Friday, 27 March 2009

British Author, Neil Gamain, wins Newberry Medal

British-born author Neil Gamain has been named the winner of the Newberry Medal, America's most prestigious children's fiction prize. Neil was awarded the medal for The Graveyard Book, the story of a boy named Bod who lives in a graveyard and is brought up by ghosts.The annual Newberry Medal was founded in 1992 in honour of John Newberry, a British bookseller, and is awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author who makes 'the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

Newberry committee chair Rose V Trevino said of The Graveyard Book: 'A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this delicious creepy tale, which is sometimes humourous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising."

The Newberry is the latest in a long list of awards for Neil, who is a recepient of a number of prizes, including four Bram Stoker Awards, a British Fantasy Award, two Nebulas and an International Horror Guild Award. He writes prose, poetry, comics, song lyrics and drama. Website:

Article from Writer's News, April 2009, Photo by Kimberley Butler from the website

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Download the Munch Bunch stories

The six winning entries in the Munch Bunch Storytelling competition are now available on the Munch Bunch website. You can download each story as a podcast to listen to and print it off to read. The stories are:

Munch and the Missing Moo by Julie Hanratty

Munch and the Ghost of Davy Jones by William Adams

Munch Visits the Moon by Caroline Jones

Munch and the Disappearing Lettuce by Michael Murphy

Munch goes on an Adventure by Alex Dixon

and my own story,

Munch the Storyteller by Dorothy Massey

All six stories are narrated by celebrity mum Gail Porter. Go to to download the six winning stories for free. Please let me know what you and/or your children think of them.
You can also watch the two Behind the Scenes videos in which my son, Ben and I are featured.

Story Website for Deaf Children

A website that teaches deaf children classic stories has won its North-East inventor an honour. Malcolm Wright, from Darlington, was named a 'Reading Hero' by the Prime Minister's wife, Sarah Brown.

Mr Wright caught the attention of judges for his new website, which makes reading more accessible to deaf children. The site, at, features stories brought to life with sign language, sound, text and vision.

The service, launched by ITV, is expected to grow into an online library of more than 300 children's books.

Mr Wright said: "Being acknowledged at Downing Street for helping children to enjoy and benefit from reading is an unexpected honour. Through no fault of their own, deaf children in the UK have been disadvantaged by poor levels of literacy. We hope our website will make a real difference to their lives.

It's a place where all the family can share the fun of stories together. I hope signed will encourage thousands of children to get pleasure from reading some brilliant books."

The Northern Echo: Tues 3rd March