Children’s laureate Malorie Blackman has launched a fan fiction-inspired project to find the best teen writers and creatives.
Project Remix, backed by Booktrust with partners Movellas and Penguin Random House, is asking young people aged 13-19 to create a piece of creative writing, comic strip, book cover, book trailer or music composition based on one of 24 works of literature chosen by Blackman, including works such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
“I’m really excited by this project,” Blackman told The Bookseller. “There’s such a proliferation of fan fiction sites these days and it’s a perfect way of tapping into teenagers’ creativity, by getting them inspired by classic and contemporary novels, poems and graphic novels… from Jane Austen to John Green.”
Unlike some authors, Blackman has no problem with fan fiction sites and said all creative people are inspired by others. “I was an avid reader and that prompted my desire to become a writer. Fan fiction for lots of people is a great way to get feedback and if you haven’t found your voice or style yet you can use it as a springboard.”
She will judge the competition along with a Movellas community member and a publisher from Penguin Random House, but she doesn’t want teenagers to retell any of the stories. “They could maybe develop new stories, or write a prequel or a sequel. It’s about making it your own.”
To enter the competition, entrants must post their piece on the Movellas website. The winners will be announced in April next year.
They will win experience relating to their category, including: a day at a music studio (music); a design portfolio session with a Random House senior book designer (book cover design); a film feedback session with BBC director Jermain Julian (book trailer); an editorial critique session from a top Random House editor (creative writing); and a behind-the- scenes visit to the Phoenix comic publisher (comic strip). The runners-up will receive a special goody bag of books.
This is Blackman’s last big project as children’s laureate, although there are “one or two small ones” left to come, and is something that has been in the pipeline for a while.
“When Julia [Donaldson, the previous children’s laureate] handed over to me this was one of the projects that I was keen to get off the ground… My interest has always been teenagers and this is something very close to my heart,” she said.
The full list of Project Remix selected works of literature:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Vintage Classics)
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Random House Children's Books)
Tamsin and the Deep comic strip by Neill Cameron and Kate Brown (The Phoenix Comic)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Hear and Now poem by Laura Dockrill (unpublished)
Say Her Name by James Dawson (Hot Key Books)
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Heroic by Phil Earle (Penguin Children's Books)
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (Random House Children's Books)
Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin (Egmont)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Penguin Children's Books)
'Oh, Whistle and I'll Come To You My Lad’ short story by M. R. James
‘The Alumni Interview’ (short story from How they Met) by David Levithan (Egmont)
Split Second by Sophie McKenzie (Simon & Schuster)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
Wonder by R J Palacio (Random House Children's Books)
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (Scholastic)
(Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai (Random House Children's Books)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Macmillan Children's Books)
She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick (Orion Children's Books)
‘Ozymandias’ poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Geek Girl by Holly Smale (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Dracula by Bram Stoker
‘We Refugees’ (poem from Wicked World) by Benjamin Zephaniah (Penguin Children's Books)