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Scottish Friendly to mark World Book Day in a big way!

On World Book Day (3 March 2011), Eoin Colfer, award-winning performer and author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series, will star in one of the day’s biggest events as he speaks directly to thousands of young fans across the UK in the latest Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors webcast.

The event will celebrate two anniversaries; the first birthday of the Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors webcast and the tenth anniversary of Artemis Fowl first being published.

The award-winning Scottish Friendly 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 foremost providers of tax-free family investments.

Scottish Friendly 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.

“Engagingly vivid, exciting and witty” (The Telegraph), “Hugely entertaining” (Observer), and “Brilliantly surreal” (The Times), Eoin Colfer’s series of novels focus on the adventures of teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. Their blend of high-tech gadgetry, high-octane drama and hilarious one-liners has helped establish a huge cult following and sell an estimated 20 million copies worldwide.

From 11am to 11.40am on 3 March, Eoin will captivate a live audience of children in Glasgow while being filmed and broadcast simultaneously over the internet to tens of thousands of viewers nationwide. The broadcast is expected to be one of World Book Day’s largest events and with Eoin’s flair for performance, audiences are in for an entertaining morning. The Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors webcast will see Eoin answer questions submitted by fans online on topics ranging from his incredible career, to his latest novel Artemis Fowl and The Atlantis Complex, which is set for its paperback release in April.

Also an extremely talented performer, in 2004 he received a Herald Angel Award for Performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the first author to win such an award). In addition, in 2008, following a sold out West End run, Eoin took his hilarious one man show, Fairies, Fiends and Flatulence, an adrenaline-fuelled exposé of teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl, to theatres nationwide.

Eoin will be the sixth author to take part in the Scottish Friendly 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, a second Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, in June, and a third with Jacqueline Wilson in January of this year. To date more than 300,000 children across the UK have taken part in the webcasts.

The Scottish Friendly 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 Eoin Colfer was able to come to Scotland for World Book Day. Having a storyteller of his calibre involved in the Scottish Friendly Meet our Authors programme is a fantastic opportunity for children all over the country, giving them a chance to ask him any questions they like as part of their World Book Day celebrations.

Calum Bennie, marketing manager of Scottish Friendly, sponsor of Meet Our Authors, said: 

We are extremely proud of what the Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors project has achieved in the past year and it’s exciting that our first birthday will be marked by this event being hosted by the fantastic Eoin Colfer. Eoin’s huge cult following means he is the perfect candidate for spreading a passion for literature on World Book Day.