Cressida Cowell has become the new writer-in-residence at children’s reading charity BookTrust, replacing Phil Earle.
Cowell, who will hold the position for six months, said: “I believe, strongly, that we are in a quest for the survival of books and readers. It’s a quest that we must win and one I have been engaged in for 18 years.
“I also want to encourage the writers, as well as the readers of tomorrow. The creative industries make more than £80bn a year for this country, so I want children to know that not only is a creative career an option, but that we need them.”
Cowell will take readers behind the scenes of the new DreamWorks film based on her books, entitled How to Train Your Dragon 3. She will also run a competition asking families to film themselves reading a children’s book.
The writer-in-residence programme has been running since March 2009 and other writers who have held the position include Patrick Ness, Sita Brahmachari, Polly Dunbar and Matt Haig.
Cowell is the author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, published by Hodder Children’s Books. Sales of her fiction books in the UK have grown to nearly £8m (£7,819,830), according to Nielsen BookScan. Including non-fiction Dragon titles such as the activity and sticker books, that total rises to £8,109,685.