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Although we are immensely grateful to be fully booked for World Book Week 2024, we encourage promoting a love of reading throughout the year, for every day is Book Day!


In the past month alone, we've received over fifty requests for author visits from schools for World Book Day. Sadly, despite our better efforts, Sophie's Broomstick hasn't yet reached the speed of light. If having an author visit during the week of World Book Day is essential, please reach out in 2024 to secure a visit in 2025.


Calendar of  events


Below is a list of significant yearly literacy and reading events, along with various special awareness days, weeks, and months that we enthusiastically observe at Stonehill Press. Nevertheless, it's important to remember that each day provides an opportunity to foster a love for reading. If you can not see a specific day, week or month listed, we recommend you take ownership of the date and call it whatever you wish for the benefit of the children in your life. An author's impact extends beyond World Book Day; much like appreciating a dragon, isn't confined to 'Appreciate a Dragon Day'.





JANUARY

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Appreciate a Dragon Day is a holiday celebrated on January 16th every year to honor dragons as fictional creatures and cultural symbols. It encourages people to learn more about dragons and the myths and legends associated with them.


FEBRUARY


Coordinated by the Society for Storytelling, this takes place annually, usually during the first week of February. 


On 14th February 2024 it is International Book Giving Day, a global initiative that encourages individuals, organisations, and communities to share the love of reading by giving books to others.


MARCH


World Book Day takes place on the first Thursday in March and is the biggest annual celebration of books and reading in the UK and Ireland. Books are available for £1, and all Primary School children and any PreSchool and Secondary School children whose schools have registered with the scheme receive a free £1 book token. The website is packed with valuable ideas and resources that librarians can use all year round.


World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated yearly on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere (on or around the 20th March) and on the autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same 24 hour period,


World Poetry Day is celebrated on 21 March, and was first declared by UNESCO in 1999. Its purpose is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.


Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration giving primary school-aged children opportunities for enriching and enjoyable early experiences of Shakespeare. Schools,  can register to access free resources and events listings.


APRIL


Held every year on or around 2nd April, to commemorate the birth of Hans Christian Anderson, who was born on this day in 1805,  International Children’s  Book Day is coordinated by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) as part of their regular schedule of activities to promote children’s reading and international awareness through children’s books.


A national celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April every year. Events up and down the country run by individuals and organisations celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives, and everyone from publishers to librarians, and local businesses to the general public can get involved.


MAY


This is organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to celebrate the power of story telling and story sharing. Each year there is a specific theme.


Every year there is a different theme and a range of resources are provided from posters to booklets and social media graphics.


JUNE


Promotes the crime genre, both in fiction and non-fiction, and aims to get people talking about crime writing and, more specifically, to get them reading it!


IBW is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign run by the Booksellers Association. It seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland by organising events, celebrations, reading groups, storytellings, author signings, literary lunches and face painting!


The first ever Empathy Day was launched on June 13th 2017 to highlight empathy’s importance in our divided world, and the power of stories to develop it. 


This event (launched in 1999) aims to encourage children aged 4 – 12 to visit their local public libraries to maintain their reading over the school summer holidays.


AUGUST

World Folklore Day Celebrate World Folklore Day on August 22! This day is all about embracing the cultural traditions, stories, and customs passed down through generations. From legends and myths to folk songs and dances, folklore plays a significant role in shaping our identities and connecting us to our roots. Celebrated all over the world, this day reminds us of the importance of preserving our rich cultural heritage and celebrating diversity.


SEPTEMBER


September is the month to explore and celebrate diverse, global and translated literature for kids and teens.


Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) has been celebrated annually on 8 September worldwide to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. It is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.  Despite progress made, at least 773 million young people and adults still lack basic literacy skills today.


Since 2021 this has been celebrated in the UK on the 8th September, UN International Literacy Day. Read Hour was created by Finland’s Children and Youth Foundation to encourage people to spend just one hour of their day on reading, whether that be a book, magazine, or comic book – everything is encouraged. It is a part of the Moomin initiative “Reading, Writing and the Moomins“, which aims to spread the joy of reading and writing worldwide with the help of Moomin stories.


Held on the 13th of September, this annual celebration of Roald Dahl’s life and work was first held in 2006 to mark what would have been his 90th birthday. Roald Dahl Story Day is not just an annual celebration of Roald Dahl’s marvellous stories but it also includes a host of associated activities and events including the Dahlicious Dress-up Day, when children go to school dressed up as their favourite Roald Dahl character all in aid of the Roald Dahl Children’s Charity.


Celebrated on the 14th of September every year, reading groups are a great way to keep us connected and introduce us to new books, authors and genres.


Celebrated on or around the 15th of September every year and involving more than 10 million teachers, librarians and children in 170 countries, this all began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009. The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has inspired countless children and adults around the globe to re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do.


NOVEMBER

Lancashire Day Lancashire Day is the county day of historic Lancashire in England. It is held on 27 November to commemorate the day in 1295 when Lancashire first sent representatives to Parliament to attend the Model Parliament of King Edward I. Lancashire Day was first held in 1996


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Last year, Sophie surprised the staff and students at a local village school with a complimentary author visit on Halloween. This year, Sophie still feels just as generous despite her witch-like persona.


Do you know of a Primary School that deserves a free author visit? A school where children are eager to uncover the secrets of an ancient captive dragon, where they'd prefer to conjure a baby dragon from a bubbling cauldron and experience a theatrical, poetic performance rather than suffer the intricacies of mathematics and algebra?


If you do, please tag/nominate the school on the Facebook post , using the link below

and share the post with your nearest and dearest. The most deserving school with the most votes will be contacted to enquire whether they are willing to host a visit from a witch and her dragon on the 31st of October, 2023! (Or thereabouts if more convenient)

T&C's The offer is open to any Primary School in the United Kingdom, with the exception of schools that have hosted an in-person visit from Sophie in the last 18 months.


All fees, including travel costs, will be waived if the winning school is within the Ribble Valley or Lancashire. Schools outside Lancashire may be asked to contribute toward travel costs at 0.45p per mile and accommodation costs if an overnight stay is unavoidable. A free virtual author visit may be offered as an alternative. The visit is only suitable for children in KS2 and is limited to 60 children per session. A maximum of two sessions in total, to be held on 31st October or, if preferred, on a date and time convenient to both parties.

The final decision, 'the most deserving school with the most votes', will be made jointly by Sophie and Stonehill Press. Their decision is final and irrefutable. To be considered for entry, all votes must be cast by midnight of October 7th 2023. The winning school will be contacted on Monday, 9th October.






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Here at 'The Best-Kept Secret', we've found ourselves in the midst of handling over two hundred 'letter from the author' requests from schools before the start of the new term. A task not dissimilar to deciphering the pages of a spellbook penned by a witch moonlighting as a GP while simultaneously endeavouring to tame a formidable dragon. This is further complicated by the unpredictability of Adobe magic causing digital disruptions... Despite these challenges, we are still offering magical missives to inspire children and help promote reading for pleasure. If you would like a free personalised letter for the children in your class or the children at your school, please get in touch with us!




Personalised author letter for schools



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