Commonword’s Writing for Children Masterclass – a special event hosted at the 2014 Manchester Children’s Book Festival 26th June


The Writing For Children Masterclass is on the 26th of June at 3.30-5.30 in the Geoffrey Manton Building at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Organised by Commonword as part of Manchester Children’s Book Festival, this panel discussion will take those aspiring to write for the children’s fiction industry today and address ideas including: the intricacies and challenges of the lack of diverse characters in children’s books, the difficulties BME authors face being published within the children’s book industry, and methods to overcome them, how to find an agent, what publishers seek from writers in this genre and many more. 
Catherine Pellegrino, Literary Agent
Tariq Mehmood, Frances Lincoln Award Winner
Sufiya Ahmed, Author
Peter Kalu, Author
Penguin Executive (stc)
Jacqueline Roy, Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University

This Masterclass is also the launch of the 3rd Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize

Catherine Pellegrino, children’s literary agent  says: ‘As a children’s agent, living in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, it struck me that there was a gaping hole in the children’s writing community; in the authors I represent, the writers published and consequently in the books we are able to offer our children to read – books that should represent our rich cultural diversity but so often fail to do so. The opportunity to address this issue alongside Commonword and Puffin Books is enormously exciting and I am confident that working together we will bring to light original and talented new writers and writers in the making.’

Shannon Cullen, executive editor for fiction at Puffin, says: ‘As an editor at the UK’s number-one children’s publisher I am always on the lookout for exciting new voices for Puffin’s list. The lack of diverse authors and characters has always been an issue for me – our schools and communities are so much more wonderfully diverse than the current children’s book market suggests. I look forward to working with Commonword and RCW to discover and develop some fantastic new talent.’

Commonword’s Artistic Director, Pete Kalu, said: ‘Notions of Englishness are seeded by writers, including by children’s writers. We are a diverse nation and yet there is a disturbing absence of diversity in what is currently published in the UK. This Prize addresses that and I am optimistic we will discover and nurture some exciting new diverse talent.’

FREE EVENT — YOU MUST RESERVE A PLACE- please email do so.
Here are links with the event details on:

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