Sarah McIntyre appointed BookTrust’s Writer-Illustrator in Residence

Sarah McIntyre appointed BookTrust’s Writer-Illustrator in Residence

Sarah McIntyre has been unveiled as the new online Writer-Illustrator in Residence for reading charity BookTrust.

McIntyre is well known for her comic "Vern and Lettuce" (David Fickling Books) and picture books There’s a Shark in the Bath (Scholastic) and Dinosaur Police (Scholastic) nd was named as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars in last year’s roundup of the annual list of the industry’s possible leaders of the future. She takes over from Cressida Cowell as online Writer-Illustrator in Residence and is beginning her six-month residency with a vlog introducing her plans which include drawing competitions and challenges for children.

She said: “I’m so excited to be BookTrust’s new Writer-Illustrator in Residence, using this awesome platform to highlight how pictures can be amazing ways into stories and can speak to everyone. During my residency, which I’m going to call the Big Red Book Show, I’m hoping to encourage children to draw with others, helping to generate new ideas, discover challenges and create a fun community. I’d like to encourage children (and grownups) to be kind to their drawings, forgive their drawings their foibles, be proud of sharing their work, and continue to make more drawings.”    

Highlights of McIntyre's residency will include a Pictures First! competition; giving children the opportunity to draw pictures based on a chosen character, which will then be selected to accompany a short story written by a famous writer. She will also be revealing her tips on drawing and drawing with other people.   

BookTrust c.e.o Diana Gerald said: "The BookTrust online Writer-Illustrator in Residence programme is a wonderful feature, giving visitors to the BookTrust website an invaluable insight into the lives, minds and sketchbooks of acclaimed illustrators and writers. We are looking forward to Sarah’s residency and support her mission to highlight the important role illustrations play when attracting individuals to books and inspiring a lifelong love of reading.”

In addition to her other publications, McIntyre has produced four books with Philip Reeve, including Pugs of the Frozen North (Oxford University Press Children's) which won the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award in 2016 and Oliver and the Seawigs which won the UKLA Book Award in 2015.  

McIntyre is also well known for launching a campaign called #PicturesMeanBusiness, which calls for illustrators to gain equal credit with writers.

The BookTrust Writer- Illustrator in Residence project has been running since March 2009 and has featured several authors and illustrators including Patrick Ness, Evie Wyld, Hannah Berry, Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill, Chris Riddell, Philip Ardagh and Phil Earle. The residency encourages each writer or illustrator to explore topics that they are passionate about with with former residents exploring themes such as the diversity in children’s literature and the importance of libraries. McIntyre was also appointed as Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival's guest director for its children’s festival which runs in April.