Christmas Spectacular With David Walliams And Jeff Kinney

After an unprecedented number of applicants, our FRONT ROW ticket competition winner was Alex from Nelson Primary School! We were so excited when we had the chance to give away the best seats in the house to see Jeff Kinney and David Walliams' Christmas Spectacular. 

Alex was kind enough to take along his sister Zoe and we all had a fantastic, festive evening. We listened to readings, saw live illustrations and created characters with the authors themselves. 

All in all it was a once in a lifetime show that kicked off the Little Star Writing Christmas celebrations perfectly.

Winter Magic Launch Party

How many fantastic authors can you fit inside a book: 2, 3, maybe 4 at a push (or none if we're talking literally!). Well not if you're Abi Elphinstone!

It turns out 11 is the magic number, which just is how many amazing writers we're featured in 'Winter Magic'. From Michelle Magorian, author of Goodnight Mister Tom, to Emma Carroll and Katherine Woodfine, all of the authors conjured up their best wintery tales for Abi's collection.

To celebrate the release and enjoy the magic and mayhem, we took a handful of Little Star Writers from Trafalgar Junior School along to the launch with us. They all proceeded to race around the event, trying to collect EVERY SINGLE author signature, whilst the adults tucked into mulled wine and mince pies.

It was lots of fun and all in the name of a brilliant book. We'd even go so far as to say it's a must have stocking filler!

Little Star Writers Become Publishers For The Day At Usborne

Firstly, we'd like to say a HUGE thank you to Usborne for allowing us to take over their office for the day.

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3 lucky Little Star Writers, Millie, Charlotte and Lucy, were given the chance to experience life inside the publishing industry, thanks to the team at Usborne. They said it exceeded all of their expectations, and one went so far as to say, 'I'm definitely going to work in publishing when I'm older'!  

Everyone was incredibly friendly and really made the girls feel at home. They met with fiction editor, Becky, who showed them the different departments within the publishing house, and set them an array of fantastic activities to give them an insight into what the life of a publisher is really like.

After lunch, when given a choice between chatting and eating cupcakes or heading back to the office, they chose to go back to work! The day definitely made an impression on them, and we'd like to thank everyone who made it possible - thank you Usborne!

Shakespeare & Co. Book Buying in Paris

This summer we went to Paris, and despite having visited a handful of times, we've never managed to get to the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookshop. Through bank holidays, staff sick days and Sundays (which the French take very seriously), the shop has been closed each and every time we've visited. But this time...

IT WAS OPEN!

Hopefully you'll make it there first time around, but if you're ever in Paris we would definitely recommend you take a look.

Screen Your Story Finalists

We're very proud to have had dozens of Little Star Writers enter this year's Screen Your Story Competition. Ishaan and Francesco were our fantastic finalists, who wrote emotive stories on the set topic of 'disability'. 

We were invited to the award ceremony to see the official screening of the 5 winning films at Olympic Cinema, Barnes. And after an exciting day our Little Star Writers got to meet the competition host, Jack Whitehall!

Hundreds of children entered the competition, so to have two of our writers in the final was brilliant. Well done Francesco and Ishaan, and thank you to Screen Your Story.

We Hosted The First Ever #UKMGChat Takeover

We're very excited to say that we were invited to host the first ever #UKMGChat takeover. Event organiser, Lorraine, got in touch with us to ask our Little Star Writers a very special favour: Normally #UKMGChat involves industry experts asking authors questions, but this time Lorraine ask if our Little Star Writers could put forward their questions.

The students were all really excited to be given the chance to ask authors ANYTHING they wanted, and we had some brilliant suggestions. Writers Parineeta, Ben, Issy and Tiggy were in the driving seat on the day and took to Twitter with LSW Director, Mel. They set about questioning the authors and received tonnes of great answers.

It's not every day that you get to chat to some of your favourite authors, so on behalf of our Little Star Writers we'd like to give a huge thanks to #UKMGChat.

Oxford Literature Festival Workshops

It's not every day that you get to teach in a location as beautiful and prestigious as Oxford but, despite the rain, we were lucky enough to hold two, fully-booked Little Star Writing workshops!

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We were invited to the Oxford Lit Fest to teach amongst an amazing line up of authors and illustrators and after a fun and energetic day, it was lovely to get to take in the sites of Oxford.

The writers all worked fantastically hard and produced some brilliant work, so we'd like to thank all of the festival organisers for having us.

Abi Elphinstone's Launch Party for 'The Shadow Keeper'

What do you get when you mix five Little Star Writers, one LSW Tutor, tons of sugary treats, and a room full of authors? A launch party, of course! 

But this was no ordinary launch party. This was for friend, mentor and downright superSTAR, Abi Elphinstone. We've known Abi since the release of her first book, 'The Dream Snatcher', in early 2015, and have held around 14 or 15 school events with her. She was one of the headlining authors at the LSW Festival 2015, and she even gave us the idea for the 'Writer's Journey' theme. We love hearing about all the crazy adventures Abi goes on to inspire her stories, and could not be more proud to help her celebrate the release of the sequel, 'The Shadow Keeper'. 

As well as getting books signed, cheering at our shout-out during her speech, and finding our names in the acknowledgments of the book, the Little Star Writers took great delight in playing 'Author Bingo' - a game where they had to look at photos of (some) of the authors that attended, and then race to see if they could find them somewhere in the room. Some were easier to find than others (Piers Torday, I'm so sorry they stalked you from one end of the room to the other - they can be a determined bunch when they want to be!), and they had great fun getting tips from Abi's Literary Agent, Hannah Sheppard, being entertained by Scholastic Editor, David Maybury, and screaming when LSW favourite, Robin Stevens walked in. Thank you to all of the authors, publishers, bloggers, teachers and of course, Abi, for making us feel so welcome. We had a blast! 

Little Star Writer Wins Puffin's 'Christmas Animal' Competition

To celebrate the relaunch of Sue Bentley's 'Magic Kitten' series, Puffin launched a competition in December 2015 where students had to create their own Christmas Animal and write a description or story about it. A few weeks later, Little Star Writer, Charlotte, was announced as the winner, and we could not be more proud of her hard work and brilliant ideas. Well done, Charlotte!

 

LSW Win 'UK's Best Educational Provider' Award!

We could not be more thrilled to be named 'UK's Best Educational Provider 2015/2016'. We would like to say a huge * thank you * to all those that voted for us, and to the judges for their kind comments and enthusiasm towards Little Star Writing. We work extremely hard to please Little Star Writers, parents, and schools, and to ensure we always remain 'ahead of the game'. Here's to another fun-filled, jam-packed year... 

Richmond Literature Festival Workshops

We had a blast running LSW workshops at the Richmond Literature Festival 2015. WIth students attending from more than 20 local schools, we taught them our innovative writing structure, introduced them to some new writing rules, and encouraged them to write their own dramatic stories. We loved meeting all of the students and playing games, completing group activities, and listening to all of their brilliant ideas. Well done to all those that attended!

The Launch of Star Writers: 11+ Workshops

After receiving an overwhelming amount of interest, we launched STAR WRITERS, our workshops aimed at students aged 11+ in October 2015. Despite focusing on primary school ages for our after school workshops, we are always left with the dilemma of saying goodbye to our loyal year 6 students when they move on to secondary school, and after receiving numerous emails asking to launch something for an older age group, we happily obliged. 

It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces (and some new ones) at the 11+ Halloween and Christmas Writing Retreats, and it was a pleasure to see how far they had come, how much more confident they were, and how their writing had developed. Congratulations to all of you for graduating from Little Star Writing to become fully-fledged STAR WRITERS! 

An Evening With John Boyne and Simon Mayo

We were thrilled to be invited to the largest bookshop in Europe (Waterstones, Piccadilly), to hear children's author / BBC Radio 2 DJ, Simon Mayo, interview award-winning children's author John Boyne, about his bestselling novel 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas', and his latest publication, 'The Boy At The Top Of A Mountain'. Alongside a group of LSW Tutors, we also saw lots of friendly faces from Penguin Random House (one of our sponsors), and teachers / Literacy Coordinators from schools we run workshops at. It was an incredibly inspiring evening, and we were thrilled to get John Boyne and Simon Mayo books signed to add to our collection, too!  

Little Star Writers Become Journalists for the Radio Times Festival 2015

In September 2015, Little Star Writing held a competition to win tickets to talks with David Walliams and Anthony Horowitz at the first Radio Times Festival at Hampton Court. After winning the tickets, Little Star Writers, Charlie, Sadie, Toby and Oli, heard talks from David Walliams and Anthony Horowitz, and then attended book signings and asked them questions about writing and life as an author. They even got backstage access to the Press Tent, wore VIP wristbands, and got to interview other journalists and the editor of Radio Times, Ben Preston. What a brilliant day! 

Book Buying in Sunny Santorini

In August 2015, we visited the tiny island of Santorini and spent far too long exploring one of the best bookshops we've ever come across - Atlantis Books. Not only was this bookshop hidden away in a cave, it also had a roof terrace that overlooked the Aegean Sea and was perfect for watching the sunset. Who ever said bookshops were boring!?

Wicked Young Writers Competition - Little Star Writing Finalist

After winning numerous awards for his story, 'The Rose Seller', it came as no surprise that Little Star Writer Ishaan was shortlisted for the Wicked Young Writers Competition 2015, too. Supported by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Michael Morpurgo, Little Star Writing travelled with Ishaan and his family to the London Apollo Victoria Theatre, and thoroughly enjoyed hearing the winner's stories, watching Ishaan take part in an on-stage challenge, and receiving a copy of the finalist's story in an anthology. 

Once everyone had left, we then got to go on stage and meet Head Judge, Cressida Cowell (author of 'How To Train Your Dragon'). After chatting about Little Star Writing and explaining a bit more about what we do, Cressida even gave some personal feedback on Ishaan's story, saying 'that Rose Seller story was very moving'. 

We couldn't be more proud of Ishaan or more grateful to the organisers of Wicked Young Writers for the fantastic opportunity to help celebrate the talent of our young writers. 

The LSW 2015 Book Is Published!

What do you get when you mix a few hundred creative Little Star Writers, one tired proofreader and lots of excited screaming?

Answer: the LSW 2015 Book of course!

We could not be prouder of the Little Star Writers and the efforts they have gone to to make their work as good as it possibly can be. Whether they've submitted the opening of a story, a poem they wrote with a partner, or several diary entries, we've loved reading their work and turning them all into published authors. Well done all of you!

Launched: LSW Parties!

Because we thought we weren't doing enough already *cough cough*, we've finally buckled under the pressure from pleading parents and excited students, and launched LSW Parties. The very first LSW party was for 10-year-old Eva, and we're so thrilled Eva and her friends enjoyed it as much as we loved running it! For more details on LSW Parties or to book one for your child please email us here.

LSW Go To NYC!

In May 2015, we were exceptionally excited to go to the largest literary event in the world - Book Expo America. While we were there, we attended a Book Breakfast with children's authors and illustrators, James Patterson, Rainbow Rowell, Oliver Jeffers and Nathan Lane. It's always inspiring to hear an author talk about where they get their ideas from and their journey to publication, but these presentations seemed to have some added sparkle. James Patterson announced that he was launching his own publishing company after years of writing bestseller after bestseller, and we even got an Advanced Reader's Copy of his not-even-in-the-shops yet children's book! Then Rainbow Rowell entertained us with stories of her struggle to fufill her dream of becoming a published author, and Oliver Jeffers did some live illustrations while he spoke. To top it all off, Nathan Lane was a first-class Master of Ceremonies and had us all laughing and clapping at the ungodly hour of 7.30am (it was a book 'breakfast' after all!). If that wasn't enough, we had the rest of the day to explore the gargantuan festival, and met lots of lovely publishers, publicists and authors. And what would a trip to NYC be without a visit to the New York Public Library. We certainly have a story or two to tell when we see the Little Star Writers!

Meeting Michael Rosen

LSW Owner, Mel, and some Little Star Writing tutors travelled to the London Review Bookshop in May 2015 to hear Michael Rosen (author, poet, professor of Children's Literature, and education specialist) talk about the future of publishing, children's books and education. In what turned out to be one of the most insightful, eloquently comedic, and honest talks they had witnessed, Mel and her team met the man himself, asked some questions about children's creative writing and explained the concept behind Little Star Writing.