Share a Story on World Book Day

26 Feb 2018

Celebrate Stories. Love Reading. How will you celebrate.

World Book Day 2018 is around the corner and there are so many ways that you can get involved with the celebrations. There will be a variety of events across Wales to mark the special occasion – the largest annual celebration of books and reading in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Research indicates that reading for pleasure and enjoyment has more of an impact on children's educational success than their family's socio-economic status (OECD, 2002), so it has never been more important to encourage the joy and celebration of books and reading.

This year, the campaign will encourage people to share a story for at least ten minutes to celebrate and enjoy the benefits of reading. Angharad Sinclair, Reading Promotions Project Manager with the Welsh Books Council, said that it's an opportunity to share stories and a love of reading with others: 'In celebrating and sharing stories we can inspire and encourage others to do the same. It's not just a day to wear a fancy dress costume! Instead it's an opportunity to celebrate something we all do every day in some way. By sharing a ten-minute story you can start to create a love of reading, which is one of the best gifts you can give, and one which lasts a lifetime!'

You can join the fun online on social media, by participating in our #bookselfie challenge and sharing a picture with your favourite book, or sharing a story with someone or something! Remember to use the hashtag #bookselfie, and you will be able to win a pack of books as a prize. For more information and ideas go to  http://readingwales.org.uk/en/world-book-day/

'Our aim is simply to get children, school pupils, parents and people all over Wales to take a selfie showing them reading, sharing a story or holding a book, and to upload the picture on social media using the hashtags #bookselfie #worldbookday,' said Angharad. 'By creating a collection of selfies using the hashtags #bookselfie and #hunlyfr, we can show the world that Welsh people of all ages want to celebrate reading, and that they are delighted with books of all types.'

Or you could take part in the competition that is running in partnership with Mellten  –  a quarterly Welsh-language comic for children, bringing together stories, jokes, puzzles and competitions. The competition is open to all and you can choose to complete a Capten Clonc cartoon strip or create a totally new character or cartoon. The prize for the winning entry will be an original piece of artwork by  Mellten  creator, Huw Aaron, and a family ticket to Hay Festival 2018, and the strip will feature in the next issue of the comic! There is also a prize available for the winning school –  a workshop with Huw Aaron himself.

In response to some of the recommendations of the  Review of Welsh Books for Children and Young Adults (Cardiff University),  published last autumn, the Welsh Books Council has arranged an evening in the company of Dr Siwan Rosser of Cardiff University, prize-winning poet and author Mererid Hopwood, scientist and Emeritus Professor Deri Tomos, and the writer, cartoonist and presenter Siôn Tomos Owen, where they will discuss reading for pleasure within the context of literature for children and young people. Launching The Best of the Best campaign, the panel will discuss their favourite books for children and young people, and will ask what makes a book appealing and how to choose which books should be considered amongst the Best of the Best.

There are special events for schools too. On the morning of 7 March 2018, the Biggest Book Show will be held in the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen with a great line-up of well-known authors entertaining hundreds of local children, aged between 8 and 13 years old. The show will feature Mererid Hopwood, Meleri Wyn James, Aneirin Karadog, Huw Davies, Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Children's Laureate) Casia Wiliam and the cartoonist Huw Aaron.

There will be an English-language show at the Arts Centre, Aberystwyth on 28 February featuring the authors Steven Butler, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Malachy Doyle, Atinuke, Jonathan Meres and Tracey Corderoy & Steven Lenton.

A few weeks ago, the Welsh Books Council was pleased to announce that a special book to celebrate World Book Day had been published for the first time ever in Welsh - and for the special price of  £1!

Na, Nel!: Un Tro…  by Meleri Wyn James,  illustrated by John Lund, has been published by  Y Lolfa  for World Book Day. Orders for the book have been flying in, so look for a copy at your local bookshop or library!

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said: 'We are proud to support World Book Day in Wales and feel it is an important annual event that is celebrated in schools, libraries, bookshops and in the media. It is an excellent opportunity to highlight the fantastic choice of reading material published in Wales and beyond.'

Alongside the Welsh Government, World Book Day in Wales is also sponsored by the bookseller Waterstones, who will be running a pop-up bookshop and author signing session at the events at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen and the Arts Centre, Aberystwyth. Steve Gane on behalf of the company said: 'Waterstones are proud to support Welsh publishing along with the Welsh Books Council on World Book Day. The Books Council performs an essential role in literary Wales, and our continuing partnership on World Book Day is testament to that.'

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