Cowell and BookTrust reveal pairings for Pass The Pen campaign

Cowell and BookTrust reveal pairings for Pass The Pen campaign

BookTrust Represents and Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell have revealed the pairings for #PassThePen, a social media campaign designed to help promote visibility, champion new voices and generate book sales for emerging authors and illustrators of colour.

More than 20 up and coming creatives from the children’s book world will take over the Instagram channel of an established literary star for a day from 16th to 20th November, introducing themselves to their followers, giving an insight into their inspirations, and showcasing their work.

Those taking part include Chicken House author Jasbinder Bilan, who has been partnered with Cowell, Old Barn author A M Dassu who will take over Juno Dawson's channel, and Walker Books author Jen Khatun who is paired with Nadiya Hussain (full pairings listed below).

One of the hosts, Onjali Q Raúf, said: “By enabling those who have made it to forefront of the literary world to #passthepen to new hopefuls, this campaign can perhaps help do what the universe of literature always seeks to do, just that little bit faster: open our eyes, minds and hearts, to a galaxy of beautiful new stories, that otherwise and too often, may go unheard.”

The project, announced last month, follows research this week from  BookTrust Represents Interim Research and CLPE’s Reflecting Realities Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature showing only small improvements in making the sector representative of society.

The full pairings are:

16th November:

Jasbinder Bilan, author of Tamarind & The Star of Ishta (Chicken House), paired with Cressida Cowell

Aisha Bushby, author of Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found (Egmont), paired with Holly Smale

A M Dassu, author of Boy Everywhere (Old Barn Books), paired with Juno Dawson

Allen Fatimaharan, illustrator of Llama Out Loud! (Egmont) and My Hair (Faber), paired with Rob Biddulph

Margaret Sturton, author and illustrator of A Fox Called Herbert (Andersen Press), paired with Benji Davies


17th November:

Hiba Noor Khan, author of The Little War Cat (Macmillan Children’s Books), paired with Dermot O’Leary

Jen Khatun, illustrator of Sona Sharma, Very Best Big Sister (Walker Books), paired with Nadiya Hussain

Hannah Lee, author of My Hair (Faber), paired with Laura Dockrill

Annabelle Sami, author of Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Missing Diamonds (Stripes) and Llama Out Loud! (Egmont), paired with Frank Cottrell-Boyce


18th November:

Kereen Getten, author of When Life Gives You Mangoes (Pushkin Children's Books), paired with Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Onyinye Iwu, illustrator of Too Small Tola (Walker Books), paired with Dapo Adeola

Poonam Mistry, illustrator of You’re Strong With Me (Lantana), paired with Chris Riddell

Serena Patel, author of Anisha, Accidental Detective (Usborne), paired with Robin Stevens


19th November:

Lucy Farfort, illustrator of Afraid of the Dark (Caterpillar Books), paired with Jim Field

Sharna Jackson, author of MICDROP: A High Rise Mystery (Knights Of), paired with Greg James & Chris Smith

E L Norry, author of Voices: Son of the Circus: A Victorian Story (Scholastic), paired with Katherine Rundell

Viola Wang, author/illustrator of Rabbit Bright (Hodder Children’s Books), paired with Emily Gravett


20th November:

Momoko Abe, author/illustrator of Avocado Asks (Orchard Books), paired with Jen Campbell

Sandra A Agard, author of Trailblazers: Harriet Tubman (Stripes), paired with Onjali Q Raúf

Rashmi Sirdeshpande, author of Dosh (Wren & Rook) and author/illustrator of Never Show a T-Rex a Book (Puffin), paired with Holly Bourne