I haven’t posted anything for a while on these blog pages, because I have been so busy writing book three. There have actually been a few things I wanted to blog about to do with writing, but I haven’t had the time, yet. Hopefully soon, however.
In the mean time here are some pictures from Cogheart and Moonlocket events that took place over the summer – June and July mostly as I have tried to keep the whole of August free for writing.
On the 5th of July it was the Branford Boase Awards, which honours editors and writers together, and it was lovely to be there with my amazing editor Rebecca Hill, who on the same day was one of the Rising Stars at the Bookseller Awards. Here are a few pictures of the evening, congratulations to the winners, MG Leonard, Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leshon. The best thing about the evening is that there’s also an award for young writer – some of their fantastic short stories were read out – and at the end of the evening they receive copies of all the nominated books, so afterwards you get to meet them when they come up to ask for your signature.
In the last weeks of July I had a couple of final school events. Here are a few picture from my visit to King Edward’s Girls School in Birmingham on the 6th of July, where the year 7 girls had made lots of amazing artwork based on Cogheart as part of their end of year project…
On the 10th of July I visited Ashfield School in Kirkby where the Year 8s were doing a whole day of Cogheart themed events, I went and talked with them all and signed some books. And they had even made some airships…
Then on the 12th of July I was at the Warwickshire Junior Book Awards with Ross Welford who wrote Time Travelling with a Hamster, and Sue Durrant who wrote Little Bits of Sky. Congratulations to Sue, who won the award. It was fun day, especially seeing Ross’s magic act, and meeting all the students afterwards, who came to get their books signed.
On the 24th of July I was at Brentwood Literary Festival organised by the lovely Natasha of Chicken and Frog Bookshop and I got to meet some more readers and teach a little bit of animation at the end of my talk, which I haven’t done for a while!
Finally on the third of August I had afternoon tea with the winner of the Authorfy Cogheart afternoon tea competition Megan Nichols and her friends, as well as Authorfy organisers Mel and Emily. Megan is an avid reader and book blogger. It was a great fun afternoon – thanks Mel and Emily for organising everything – and you can read all about that day, because Megan has written a post all about it on her Munchkin Megan book blog here…
This week I appeared on two podcasts: the Down the Rabbit Hole Radio Show and the WordMonkeys Podcast
Here’s me chatting to Matt Brown over on his WordMonkeys Podcast this week — discussing writing Cogheart, Postman Pat, Children’s TV shows, and how I get mistaken for another 72YO Peter Bunzl — and if you like that, there are lots of previous episodes featuring Matt’s writer chats with the likes of Piers Torday, Holly Bourne, Robin Stephens, SF Said etc.
This year – on the 22nd of June, quite a long time ago now, but that’s how I roll with the blogging – I took part in the PopUp Festival.
The Popup Festival is celebration of reading, writing and visual storytelling, taking place annually in 500 classes in schools from regions of the UK with the greatest literacy needs. Every participating class, from nursery to year 9, is matched with an exciting, engaging book, and provided with a set to work with over a period of six weeks. Then, over two weeks in June, each class meets the writer or illustrator of their book for a creative workshop.
Thanks to PopUp and the organiser Saul, I was able to visit schools I might not ordinarily. The best thing about it was the kids in the classes had ALL read Cogheart, or had it read to them in class, and they were ALL engaged with it and excited to meet me. And because they had been so engaged with the book recently, their questions in the sessions were very unique and interesting.
The two schools I visited were Priorslee Academy and Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge in Telford and they were both fantastic sessions. The kids had made artwork and done projects around Cogheart which are always amazing to see, and had great questions – even about specific characters and events in the story – that they had prepared beforehand. Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge School had even made some fabulous book trailers. Here are a few pictures from various student’s gorgeous work around the book…
There are some PopUp Resources for schools, featuring books from their other events here
Doing a joint event at Hay festival on the 2nd of June with Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of Girl of Ink and Stars was definitely one of the highlights of my year. The night I arrive, I went out for cocktails with Kiran and her husband and we talk about books. The next day we discover our event has sold out, and we have been moved to a bigger venue; the starlight tent with a star-studded ceiling! It seems appropriate for Kiran’s book and a little for mine.
Afterwards I get to hang out at the festival. I saw some inspirational talks, bumped into loads of lovely MG and YA writers I know, Jo Cotterill, Abi Longstaff, Sarah Crossan, Lisa Heathfield and Juno Dawson, and witnessed Patrice Lawrence winning the YA bookprize for the awesome Orangeboy. Then, the next day I wandered round the intriguing bookshops in town – there are at least 30, goodness knows how they all keep going – and I bought far too many books! It was a fabulous couple of days.
Here we are at the HAY30 sign before our event:
Hanging out in the green room with Jo Cotterill and Patrice with her award:
The main event, Girl of Ink and Stars and Cogheart:
Book Shops galore:
One of the best things about being an author is when children write to you about your books, or send you drawings of the characters. The other week I received a whole batch of amazing letters and art from St Mary the Mount RC Primary School telling me how much they enjoyed Cogheart. They had each done some drawings and written a fact sheet about mechanicals for one of their school projects. You can see some of them here, there’s a lovely drawing of Mrs Rust which I think is my favourite! And I even learnt some interesting facts about mechanicals from them… For example, did you know you can apparently cut a mechanical in half and both halves will go on living!! A bit like the Terminator! Also that some mechanicals and mechanimals run away from their owners because they are unhappy, but then they go rusty and run down and stop working. Thanks to all the pupils at St Mary the Mount for your lovely letters and inspirational drawings and thoughts on mechanicals. I hope you got my reply?
In case you missed it when it went out live a couple of weeks ago, here is a listen again version of the Funkids Radio interview with afternoon Funkids club DJ Bex. We chat about Moonlocket and the greatest bits about being an author, and I answer some of the listener’s burning questions about Cogheart!
Funkids Moonlocket interview…
And here’s the original chat we had last year about Cogheart…
Win afternoon tea & writing advice from me. Over on the authorfy site here: https://www.authorfy.com/competitions/peterbunzlafternoontea/ …
The prize also includes 5 signed copies of ‘Moonlocket’ for your school library and 5 signed copies for you and your friends!
Rules of Entry:
– This competition is open to the public
– The deadline for entries is 31st May 2017
– We will announce the winner on 9th June 2017 and contact via the given email address
– A parent or guardian must enter on a child’s behalf
– The afternoon tea will last approximately 90 minutes – 2 hours, with the chance to discuss what it’s like to be an author with Peter Bunzl, ask questions, and get writing tips and advice.
– Please note, the afternoon tea will take place during the summer holidays, on a mutually convenient date, which will be arranged once the winner has been announced.
– The afternoon tea will take place in a venue in SW London. Travel expenses and accommodation are the responsibility of the parents and will not be covered / reimbursed by Authorfy. We ask that a parent travels to the venue with the winners.
– Two members of the Authorfy team will attend the event with the winner and 4 friends. Both team members hold valid a DBS, First Aid and Safeguarding certificates.
– This competition is only open to UK residents
– Any allergies or dietary requirements will be accommodated
– Please note: no upload is required for this competition
Authorfy is a new platform that aims to developed exciting and original videos in which children’s authors share their unique approach to creative writing and pass on their love for literacy. Their corresponding learning resources have been produced to inspire students to engage with the authors’ style of writing, and through the platform they are giving students the chance to have their work read and reviewed by the authors themselves!
Authorfy; where creativity comes to life.
I am delighted to announce that Cogheart has been shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, an annual award for the author of an outstanding debut children’s novel.
The award is unique in also honouring the editor of the shortlisted books for identifying and nurturing new talent – which in Cogheart’s case is Usborne’s Fiction Director Rebecca Hill.
The Branford Boase Award is in its 17th year and previous winners include Frances Hardinge and Meg Rosoff.
The winner will be announced on 5th July. Frances Hardinge will present the winner with a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.
Cogheart has been shortlisted for nine awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017.
I am delighted to announce that Cogheart has been shortlisted for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award!
Voting ended yesterday (30.4.17). It’s an honour to be on such a strong and varied shortlist with so many fabulous books – a Carnegie Nominee, a Waterstones Prize Winner, an Edinburgh First Book Award Winner, and a Zoella Book Club pick, are amongst the awards they’ve been nominated for or won. Plus five other lovely authors. I am particularly proud of this nomination since it is voted for by my peers, and because it is an award associated with SCBWI. SCBWI – The Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators – is an organization that has helped me greatly on my journey to become a published children’s writer. Thanks to SCBWI I have made oodles of great new writer friends and through them, and the events and conference they organise, learnt tons about children’s publishing. All of which has helped me become a little less green about that world I have moved into as a published author. So here’s to SCBWI, long may it continue. And fingers crossed for Cogheart winning the Crystal Kite!