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Other Useful Links including quizzes and competitions and book readings


Kwame Alexander reads from The Undefeated | Authors Live | BBC Scotland

International bestselling author Kwame Alexander joins Authors Live to talk about his career as a writer and why he thinks poetry is a powerful way of telling stories.


Authors Live on Demand

Authors Live is a series of live webcasts, presented in partnership with Scottish Book Trust, featuring world-class author and illustrator events for children and young people.


A free, daily newsletter for parents and guardians at home with children, helping to enrich learning with real-life knowledge and skills.  Published at 7:00am, Mondays to Fridays, it aims to support academic learning with real-world skills in several ways.


Q-files is an online library of knowledge specially designed for children. 

The site is the creation of Orpheus Books Limited, a publishing company based in Oxford, England. Established in 1993, Orpheus is one of the world's leading producers of children's non-fiction and reference books.

The pages in Q-files have been written by specialist children's writers, working alongside the experienced editorial team at Orpheus. Users can therefore be assured of the highest standards of accuracy and reliability. The site is improved, expanded and updated on a daily basis. 

Teachers and parents can find out much more about how Q-files can be used to benefit children's education at school or in the home here.

For information on Key Stages 2 and 3, including links to just some of the many pages that children will find particularly useful for their school work, click on the links below: 

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 3



500 Words is the world’s largest story-writing competition for kids. Over a million stories have been submitted since 2011, in response to everything from technology to climate change. Now, we want to bring children’s voices onto the themes and issues emerging from the Black Lives Matter movement. We want children to lead on the process of writing their story.


We want you to use your imagination and draw on your own thoughts and experiences when it comes to Black Lives Matter and some of the changes we are seeing in 2020. Then, write a creative short story in no more than 500 words.


The competition is open to children in two age ranges: 5 to 9 and 10 to 13.

Entries can be accepted on the website from 6:30am on Monday 29th June until Friday 3rd July at 11.59pm 2020.


Young Sportswriter of the Year 2020

A shout out to all sports fans aged 7-12!

Do you dream of becoming a sportswriter, commentator or sports presenter in the future? Then this competition could help you reach your goal!

The Guardian has teamed up with the authors of our bestselling Football School book series for a game-changing writing competition. Become our Young Sportswriter of the Year by writing no more than 600 words on a match report on any sporting event that has taken place, or a piece of feature writing about an individual involved in sport. 


British Library asks nation's children to write miniature books in lockdown

Two hundred years ago, the Brontë children stitched together brown paper sugar packets, strips of wallpaper and old writing paper to create postage stamp-sized books for their toy soldiers to read. Today the British Library is calling on the nation’s children to follow in their footsteps and write their own small books, which will form part of an online “National Library of Miniature Books for the toy world”.


The library is asking children to share their homemade miniature books with its Twitter account @BL_Learning using the hashtag #DiscoveringChildrensBooks, or send them by email to It will commission an illustrator to create a virtual bookshelf to display the work

Axel Scheffler: Miniature Books

In this brand new book by Axel Scheffler – specially made for the British Library – Fipsy the squirrel finds out how to make home-schooling fun. Axel also shows us his own tiny version of 'The Snail' and the Whale and a copy of 'The Gruffalo', made for his daughter’s dolls house.

Make a Mini Book

Find out how to make a tiny book. Will you make an adventure tale, a recipe book, a computer game guide or a history of Ancient Egypt?


2020 Childnet Film competition

The Childnet Film Competition is now in its 11th year and is open to all young people based in the UK. The challenge is to create a positive, short online safety film or a storyboard with a script in response to this year’s theme.


We want an internet where we’re free to…..


What are we looking for?

We are looking for films or storyboards that tell us why you want an internet that allows people to feel free and safe online and how we can make this happen. Once again we’re on the look-out for films with a positive and clear message about the ways we can use of the internet.


Writing Competition - Life in Lockdown

This is your opportunity to write about your experience. Until midnight on Friday the 17th of July, you can submit a piece of writing about what life has been like in lockdown and during the coronavirus.

This could be a personal experience, a poem, or a creative story. All of you will have had a unique experience that is only yours, and only you can capture in words.

Your entry should be 700 words or under and you should submit in your age category.

Your work will then be read by a published author, who will then pick out the five best entries from your age group. These entries will then be included in a book published by John Catt Educational called ‘Generation Lockdown Writes.’


Design a Book Token while you are at home - and you could win a £10 National Book Token for each of your classmates when you go back to school!


You can choose to design anything you like to go on the front of the Book Token - maybe your whole class, maybe your favourite book, maybe something about being at home or maybe your favourite Librarian!! laugh

One design will be chosen each week, so start drawing now!


How to enter

All entries should be produced on A4 paper using this printable template. Complete the entry form found on the link below to see where to email your scanned template. (If you do not have access to a printer and/or scanner, you can take a photo of the artwork and use this editable form instead).

The competition is open from Wednesday 6th May and the closing date for entries is Sunday 28th June 2020.

We'll pick one winner each week until the competition closes (you only need to submit an entry once for it to be considered every week!). The winners will be featured on and our social media channels, and your designs will be printed onto gift cards for each of your classmates when schools reopen.


Everybody Worries: A story and drawalong with Jon Burgerman

Lots of people are feeling worried at the moment, so Jon Burgerman has written a lovely new picture book to reassure little ones.
He's going to read it to us for a BookTrust HomeTime treat - and stay tuned to find out how to draw one of his brilliant characters, too!



For children aged 9-11

  • Daily at 5pm: Susan Moore is reading aloud from her Nat Walker trilogy published by Nosy Crow. 
  • Daily: Will Mabbitt is uploading a chapter of an unpublished book every day and inviting children to get involved: can they spot any mistakes, or suggest any plot changes? Get involved on Twitter.
  • Daily at 3.30pm: Kwame Alexander will be reading his novel The Crossover on Instagram Live with a Q&A to follow.
  • Weekdays at 2.30pm: Join Piers Torday on Instagram Live as he'll be sharing a live reading of his fab book The Last Wild - a chapter a day! He'll then be moving on to some of his other books. It's also worth following Piers on Twitter to keep up with what he's doing - he's currently planning some creative writing workshops.
  • Mondays at 9.30am: Join Lisa Thompson on Instagram Live - she'll be chatting about books, reading and writing and suggesting some creative writing prompts, too.
  • Tuesdays at 1pm: Every Tuesday, the wonderful Varjak Paw author SF Said will be hosting a live Twitter chat, answering questions about his books and chatting all things reading. You can send your questions to him and join in @whatSFSaid!
  • Wednesdays at 3.30pm: Puffin Storytime has launched Story Starters, helping children discover their next read with extracts from books by Puffin authors. The first episode features an extract from Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens.
  • Fridays at 4pm: Join author Tony Lee on Facebook Live as each week he adapts one of his Franklin Watts/Hachette ‘Bandits’ graphic novels into a readable story for kids! It's also worth following Tony on Twitter to keep up with what he's doing!
  • The wonderful Chris Riddell has posted audio of him reading his book Hugo Pepper - head to his Facebook page to find it.
  • The brilliant Ross Montgomery has put together some fantastic activities based on his books Space Tortoise and Max and the Millions, from drawing to crafts. Find them on his Twitter page.
  • Murder Most Unladylike author Robin Stevens will be hosting weekly creative writing prompts on her website.
  • Justin Somper, author of Vampirates, has launched a series of 15 creative pirate-themed challenges for children - from coming up with the name of a ship to the character of the captain, creating a shanty and deciding what happens when a stowaway comes aboard. Justin is aiming to post these every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Gillian Cross is posting a new story starter every day on her Facebook page to encourage creative writing. 
  • Author Jasbinder Bilan is sharing some creative writing activities on her YouTube channel, including a write-along of her book, Asha and the Spirit Bird.
  • Guy Bass has launched A Write Laugh, a funny writing competition for 5-13 year olds. Entry details can be found on the Little Tiger website and there are lots of top tips from Guy and other author friends on the Authorfy website. Nine winners will be published in a special free ebook and there is also a subscription to The Week Junior magazine and lots of funny books up for grabs. The competition closes on 31 May, so get writing!

Barrington Stoke Homeschooling Help for Lockdown

Advice, information and free resources for parents and carers of children with dyslexia.



Inspire your young readers and writers of tomorrow with Author Masterclasses, from Authorfy. Find out more and subscribe at


Puffin Story Makers Show - World Book Day 2020

Read up, speak up and change the world! This 30 minute show for key stage 2 is filled with booky-fun.  Join Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike and World Book Day book ‘The Case of the Drowned Pearl’, for a game of Extreme Reading you can play in your classroom.

Picture book writer Rashmi Sirdeshpande will be sharing stories of extraordinary people, and debut children’s author and activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied will be reading from ‘You Must Be Layla’ and inspiring activists of all ages to tell their stories and make a change.  Plus make sure you’ve got pens and paper ready for a ‘Little Leaders’ draw-along with the illustrator Vashti Harrison.

*This was originally recorded for World Book Day in March, but Puffin have extended access to this while schools are closed.*


Puffin Story Makers Show: World Book Day ! Robin Stevens | Yassmin Abdel-Magied


Katy Parker and the House that Cried by Margaret Mulligan

When Katy is assigned a history project on World War Two, she moans and groans with the rest of her class. Work? During half term? Simply not fair! But when Katy and her brother wake to find them themselves in 1940s England, school projects are pushed far from their minds.

Can Katy change the course of history and prevent the tragic death of a little girl in a terrifying air raid? And can Katy and her brother make it back home

Katy Parker and the House That Cried

Katy Parker and the House That Cried, Chapter One, read by author Margaret Mulligan. Copyright Bloomsbury Publishing.


Book Island Challenge


WORCESTERSHIRE LIBRARY - digital membership