Children's author Smriti Halls has been appointed writer in residence for reading charity BookTrust, succeeding Ed Vere.
The author's work has been published in more than 30 languages with books including Love You Night and Day (Bloomsbury), You Make Me Happy (Bloomsbury) and The Ways of the Wolf (Wren & Rook).
The BookTrust writer or illustrator in residence project has been running since March 2009 and has featured creators including Cressida Cowell, Sita Brahmachari, Patrick Ness and Matt Haig. Each one is asked to explore topics that they are passionate about, with past residents exploring themes such as the power of stories, diversity in children’s literature and the importance of libraries.
Halls said: “I am honoured and excited to be joining BookTrust as writer in residence from September 2020 to March 2021. I have long admired the essential work that BookTrust does to get books into the hands of children, to engage parents, teachers and carers in fostering young readers and to effect positive change in the book world. It is a tremendous privilege to be asked to take up this role.”
In her new role, she will be challenging children and adults to read aloud and read together and to find new and exciting ways of engaging with books, stories and poems to bring them to life. In particular, she will concentrate on using books to help children navigate tricky times and new experiences like transitioning back to school after lockdown or solving friendship difficulties.
Diana Gerald, c.e.o. of BookTrust, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Smriti as our next writer in residence. It’s been a challenging year for families, especially as they navigate this strange new world, so having Smriti help us bring books to life in new and fun ways that offer inspiration and hope is so very exciting.”