Kelly McCaughrain, author of Flying Tips for Flightless Birds (Walker Books), has been named as the new Seamus Heaney Children's Writing Fellow.
The role, run by the Seamus Heaney Centre and the Arts Council Northern Ireland, involves two years as a children’s literature champion, promoting children's reading and writing.
Earlier this year, McCaughrain’s debut book scooped her an unprecedented triple win at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards including Book of the Year, the Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book, and the Children’s Choice Award. McCaughrain, who lives in Belfast and works with disabled students in further education, was shortlisted for the 2013 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize.
Discussing her new role, McCaughrain told the Belfast Telegraph: "I would like to see creativity as something that is valued just as much as exam results and I'd like to focus the fellowship on encouraging creativity in young people."
Walker Books senior editor Lucy Early added: “I can’t think of a better fit for this post than the warm, inspiring and just plain fun Kelly McCaughrain. She has a natural empathy with teens, and an infectious creative energy. When I first read her debut Flying Tips for Flightless Birds, I got the editor’s goosebumps that tell us we’ve found something - and someone - special. We are glowing with pride at Walker to see Kelly’s career get off to this suitably flying start.”