illuminate.

The International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony will take place from 7pm on Tuesday, 21 May. It is being held for the first time in the Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern. Highlights from the event, including the announcement of the winning book for 2024, will be livestreamed on the Booker Prizes’ channels, presented by YouTuber Jack Edwards, who is known as the ‘internet’s resident librarian’.

The prize recognises the vital work of translators with the £50,000 prize money divided equally: £25,000 for the author and £25,000 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators). In addition, there is a prize of £5,000 for each of the shortlisted titles: £2,500 for the author and £2,500 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators).

For more information, visit the Booker Prizes website.

Get involved

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the shortlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

What do you think of the 2024 shortlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

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The Women’s Prizes announce the Inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction Shortlist

The six shortlisted Women's Prize for Non-Fiction titles stacked on a white table.

The Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction – the inaugural international celebration of women’s non-fiction writing – today unveils the shortlist for its 2024 Prize. The six books cover a broad range of subjects: from life writing, religion, art and history, to AI, social media and online politics. What unites them is an originality of voice and an ability to turn complex ideas and personal trauma into inventive, compelling and immersive prose.

The shortlist

The 2024 shortlist takes readers to new places and introduces new perspectives, offering an alternative lens through which we can examine our past, present and impending future. Revelatory stories that uncover the voices of the dispossessed, sit alongside personal testaments of oppression that reveal resilience and courage. There are also works of groundbreaking investigative journalism that challenge the systems that govern us, alongside visionary accounts that pay tribute to the liberating potential of literature and art.

The shortlist represents writers from America (Tiya Miles), Canada (Naomi Klein) and Jamaica (Safiya Sinclair), with half the list from the UK (Laura Cumming, Noreen Masud and Madhumita Murgia).

The judges

Chair of judges Professor Suzannah Lipscomb says:

Our magnificent shortlist is made up of six powerful, impressive books that are characterised by the brilliance and beauty of their writing and which each offer a unique, original perspective. The readers of these books will never see the world – be it through art, history, landscape, politics, religion or technology – the same again.

Professor Lipscomb is joined on the judging panel by fair fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna; academic, author and consultant Professor Nicola Rollock; biographer and journalist Anne Sebba; and author and 2018 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Kamila Shamsie.

The judges narrowed down this shortlist to six books from a longlist of 16. The 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction will be awarded on Thursday 13 June 2024 at the Women’s Prize Trust’s summer party in central London. The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited-edition artwork known as the ‘Charlotte’, both gifted by the Charlotte Aitken Trust.

More information can be found on the Women’s Prizes website here.

Get involved

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the shortlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

What do you think of the 2024 shortlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WomensPrize.

Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prize website.

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The Booker Prizes Announce the International Booker Prize 2024 longlist

Today, 11 March, the 2024 longlist for the International Booker Prize, the world’s most significant award for a single work of translated fiction, is announced.

Featuring “books that speak of courage and kindness, of the vital importance of community, and of the effects of standing up to tyranny’” according to Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the International Booker Prize, the list introduces readers to the best novels and short story collections from around the world that have been translated into English and published in the UK and/or Ireland.

The longlist

  • Not a River by Selva Almada, translated from Spanish by Annie McDermott
  • Simpatía by Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, translated from Spanish by Noel Hernández González and Daniel Hahn
  • Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Michael Hofmann
  • The Details by Ia Genberg, translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson
  • White Nights by Urszula Honek, translated from Polish by Kate Webster
  • Mater 2-10 by Hwang Sok-yong, translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Youngjae Josephine Bae
  • A Dictator Calls by Ismail Kadare, translated from Albanian by John Hodgson
  • The Silver Bone: The Kyiv Mysteries by Andrey Kurkov, translated from Russian by Boris Dralyuk
  • What I’d Rather Not Think About by Jente Posthuma, translated from Dutch by Sarah Timmer Harvey
  • Lost on Me by Veronica Raimo, translated from Italian by Leah Janeczko
  • The House on Via Gemito by Domenico Starnone, translated from Italian by Oonagh Stransky
  • Crooked Plow by Itamar Vieira Junior, translated from Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz
  • Undiscovered by Gabriela Wiener, translated from Spanish by Julia Sanches

The 2024 longlist features books translated from ten original languages: Albanian, Dutch, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish including four books written by South American authors, with books representing Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela. While some authors and their books might be unfamiliar to English-speaking readers, many are considered to be their respective countries’ greatest living writers

A variety of fictional forms are represented on this year’s longlist: from magical realism to autofiction, from allegory to short stories, from books that span multiple generations to one constructed around a three-minute conversation. Several titles are rooted in family life, from the relationship between fathers and sons to daughters and mothers, from separated twins to orphanhood.

The judges

The 13 books on the longlist have been chosen by the 2024 judging panel: broadcaster and journalist Eleanor Wachtel as chair; award-winning poet Natalie Diaz; Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera; groundbreaking visual artist William Kentridge; and writer, editor and translator Aaron Robertson.

Eleanor Wachtel, International Booker Prize 2024 Chair of judges, says:

From a protest on the top of a factory chimney in South Korea to a transformative fishing trip in remote Argentina, from the violent streets of Kyiv in 1919 to a devastating sexual relationship in 1980s East Berlin, our longlisted books offer stunning evocations of place and time. Here are voices that reflect original angles of observation. In compelling, at times lyrical modes of expression, they tell stories that give us insight into – among other things – the ways political power drives our lives.

What my fellow jurors and I hoped to find are books that, together, we could recommend to English-speaking readers. After narrowing down 149 submitted titles to these 13, we are delighted to say, “Here, we’ve scoured the world and brought back these gifts.

The six books shortlisted for this year’s prize will be announced on Tuesday, 9 April, 2024. The announcement of the winning book for 2024 will take place at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, 21 May, 2024, which will be livestreamed.

The prize recognises the vital work of translators with the £50,000 prize money divided equally: £25,000 for the author and £25,000 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators). In addition, there is a prize of £5,000 for each of the shortlisted titles: £2,500 for the author and £2,500 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators).

For more information, visit the Booker Prizes website.

The International Booker Prize 2024 Reading Challenge

This year to coincide with the longlist, the prize is launching a new Reading Challenge to encourage readers to explore the 2024 longlist, share their thoughts, and connect with readers from around the world.

The prize is looking for three librarians from the UK and Ireland who are passionate about translated fiction to become Reading Challenge Ambassadors to read as many longlisted titles as they can ahead of the winner announcement on 21 May. The Ambassadors will be featured on the Booker Prizes and The Reading Agency’s channels, and have the chance to win tickets to the International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony.

Find out more and apply today.

Librarians can also pick up a free POS pack to celebrate the Reading Challenge in their libraries from our shop.

Get involved

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the longlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

What do you think of the 2024 longlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using

Keep up with all the latest news on the Booker Prizes website.

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Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2024 Longlist

The Women’s Prize Trust – the UK charity which creates equitable opportunities for women in the world of books – today announces the longlist for the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Now in its 29th year and sponsored by Audible and Baileys, the Prize shines a spotlight on outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world.

The longlist

The 2024 longlist features eight debut novelists (Maya Binyam, Effie Black, Alicia Elliott, Kate Foster, Mirinae Lee, Chetna Maroo, Aube Rey Lescure and Pam Williams), four authors who have previously published one novel (V.V. Ganeshananthan, Isabella Hammad, Peace Adzo Medie, and Megan Nolan), alongside four writers who have multiple books to their name (Anne Enright, Kate Grenville, Claire Kilroy and Karen Lord). Kate Grenville, who won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2001 (The Idea of Perfection), sits alongside Anne Enright, the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, who was longlisted in 2008 (The Gathering) and 2020 (Actress) and shortlisted in 2012 (The Forgotten Waltz) and 2016 (The Green Road). V.V. Ganeshananthan was also longlisted in 2009 for her first novel (Love Marriage).

Out of the 16 longlisted authors, there are five British writers, three Americans, three Irish, one Barbadian, one South Korean, one Australian, one Ghanaian and one French/American. The longlist is globe-spanning, location-moving and time-hopping: we move from Korea’s turbulent history to sub-Saharan Africa, from Sri Lanka during the Civil War to rural New South Wales in the 19th Century. In one novel we are dropped deep into the contemporary tensions of the West Bank, in another we find ourselves in the midst of the Chinese economic boom. We are even immersed in the serve, volley, drive and shot of a squash court.

Independent publishers make a strong showing this year, with seven represented on the list. Époque, a small independent, and Gollancz, the established UK-based publisher of science fiction, fantasy and horror, both have titles longlisted for the first time, with Duckworth celebrating a second longlisting in two consecutive years. Legend Press and Pushkin Press both mark their third successful longlisting, whilst two other independents who have previously won the Prize also feature: Faber & Faber most recently with Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver in 2023 and Oneworld with An American Marriage by Tayari Jones in 2019.

The judges

This year, bestselling author and chair of the 2024 judging panel Monica Ali is joined by author Ayọb̀ ámi Adébáyọ; author and illustrator Laura Dockrill; actor Indira Varma; and presenter and author Anna Whitehouse.

Monica Ali says:

With the strength and vitality of contemporary women’s fiction very much in evidence, reading the entries for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction has been a joyful experience. Of course this made it all the more difficult to select the longlist, but after much lively discussion amongst the judges we are delighted with the 16 titles selected. Each one of these books is brilliant, original and utterly unputdownable. Collectively, they offer a wide array of compelling narratives from around the world, written with verve, wit, passion and compassion. They are books that will engage readers’ hearts and minds, they are filled with indelible characters, and they do what stories can do so powerfully: unsettle and disturb as well as surprise and delight.

These judges will narrow down this longlist of 16 books to a shortlist of six, which will be announced on 24 April 2024. The winner of the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on Thursday 13 June 2024 at the Women’s Prize Trust’s summer party in central London, along with the winner of the 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction. The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000, anonymously endowed, along with a limited-edition bronze statuette known as the ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

More information can be found on the Women’s Prizes website here.

Get involved

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the longlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

What do you think of the 2024 longlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WomensPrize.

Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prizes website.

Want to make sure you never miss the latest reading group news? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

Inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction Announces Longlist

The Women’s Prize Trust – the UK charity which creates equitable opportunities for women in the world of books and masterminds the annual Women’s Prize for Fiction – announces the Longlist for its sister prize, the inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction.

The new prize – which has long been an aim of the Women’s Prize Trust – was in part born out of research released in 2023 which demonstrated that female non-fiction writers are less visible in the UK national media and less likely to win (or be shortlisted for) book prizes than their male counterparts.

Featuring writers from all over the English-speaking world – America, Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, the Philippines and the UK – across a wide range of genres and styles, from gripping memoirs and timely books that challenge the status quo, to groundbreaking investigative journalism and innovative new histories, these 16 titles show the range, quality and ambition of non-fiction writing by women over the last year.

The longlist

The 2024 longlist features nine authors who are publishing their first work for a general, non-academic readership. They sit alongside two international bestsellers (Naomi Klein and Anna Funder), a prize-winning author of fiction and non-fiction (Alice Albinia) and two published poets (Cat Bohannon and Safiya Sinclair).

The works are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, from neuroscience, biology, psychoanalysis, history and philosophy to economics, politics, AI, race, art and natural history, with several of the books combining multiple genres within one work. There are memoirs that will enlighten and move the reader – from life within a militant religious sect, to a pilgrimage across Britain’s flatlands; from a narrative that explores life in art and the power of a painting, to a deeply personal story that shows us the limitations of our care system.

The judges

Chair of judges Professor Suzannah Lipscomb says:

‘Reading for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction has been a revelation and a joy. I am very proud to introduce the sensational books that make up the inaugural Longlist. Our selection represents the breadth of women’s non-fiction writing: science, history, memoir, technology, literary biography, health, linguistics, investigative journalism, art history, activism, travel-writing and economics. And each author has created a masterpiece that is worthy of your attention. Buy them, borrow them – above all read them – and in so doing you’ll be elevating women’s voices and female perspectives in a whole range of disciplines and on a whole host of topics.’

Professor Lipscomb is joined on the judging panel by fair fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna; academic, author and consultant Professor Nicola Rollock; biographer and journalist Anne Sebba; and author and 2018 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Kamila Shamsie.

The judges will narrow down this longlist of 16 books to a shortlist of six, which will be announced on 27 March. The 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction will be awarded on Thursday 13 June 2024 at the Women’s Prize Trust’s summer party in central London. The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited-edition artwork known as the ‘Charlotte’, both gifted by the Charlotte Aitken Trust.

More information can be found on the Women’s Prizes website here.

Get involved

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the longlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

What do you think of the 2024 longlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WomensPrize.

Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prize website.

Want to make sure you never miss the latest reading group news? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

The Booker Prizes launch the Booker Prize Book Club

With the Booker Prize 2023 shortlist being announced this week, the Booker Prizes have launched a brand new online community for readers to discuss and find out more about the six books in contention for the world’s most influential prize for a single work of fiction, the Booker Prize Book Club.

Hosted as a Facebook group, the Book Club will be a space for readers all over the world to share their views and join discussions, to access Booker Prize exclusives, to help interview the shortlisted authors and to win a range of prizes, including tickets to the winner ceremony in November. Book Club members will also be able to access original content, including videos and reading guides, before it appears on other Booker channels, including their website.

Each week the Booker Prize Book Club will be focusing on a different book from the shortlist, and are offering Book Club members an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to the winner ceremony in London on 26 November (travel expenses and accommodation not included).

The Book Club will be a space for readers around the world to talk to one another about Booker books, where you drive the conversation!

Head over to the Booker Prize Book Club website to find out how you can join today!

The Booker Prize 2023

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Thursday 21 September at an evening event at the newly re-opened National Portrait Gallery in London. It will be livestreamed across all the Booker Prizes’ social platforms. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

Find out all about the longlist here.

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the prize, you can download a free physical and digital pack from our shop.

For more information, visit the Booker Prize website.

Want to make sure you never miss the latest reading group news? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

The Booker Prizes’ Book of the Month

Each month the Booker Prizes’ Book of the Month shines a spotlight on a different work of fiction from among the 600+ titles in the Booker Library, through reading guides, extracts, opinion pieces, competitions and discussions on our social channels. We will be updating this page on our website every month. Find out more here.

Join the new Blue Peter Book Club!

Blue Peter has today unveiled a new Book badge, designed by one of the UK’s best-known illustrators, Sir Quentin Blake.

The Blue Peter Book badge will be awarded to children aged 5-15 who send in their thoughts on a book, draw a character or scene and share which other books and writers they love.

Getting kids excited about great books has always been important for Blue Peter and so, as well as launching the new badge, they have teamed up with The Reading Agency and BBC Arts to bring viewers a monthly Book Club jam-packed with fantastic stories. Each month, presenters will showcase a new book and be joined by young readers to talk about the incredible stories, new worlds and fascinating characters they discover.

In the studio for the launch is author and BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James along with his co-author Chris Smith.

Greg James & Chris Smith say: “We are absolutely honoured to be launching this brand-new Blue Peter badge, designed by one of own children’s book heroes, the marvellous Sir Quentin Blake. Reading is a superpower, and we know the Blue Peter Book Club and Book badge are going to inspire children across the country to put on their capes and pick up a book. We certainly know how excited we were to get our own Blue Peter badges – so it’s brilliant there is now a badge dedicated to reading, to show children just how important it is.”

Sir Quentin Blake says: “Reading can take you to amazing places.”

Sarah Muller, BBC Children’s Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+, says: “We know lots of our Blue Peter audience love books, we want to tap into that passion and inspire even more children to join us on this epic reading adventure. We are trying to reach everyone and inspire a love of reading that will last a lifetime.”

In partnership with The Reading Agency, an expert panel of librarians, booksellers and children in library sessions, Blue Peter have chosen a list of Book Club recommended reads from awesome authors and fantastic illustrators.

The Blue Peter Book Club recommended reads are:

  • Michael the Amazing Mind-Reading Sausage Dog by Terrie Chilvers and illustrated by Tim Budgen (Firefly Press)
  • Finding Her Feet by Eve Ainsworth and illustrated by Luna Valentine (Barrington Stoke, Harper Collins)
  • The Christmas Carrolls by Mel Taylor-Bessent and illustrated by Selom Sunu (Farshore, Harper Collins)
  • Juniper Mae: Knight of Tykotech City written and illustrated by Sarah Soh (Flying Eye, Nobrow)
  • Poems Aloud: an anthology of poems to read out loud by Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett (Wide Eyed Editions, Quarto Publishing Group)
  • Am I Made of Stardust? by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and illustrated by Chelen Ecija (Buster Books, Michael O’Mara Books)

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency says: “The Reading Agency is delighted to be collaborating with the Blue Peter team to get their viewers excited about reading. Thank you to our library and bookseller partners for helping us to create this list, which has something for everyone.”

Working with BBC Bitesize, BBC Arts, CBBC HQ and The Reading Agency, Blue Peter aims to introduce young readers to new writing and encourage a love of reading. BBC Arts will support the Blue Peter Book Club by bringing the books to life through animation, BBC Bitesize Primary will support the Blue Peter Book Club by creating companion guides to the books for Key Stage 2 children aged 7-9, whilst CBBC HQ will showcase writing, drawings and comments sent in by children from all over the UK.

Stephen James-Yeoman, Commissioning Executive from BBC Arts says: “Introducing children to books and reading for pleasure at an early age can help establish a life-long love of great writing. Exciting stories can become like best friends which stay with you and support you through life. I’m thrilled that BBC Arts is able to support Blue Peter’s wonderful new book club, in partnership with The Reading Agency, BBC Bitesize and CBBC HQ and a huge thanks to Sir Quentin Blake for designing a fantastic new badge.”

The Blue Peter Book badge will join the Quentin Blake archive which will eventually be shown at the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, opening in Clerkenwell in 2025. Sir Quentin was pleased to create the artwork because the badge is part of an initiative to encourage reading.

There are now nine types of Blue Peter badge – Blue, Silver, Green, Sport, Purple, Orange, Gold, Music and Book. For more information about Blue Peter badges and how to collect them visit bbc.co.uk/bluepeter

Blue Peter is a BBC Studios Kids & Family Production for CBBC. Presented by Abby, Joel, Mwasky and Henry the Dog, new episodes of Blue Peter are on CBBC and BBC iPlayer every Friday from 5pm.

Three Pillars of Spontaneous Storytelling

There’s an endless stream of story.

I’ve developed three pillars of spontaneous storytelling to help you create and share off-the-cuff stories. As well as having lots of fun, this genre of storytelling enables us to express our creativity, stretch our imagination, improve our memories and develop our speech and language skills.

In almost every story you can expect to find three fundamental elements which are:

  • Person – character, animal, creature
  • Place – the setting or backdrop for the story
  • Plot – to make an interesting story there’s needs to be an obstacle of some kind, for example a challenge, quest, a baddie, a journey.

Since we don’t work out a Plot in advance of telling a spontaneous tale we can use the three pillars to act as a springboard into stories. These pillars are:

  • Our Imagination
  • Our Five Senses
  • Our Memory

Imagination is like a muscle, the more we use it the stronger it becomes. Try playing my variation of EYE SPY, suitable for two or more players.

Find a small cloth / napkin, which you can easily hold in your hand. Thinking about PLACE, the first player holds the cloth and creates a shape, telling the other players what it is, for example: Eye Spy with my little eye a: MOUNTAIN.

The next player takes the cloth and makes another shape.

Eye Spy with my little eye a: MOON CRATER or a desert, river, waterfall

Each person comes up with something new… continue for as long as you’re having fun, but you’ll find that you’ll think of more and more places the longer you play. There’s only one rule! You aren’t allowed to use any idea you’ve come up with whilst it’s someone else’s turn… let the cloth inform you when it’s your hands.

Our Five Senses. For the majority of us sight is our dominant sense so there’s a tendency to tell stories from this perspective. However, if we bring our other senses into stories we make them richer and more engaging.

Memories. When we clearly picture a place or person in our memory this can prompt a story idea, our language also becomes far more descriptive and vivid, enlivening our tales.

In my storytelling workshops, and in my book Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling, I share techniques, games and exercises to help you to weave stories using these pillars, to create rich, rewarding and often silly spontaneous stories!

Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling by Danyah Miller is published 1st November by Hawthorn Press.

Book a virtual storytelling workshop here.

The Reading Agency and Blue Peter are searching for page-turners

The Reading Agency and Blue Peter are teaming up to ask publishers to submit great books for a new joint children’s reading initiative. The scheme aims to find titles which children won’t want to put down and introduce young readers to new writing that they may not have previously discovered.

Publishers are invited to suggest titles which were published between September 2021 and August 2023, and which are suitable for children aged between 5 and 11, including fiction, graphic novels, poetry and non-fiction. They’re seeking books which cover a range of interest areas and genres, from action and adventure to titles that will help children discover more about the world, be inspired, get creative and laugh.

They are particularly eager to connect young readers with books by authors and illustrators who are from underrepresented backgrounds so that children from a broad range of backgrounds can see themselves positively reflected. Submitted titles will then be put forward for shortlisting by an expert panel including librarians over the summer.

The joint initiative is open for submissions until Wednesday 5 July and publishers can find out more here.

Titles can be submitted via an online survey.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said: “The Reading Agency knows the impact that discovering a good book can have on children’s imaginations. We’re delighted to be working with our partners at Blue Peter to find new titles which spark a joy of reading in young people across the country and are looking forward to sharing more about the initiative later this year.”

Please contact [email protected] with questions about submitting titles.

Image credit: Blue Peter Presenter Joel Mawhinney, BBC

The Big Eurovision Read – The People’s Choice

This May, The Reading Agency, working in partnership with BBC Arts, were part of EuroFestival, joining in the Eurovision celebrations in Liverpool. Between 1-14 May, we hosted a Reading Den full of books from our Big Eurovision Read reading list outside Liverpool Central Library as an alternative space to engage with Eurovision.

We also went out to the public and asked you to tell us about other titles that have the power of music as a key theme. Below are a selection of some of the wonderful recommendations we had across the campaign.

Your Recommendations

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Our most popular suggestion, Daisy Jones & The Six has taken the world by storm. A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their enigmatic lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up. Now a popular TV series on Amazon Prime.

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson

A grown-up love story, about Alison and Daniel and a love rekindled. Join them as they communicate across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything.

The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

The man dubbed “the nicest man in rock” has certainly lived. From behind the drums with Nirvana to leading the Foo Fighters, jamming with Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, The Storyteller recounts his stellar career in his own words.

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

A book about music and how the love of music can run like a passionate melody through life. A detailed novel of forbidden love between a violinist and married pianist who is slowly losing his hearing. Regarded as Vikram Seth’s masterpiece by many.

Night Music by Jojo Moyes

From the bestselling author of Me Before You, Night Music follows Isabel, a music who inherits a coveted Spanish House. As Moyes delves deep into ideas about obsession, music and passion, Isabel will be forced to discover an instinct for
survival she never knew she had.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Longlisted for the 2017 Booker Prize, Swing Time, from renowned author Zadie Smith, is a novel that crosses continents to look at the threads that bind us together as two friends move through their lives.

Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

In the year 1629, a young English lutenist arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV’s Royal Orchestra. As he finds himself caught in a place where opposing states of light and dark are battling a war to the death, he falls in love with the Queen’s Danish servant. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can he find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul?

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin

Renowned neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the science behind how we react to music and why we are obsessed with it. Praised by scientists and musicians alike, this non-fiction title is as fascinating as it is important.

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle’s much loved debut novel, The Commitments, follows a group of unemployed youngsters in the north side of Dublin as they attempt to make it as a soul band. The first title in Doyle’s The Barrytown trilogy.

Somewhere in the Crowd by Katrina Logan

What better way to celebrate the joy we witnessed at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest than by digging into Katrina Logan’s Somewhere in the Crowd. Follow four unlikely friends from across the globe as they reunite every year for Eurovision.

The Big Eurovision Read Titles

The Big Eurovision Read campaign was delivered in partnership with BBC Arts and The Reading Agency with support from public libraries and funding from Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team, as part of EuroFestival.

The Reading Agency

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