Dapo Adeola has been named the new writer-illustrator in residence at children's reading charity BookTrust.
The residency provides a platform for writers and illustrators to explore issues they are passionate about and focuses on working with the community to ensure children from disadvantaged families are not overlooked.
Adeola plans to champion underrepresented voices and the art of storytelling in his new role, which will see him supporting emerging illustrators, organising activities for readers and children's books creators, and demystifying the industry for those pursuing a career in children's books.
His work includes the bestselling picture book Look Up! (Puffin) with Nathan Bryon, the artwork in Mark Powers’ Space Detectives (Bloomsbury) and We’re Going To Find The Monster, written by Malorie Blackman (Puffin).
Adeloa said he was "super honoured" by the role. He explained: “My theme during this residency will be 'The Art of Storytelling'. I’ll be looking at illustration as a form of storytelling: who gets to tell stories, as well as the importance of championing and developing the diverse voices and talents within illustration and storytelling in general. My time will be divided between both the readers and content creators of children’s literature, with competitions and activities for both groups that give an insight into some of the relevant areas of children’s illustration.
“I’ll also be using my tenure to demystify access into publishing for aspiring illustrators by giving them a glimpse into industry life as well as workshops on navigating social media and building your brand as a beginner in children’s illustration. I’m really looking forward to sharing this next step of my journey with you all.”
Diana Gerald, c.e.o. of BookTrust, said: “Dapo has been an incredible supporter of BookTrust and I’m delighted to welcome him as our newest writer-illustrator in residence. His books and stories and pictures have inspired children to lose themselves in a world of creativity and imagination whilst championing underrepresented voices that can encourage children to pick up books, discover the joy of reading and inspire them to tell their own stories.”
The writer-illustrator residency project has been running since March 2009, and has featured several authors and illustrators including Cressida Cowell, Sita Brahmachari, Patrick Ness, Polly Dunbar, Bali Rai, Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill, Chris Riddell, Nicola Davies and Smriti Halls among others.