Nosy Crow will publish two books, a short story collection and a "biographical celebration", celebrating girls and women.
Make More Noise! is an anthology of 10 new short stories by contemporary female writers celebrating the centenary of Women’s Suffrage while HerStory: 50 Women Who Shook the World will provide a biographical “celebration of groundbreaking and inspiring women”. Both titles are aimed at readers aged between nine and 12.
Kate Wilson, Nosy Crow’s m.d., revealed she was inspired to commission the books after her oldest child voted for the first time in the last election.
Make More Noise! is inspired by Emmeline Pankhurst’s own words with stories honouring the centenary of Women’s Suffrage. Each story will celebrate “strong female characters’ with subjects ranging from the 43 Group, a English anti-fascist alliance, to modern ghost stories. Writers include The Girl of Ink and Stars author Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Patrice Lawrence, M G Leonard, Sally Nicholls and Emma Carroll among others.
The book will be published on 1st February 2018, five days before the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which extended the franchise to women for the first time.
A donation of £1 from the sale of each copy will be given to international charity Camfed which supports women’s education in the developing world.
Wilson described how her daughter’s pride in voting made her reflect on the history of Women’s Suffrage.
She said: “This brought home to me the importance of being able to vote, and when I discovered that the centenary of the date on which the first British women were given the vote was coming up, I thought that it deserved recognition.”
Hargrave said she was “honoured” to be involved in the project while Katie Smith, deputy chief executive director, Camfed, said the “stories about strong women told by talented women writers [will be] an inspiration for girls and boys, men and women everywhere”.
HerStory will publish in March 2018, in time for International Women’s Day (8th March). The full-colour hardback is divided into thematic chapters such as 'Believe and Lead' and 'Imagine and Create', featuring “inspirational quotes” and biographical detail. It is researched and written by Katherine Halligan with illustrations from artist Sarah Walsh.
Wilson said the independent children’s publisher was “hugely proud” of celebrating “remarkable women” in HerStory and for gathering “such a stellar list of British female authors at the top of their writing game” in Make More Noise!
She said: “With both books we will be celebrating girls, and inspiring them to, in the words of Emmeline Pankhurst, ‘make more noise’.”
Pankhurst, the leader of the British suffragette movement, gave a legendary speech in November 1913 in which she said: “You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else."