Francesca Dow stressed the importance of finding stories from “voices that are overlooked” at last night’s Penguin Random House Children’s summer party.
Dow, who is m.d. of the division, said: “When I was thinking about what to say tonight I realised how easy my job is because I have just one story, which is to thank you for everything you do, which is difficult because you have hundreds of stories to tell, taking us on so many journeys, opening so many doors.
“A book doesn’t care who we are or what nationality we are or what colour we are or where we were born or how much money we have or what we believe. But still there are too many stories which have not been told. Too many voices which are still overlooked. That’s why we are very passionate about WriteNow, our PRH initiative to find and mentor and publish writers and now illustrators from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves.”
Robin Stevens and Chris Riddell
The party took place at Home House in London and authors and illustrators who attended included Chris Riddell, Nadia Shireen, Charlie Higson, Robin Stevens and Catherine Johnson.
Two years ago the publisher hosted its summer party just after the EU referendum and Dow said that despite the Brexit vote PRH Children’s is still crossing borders. “Perhaps that’s my one story,” she said. “Books are our maps, our compass, our guide, our friends. Learning to read is the ultimate ticket to freedom.”
Nadia Shireen and Charlie Higson