Jacqueline Wilson to broadcast live to nation in Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors event.

Tracy Beaker author to webcast live to the nation

Press release – 20th January 2011

One of the UK’s most cherished authors, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, best known as author of the phenomenally successful Tracy Beaker series, will speak directly with thousands of young fans around the country when she takes part in the latest Scottish Friendly ‘Meet Our Authors’ live webcast on Thursday January 27 2011.

The award-winning ‘Meet Our Authors’ programme is run by Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing and sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance, one of the UK’s leading providers of tax-free family investments.

‘Meet Our Authors’ is an exclusive series of authors’ events streamed live over the internet to provide young people, parents and teachers with the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s leading children’s writers. The programme is the first of its kind in the UK. Anyone can sign up to watch and it is completely free.

On 27 January at 11am, Jacqueline Wilson will captivate a live studio audience of children in Glasgow while being filmed and broadcast simultaneously over the internet to tens of thousands of viewers nationwide. The 2005-2007 Children’s Laureate will be speaking about and reading from her recent books Hetty Feather, described as a Victorian Tracy Beaker, The Longest Whale Song, a tender and gentle story, and her autobiography Jacky Daydream.

After the webcast, Jacqueline will also take part in an interactive webchat via Glow, the Scottish schools’ national intranet.

Jacqueline has been writing for children since 1973. She has written over 50 books for children and has won many awards including the Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter People's Choice Award, the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Children's Book Award (twice). Her books regularly top both the bestseller lists and most borrowed lists from libraries.

20 million copies of her books have been sold in the UK alone. In The Big Read poll conducted by the BBC, four books by Jacqueline Wilson were in the Top 100: Double Act, Girls in Love, Vicky Angel and The Story of Tracy Beaker.

According to a recent Mori poll Jacqueline was voted children's favourite children's author. In June 2002 Jacqueline was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and was made a Dame in the New Year's Honours List for 2008.

Jacqueline will be the fifth author to take part inthe ‘Meet Our Authors’ project which began in March last year with former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, followed by author of The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson in May and a second Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, in June. To date more than 250,000 children across the UK have taken part in the webcasts.

The ‘Meet Our Authors’ project won the Arts & Business Scotland Young People Award (23 September 2010) and was shortlisted for two national Arts & Business awards.

Jasmine Fassl, of the Scottish Book Trust, commented: “Scottish Book Trust is delighted that Jacqueline Wilson will be taking part in Meet Our Authors. What's really special about these events is that any school pupil can watch; it doesn't matter if they live in a very remote place, or if their school can't afford transport to an event – it is about breaking down traditional barriers and giving everyone the opportunity to take part.”

Calum Bennie, marketing manager of Scottish Friendly, sponsor of ‘Meet Our Authors’, said: “To be able to support a project that so clearly inspires enquiring young minds all round the country is something that we are extremely proud of. It’ s a great honour to be welcoming another Children’s Laureate to Meet Our Authors, particularly one who addresses such a range of real-life issues that young people can identify with.”

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