New children’s project set to inspire reading

Two authors and a publisher have backed a campaign to support children’s literacy in Blackpool.

Connecting Stories, led by the National Literacy Trust’s Get Blackpool Reading campaign and funded by Arts Council England, will increase children and young people’s access to literary

experiences and books.

Authors Chris Callaghan and Lisa Rajan will be championing reading and creative writing in Blackpool through school visits to virtual classrooms and overseeing a creative writing

Author Lisa Rajan

competition.

Publisher HarperCollins UK will also donate books to the town.

Children and young people aged seven to 14 will be invited to take part in the creative writing competition with a theme to be announced shortly. Entries will be published in one of 19

Connecting Stories anthologies and displayed in the resort.

Author Chris Callaghan

Chris Callaghan, author, said: “I am so happy to be part of Connecting Stories with the National Literacy Trust and Get Blackpool Reading.

“A love of reading can be so transformative to a child’s confidence, wellbeing and ultimately their life chances. I hope this project will inspire a love of reading in children and young people

across the town to support their literacy and ignite their curiosity about the stories around them.”

Lisa Rajan, author, said: “Books are portals into other worlds and help children explore the limits of their imagination – and lots of us need a bit of escapism at the moment!

“I hope this project allows us to encourage every child and young person across Blackpool to find a love of reading that will stay with them, and inspire them to dream big, forever.”

Jill Connolly, project manager for Get Blackpool Reading, said: “Connecting Stories will provide valuable support for children, young people and families in Blackpool that have been

disproportionately affected by the impact of Covid-19.

“Throughout this difficult time, we have seen the positive impact of community and connecting with others.

“This initiative will help develop reading and creative writing skills, whilst also supporting wellbeing.

“I am excited to see this campaign develop in Blackpool and cannot wait to read some of the creative writing entries.”

Sarah Crown, director of literature at Arts Council England, said: “Connecting Stories is a brilliant, creative way of supporting children’s literacy in communities suffering disproportionately

from the impact of Covid-19.”

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