Charity Booktrust has appointed Sita Brahmachari as its new online writer-in-residence. Brahmachari will take over from Philip Ardagh and her first blog post will appear on the Booktrust website next Monday 23rd February.
Over the course of her six-month residency Brahmachari will write weekly articles about the issues facing the children’s publishing industry.
“I will be writing this blog as we approach a general election in Britain in which many themes children’s writers don’t shy away from are being constantly raised,” she said. “How is society addressing some of the pressing needs of young people facing poverty, homelessness and social inequality? How do parents, educators, librarians, authors and publishers offer this generation narratives that can lead to greater understanding and empathy? What opportunities can placing a book in a child’s hands bring them?”
Another topic she will address is diversity. “It feels as we have entered a time when there is a real consciousness that we need to have a wide range of stories and characters that are more reflective of our population. Through this blog I’ll try to contribute my own and other’s diverse voices to this movement,” she said.
Brahmachari is the author of several children’s books and her debut novel Artichoke Hearts (Macmillan Children’s Books) won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2011.
Her latest title Red Leaves, also published by Macmillan Children’s Books, was endorsed by Amnesty International UK as a book that enhances understanding of human rights.
Booktrust’s writer-in-residence programme is now in its 6th year and Brahmachari is the 12th writer to take on the role. The first writer-in-residence was Patrick Ness, who was appointed in 2009, and other writers that have taken part include Chris Riddell, Polly Dunbar and Bali Rai.