Thursday, 28 April 2011

An abundance of cakey delights to celebrate the impending Royal wedding!

Tessa Rose, Templar's Foreign Rights Assistant, seen here displaying her patriotic cupcake skills. She'd been up since dawn today baking and decorating and the results were judged a huge success. More please Tessa!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dragonology at the Cambridge Lit Fest

Dugald Steer and Middleton Man wooed a capacity audience at this weekend's Cambridge Festival!

Dressed from head to toe in Victorian attire Dug and Mids arrived (by dragon ...natch) to entertain over 100 children at Saturday’s Dragonology event.

As well as a “powerous pointus” presentation on the identification of said dragons including a lengthy discussion regarding their toilet habits the audience were treated to a “how to walk like a dragon work shop” and sworn in to the Top Secret Dragon Research society.

An abundance of questions from the audience followed and there was a healthy stream of enthusiastic young Dragonologists at the subsequent book signing.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Simon Bartram Writing Workshop

Our very lovely author Simon Bartram, Blue Peter Award winner with his book ‘Man on the Moon’, will be holding a free adult story writing workshop in Conference Room 4 of Birmingham Central Library on Wednesday 20th April.

Come along between 12-2pm to meet Simon and learn how to write a children’s story and create amazing illustrations. Lunch will be provided.

Attendees will each receive a free goody bag, containing a signed copy of Simon’s newest book in the ‘Bob 'n Barry Lunar Adventures ’ series: Clone Chaos. Plus notepad and pencils to get you started writing your very own children’s story!

To register your place at the Munch Time Adult Story Writing Workshop contact Jovana Lakcevic on 020 7395 7141 or

Simon is the author ambassador for the Munch Time Storytelling Competition, which gives budding children’s story writers the opportunity to have their winning book published, plus a £1,000 cash prize. Five runner ups will each win a £500 cash prize. To enter visit the Munch Bunch website:

Thomas Docherty and Ruby Nettleship at The Oxford Lit Fest

Thomas Docherty - Guest Blog from Oxford

"I have done quite a lot of literary festivals now and feel very comfortable telling my stories to groups of children and their parents and my event in Oxford on Saturday seemed to go down very well. I have made some large cardboard cut out props to help me tell my stories and I do some live drawing. I also project the illustrations from the books at the same time but I find that the cut outs grab the children’s attention in a way that the images on the screen do not. The fact that they are obviously quickly hand drawn and painted and can be passed around and held also makes them more ‘real’ to the audience. Having said that, I have a giant ice lolly prop, which if I invite the younger members of the audience to take a bite and say what it tastes like, they will happily do so and say ‘apple’ or ‘lemon,’ where as the older children tend to say ‘cardboard!’ Because the event was centred around my latest book ‘Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure’ the publishers had arranged for there to be and ice cream bicycle at the exit and everyone who wanted got a mini milk, which presumably tasted better than my cardboard props!"

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Hip Hip Hooray! Owen Davy has won a Junior Design Award!

Hip Hip Hooray!
Get the bunting out and line the streets for today we are proud to announce (with a riotous fanfare) that Owen Davey has won the category of Most Promising New Talent in the Junior Magazine design awards with his smashing picture book Foxly's Feast!

There will be a special 164 page Collectors' Edition of Junior magazine (July issue, on sale June 3) which will showcase all the winners. The Junior website, will also feature the winners.

Find out more about Owen here...

A well deserved win

Friday, 8 April 2011

SLA - Guest Post by Author Teresa Flavin

Here is a guest post by Templar Author Teresa Flavin after her recent trip to the SLA conference

Last weekend I ended my winter hibernation and got on a train south to do something for the very first time: attend a School Libraries Group conference. It was my first time speaking about my writing to an adult-only group, let alone a conference of librarians. This might have been daunting except that I was able to mingle, share a meal and be on a quiz team with the friendliest librarians you could wish for.

There was a terrific buzz about the conference centre and it was infectious. Many librarians told me how much they enjoy meeting authors and what a great time they have at the SLG Conference.

Johnny O’Brien and I were the Sunday morning speakers on a panel chaired by Templar Publishing’s Helen Boyle. Any pre-speech nerves I had evaporated when I recognised familiar faces in the audience – although I did ‘encourage’ Johnny to speak first so I could see how it’s done properly!

Johnny is a really engaging and interesting speaker. I got so engrossed listening to him talk about the inspirations for his Jack Christie books that I almost forgot that I was there to speak about mine. Luckily, I love speaking about the story and inspirations behind The Blackhope Enigma; and for the first time, I spoke a bit about the forthcoming sequel, The Crimson Shard.

One of the nicest parts about speaking to audiences who love books is meeting them when I sign their copies afterwards – and the school librarians were no exception. It’s especially thrilling when people tell me they’ve connected with something I said, or they know a child who will love my books. A number of librarians mentioned that they would be giving The Blackhope Enigma copies as school prizes, which makes me very happy.

Thanks to all the lovely SLG conferees who made me so welcome!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Small Free Kiss In The Dark Blog Tour - 25th Apr to 7th May

Here at Templar we're huge fans of the talent down under and this month we're taking renowned Australian author, Glenda Millard, on an unmissable tour of some the UK's best loved teen fiction blogs. Glenda will be bringing along her award-winning book, A Small Free Kiss In The Dark, released in the UK on 1st May, for some exclusive extracts, interviews and guest posts as well as some fantastic giveaways and revealing reviews from our blog hosts.

A Small Free Kiss In The Dark
Glenda Millard

Skip's an outsider. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left behind, especially when he teams up with old homeless man Billy. Then come the bombs which bring little Max and Tia, the sad dancer with a tiny baby, into Skip and Billy's world. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination - how long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city?

If you loved Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, you will be left breathless by this stunning novel. Canberra Times

A beautiful story... this book is delightful and stands as a testimony to the power of family, friendship and love. Viewpoint

Tell me more about this tour! Where should I go? What will I see? Well, Glenda will be taking in an epic 13 stops starting on 25th April and running to the 7th May. For more details, here's the line up:

Mon 25th April

First up on Easter Monday is My Favourite Books and if you're an aspiring writer this is definitely the stop to take in as there will be a guest post from Glenda all about the writing process of A Small Free Kiss In The Dark. Our blog host, Liz, will also be posting her review.

Tues 26th April

Day 2 and we're stopping off at The Slowest Bookworm where you'll be able to read the tour's first exclusive extract and enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book.

Wed 27th April

Next up, Glenda will be calling in at The Reader Room to deliver her next guest post. Our lovely blog host Alice will also be posting her review and hosting another giveaway.

Thur 28th April

A stop at Fluttering Butterflies is next on the agenda for Glenda's first Q&A session. Blogger Michelle has lined up some great questions so don't miss the answers!

Fri 29th April

On the day of the Royal Wedding we're heading over to Library Mice where you can delve a little further into the world of Australian teen and kid lit as Glenda will be talking about her top 5 Aussie novels.

Sat 30th April

If you're recovering from a great Wedding party the day before, it might be time to sit down and relax with Asamum Booktopia. Here you'll be able to read a guest post from Glenda about her thoughts on libraries - a pretty hot topic at the moment.

Sun 1st May

On publication day make sure you head over to Planet Print for the second exclusive extract on the tour, plus a review and giveaway from Liz.

Mon 2nd May

Glenda will be giving her second interview over at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews and if you've missed the giveaways so far, you'll find one here too!

Tues 3rd May

Teenage Fiction For All Ages will be hosting another great exclusive extract and giveaway combo so if you haven't signed up yet, we're definitely doing something wrong...

Wed 4th May

Day 10 and Glenda will be dropping off another exciting guest post over at So Many Books, So Little Time and blogger Sophie will be giving us her views on the book in her review.

Thur 5th May

Literary Enchantment TBC!

Fri 6th May

The penultimate stop will be at Book Babblers with Glenda's last guest post and giveaway so don't miss out on this one!

Sat 7th May

Last stop and Glenda will be at The Book Bug for an unmissable interview with blogger Chloe who will also give the last review so make sure you read what she's got to say.

Phew! I'm exhausted just writing all that but it's definitely got my juices going! Glenda is going to need some serious hand massages after all that typing but it's all for a great cause and we're really looking forward to having you all on the tour to share the excitement and discovery of a real gem of a book.

Glenda Millard is an award-winning Australian author. She began thinking about the main character for A Small Free Kiss In The Dark after noticing a newspaper headline about urban tribes, and she wondered what life would be like for a young homeless boy, living with people thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. While the backdrop for this story is war, her intention was to capture the indomitable nature of hope.

Glenda lives in the Goldfields region of Central Victoria. Her book The Naming of Tishkin Silk was an Honour Book in the 2004 CBC Book of the Year Awards. Layla Queen of Hearts was a winner in the 2007 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and her picture book, Kaito's Cloth, was also shortlisted in the 2007 Queensland Premier's Literary Award.

A Small Free Kiss In The Dark won the prestigious Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Best Young Adult book, 2009.