Friday, 19 December 2008

Secret Santa

Ho ho ho, it’s Chris here and I have taken on the mantle of filling you all with festive joy because in the words of the great lyricist, Noddy Holder (of Slade fame), IT’S CHRISTMAAAAAAASSSSS!

Everyone at Scottish Book Trust is very very excited, as im sure you all are too? Everyone has their own reasons for loving Christmas so I thought that I would share a few of ours:
• A niece’s first Christmas and a nephew who is gonna be hyperactively happy (this is mine!)
• The chance to buy presents for the cat
• Going home to see momma M
• I have bought a new dining table especially for Christmas dinner
• Not coming to work
• Going back home
• The chance to see the children unwrapping their presents after Santa has been
• Or perhaps its because the X Factor single has hit the shops?

Like many other workplaces across the country we indulged in a spot of secret Santa action, although the identity of our Santa wasn’t very secret.

The rules were straightforward (£5 max bought from a charity shop) and it was amazing what people found. Olivier found pearls for Clare who in turn found a Christmas in Motown record for Paul. There was Play-doh, slinkys, artwork, books, cufflinks, cushion covers…I could go on and on but suffice to say we all received great gifts.

Here are a few pictures of the team enjoying themsleves at secret santa!

Caitrin, Jo and Julia really didn't want their picture taken!

Have a wonderful Christmas and just have as much fun as possible. We will be back in 2009 with an even bigger programme of tours, events, projects and much much more from the blog as well as the website.

Other news…Two of our authors have been shortlisted for the Angus Book Award; James Jauncey (The Witness) and J.A. Henderson (Crash). Also on the shortlist are Meg Rosoff ( What I Was) and Anne Cassidy(Forget Me Not)

Friday, 12 December 2008

Snow place like Scotland

Last week Jasmine and Jo took the author Nick Ward on a Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour of primary schools in Angus and Perth & Kinross. Nick has very kindly written us a blog of his travels. It sounds as if they had a great time even if the weather was a bit wintery! Take it away Nick...

I had an absolutely brilliant time on my trip to Perth and Kinross on the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour, although I wish someone had told me to pack some ice skates or snow shoes! As soon as I arrived the temperature dropped and on our second morning I woke to find Pitlochry covered in four inches of snow. Brrr! It was cold, but it was very beautiful as well. The white hills looked like something from a fairy tale, and I must say I’m very jealous of some of the school children I visited. Their schools had the most spectacular views!

It was great to meet such wonderful and enthusiastic audiences – everyone had heard of Charlie Small and wanted to find out more about this lost boy adventurer. In fact most of you wanted to join my expedition to go in search of Charlie. Obviously not all of you will be able to come, but I hope some of you can join me – if you are able to be away from home and school for up to four hundred years that is!

On the third night of my trip the weather grew even colder, so I was not exactly thrilled when our hotel fire alarm went off at about ten o’clock at night! I was on the phone at the time and when the hooter went off I just dropped the phone and ran out to see what was going on. All of the fire doors along the corridor were closing automatically and I decided it was time to get out of there! It was just like a Charlie Small adventure.We clambered down the stairs to the emergency exit and rushed out into the chilly car park. It was then that I realised I hadn’t put my warm coat on. Yikes! Soon the fire brigade arrived and they were quickly able to tell us it was a false alarm and we could go back to our warm rooms. Is it always this exciting in Scotland?

I will always remember my brilliant trip to Scotland; the wonderful scenery; the friendly teachers and really great school children. Thank you all for making it such a memorable time.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for more Charlie Small journals. They could be anywhere! Have you searched your playgrounds yet?

Nick Ward
You can check out Nick's amazing website for much more info about him and the elusive adventurer, Charlie Small.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

How it feels to win a Royal Mail Award...

This week our special guest blogger is Royal Mail Award winner J.A. Henderson. So Jan, how was the winning experience for you?

"I have to say that I was astonished and delighted in equal measure at winning the Royal Mail Award for Bunker 10. I think the official term is ‘freaked out’. Bunker 10 had been shortlisted for another five prizes and managed to win exactly none (well, that’s not strictly true. I still have one to go). So I sat on my seat in the Award ceremony practising my brave face and reminding myself that being shortlisted was an honour in itself!

But I won! And I got a sheet of stamps with my face on it from the Royal Mail! Result! As soon as I got out I called my six year old son Charlie and told him. He was much calmer than me and suggested that I might like to split the prize money with him. That kid will end up Prime Minister some day. Or in jail.

I have to thank the Royal Mail (especially for the stamps, right) and the Scottish Book Trust for looking after me so well. But I REALLY want to thank the kids who voted for me. I’d written a whole bunch of books in the past as Jan-Andrew Henderson, but Bunker 10 was the first one where I decided to write exactly what I wanted. And there were plenty of adults who told me it was too complicated and too dark. And you proved that’s not true.

That’s better than having my face on a coin."

Thanks to Jan, and congrats again from all of us at Scottish Book Trust! If you haven't heard it yet, check out our interview with Jan talking all about writing Bunker 10 and loads of other cool stuff.

PS - if any of you out there are looking for Christmas present ideas, check out this list - only the finest selection of books, all of which make ideal Christmas gifts. Don't say we're not good to you...