Monthly Archives: February 2014

Should J.K Rowling stop writing?

JKRIf JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It

Lyn Shepherd has stirred up a lot of comment with her article in the Huffington Post She was happy for J K Rowling ‘Pottering about” but feels the massive publicity about her adult books ”sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere.” She finishes ”By all means keep writing for kids, or for your personal pleasure… but when it comes to the adult market you’ve had your turn….it’s time to give other writers, and other writing, room to breathe.”

I think that Lyn is mistaken. Firstly there is plenty of room for all sorts of books and writers in the market. Yes, it is easy for JKR to get publicity for anything she writes but but libraries, bookshops and publishers promote large ranges of books by popular and new authors and know that people who are tempted to read one book and enjoy it will go on to explore more. Publicity for reading benefits all authors in the end.

Secondly, why should any writer be limited to a particular readership? Should a fine writer not be allowed to write for young people? Sorry, Neil Gaiman – please give back the Carnegie Medal for ‘The Graveyard Book’ and stick to graphic novels. A writer in one genre be limited to that? Hilary Mantel,Kate Atkinson, please don’t write any more challenging modern fiction but stick to historical novels and detective books.

What irritated me most about her post was the dismissive attitude to books for children and to children and young people as readers. Try reading Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff, David Almond, Annabel Pitcher, Malorie Blackman and see if you think these ”books for kids” are ”stimulating for grown-up minds”. I think they are, and the quality and power of some of the novels written for children and young people today continues to delight me.

What do you think? Do you think Lyn Shepherd has a point and less publicity for well known authors would help other writers?

If you fancy trying Lyn’s books we have ‘Murder at Mansfield Park’, ‘Tom All-Alone’s’ and ‘A Treacherous Likeness’ in stock. They are literary mysteries inpired by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the Shelleys respectively and have been well reviewed. If you try one, do post a review.

Cara Brennan

Read-Regional-poet-Cara-Brennan-author-of-Destroyed-Dresses Cara-Brennan-Destroyed-Dresses-small

There’s an event you mustn’t miss at South Elmsall Library on Saturday 15th March, 11am-12.30pm
Our 2014 Read Regional events will open with a poetry morning. There will be a chance to read and discuss some of the best contemporary poetry together and this will be followed by a reading from her collection ‘Destroyed Dresses’ by Cara Brennan. Cara is a young poet from North Yorkshire and ‘Destroyed Dresses’ is her first pamphlet, 17 poems written while she was a student at Newcastle University. The poems take us on a journey from childhood to early twenties using a dress or item of clothing as a focal point and they are full of vivid detail and emotions the reader will recognise and connect with. ”Most of the things I write are autobiographical. It just seems a more natural way to write, and when I am writing about myself I know it is true.” writes Cara.
Come and meet this exciting young talent and enjoy a morning exploring poetry.

Read Regional, a programme connecting readers and authors in Yorkshire and the North East is run by New Writing North. You can pick up a free booklet with information about the featured authors and the events taking place from any library and books by all the authors are on display at Pontefract Library and can be requested free of charge at any district library.

Places are limited so please contact South Elmsall Library, Barnsley Road, South Elmsall WF9 2AA. Tel 01977 723220 to book.

World Book Day


A Big, Happy, Booky Celebration of Reading! That’s World Book Day, Thursday 6th March. At Wakefield Library we will be welcoming classes from Flanshaw J&I School to meet Professor Libris, the storymaker , who will create wonderful stories with them. The Professor is also known as Eden Ballantyne from Stories Alive and it should be a fun filled day.
At Castleford Forum, children can join in ‘Fun with Food!’ Just how much fun can you have with food in a library? Call in to Castleford Forum Library and Museum on 6th March 4-5pm to find out. Suitable for ages 6-10.
Celebrations are not just taking place on 6th. Library storytimes will be celebrating and staff will be giving out World Book day tokens which can be exchanged for a special World Book day book at participating bookshops and supermarkets. The Bookstart Bear has been let out for a World Book Day library tour and he will be found enthusiastically joining in the rhymes and stories at
Sandal Library: Wed 26 Feb 11.15-12
Airedale Library: Mon 3 Mar 10 – 11
South Elmsall Library: Tues 4 Mar 10.15-11
Wakefield Library: Tues 4 Mar 1.30-2.30 and Fri 7 Mar 10-11
Pontefract Library: Wed 5 Mar 10-11 and Mon 10 Mar 10-11
Castleford Forum: Thurs 6 Mar 10-11
Horbury Library: Fri 7 Mar 2.15-3
Ossett Library: Wed 12 Mar 10.30-11 and Fri 14 Mar 10.30-11
Normanton Library: Thurs 13 Mar 10.30-11.30

National Libraries Day

PrintSaturday 8th February is National Libraries Day. We have a whole week of activites to highlight all you can find and do in your local library. There are Craft events, Book groups and storytimes of course, but you can also find out how to start researching your family tree, get your your blood pressure checked and find out about healthy eating,or join in a challenge on the Wii. You can read the full range of events on the National Libraries Day tab on this blog.Don’t forget our online services too. With your library card you can download an audio book, learn a language, browse the latest issues of popular magazines, practice for your driving theory test or consult an encycolopedia all from the comfort of your own home. A library card is the best bargain around and it is still all free! Make this the week you call in to your library, explore the Onlineservices or introduce a friend to the library.

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