To improve children’s access to culturally relevant and diverse literature CET has supported the creation and publication of books and resources.
Writing for young readers MOOC
This online course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. Participate in a dynamic community of writers as you experiment with your own writing and develop your voice. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors. As you work through the writing exercises, you will give and receive feedback from your peers and gain tools and techniques for improving your writing.
A River of Stories
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the original trust in 2011, we published A River of Stories: Tales and Poems from Across the Commonwealth. This collection, compiled by children’s literature scholar Dr Alice Curry and illustrated by award-winning children’s illustrator Jan Pieńkowski, showcased the vibrant storytelling traditions of each of the countries of the Commonwealth, from myths and legends to modern short stories and verse.
The anniversary volume is now included in a four-volume set of anthologies, each containing a story or poem from each Commonwealth country based on the key elements that sustain our planet: earth, air, fire and water. Through the stories, poems and illustrations, readers are invited to explore the imaginations and aspirations of others from across the Commonwealth, to engage with unfamiliar representations of the world (both social and natural) and to consider some of the challenging issues that face our planet and its people.
We co-sponsored the award winning performance arts company Visual Statement to work with over 700 primary school children from Glasgow, Scotland, to interpret selected stories and poems from the first volume of A River of Stories as part of a ten-month education programme to celebrate the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Visual Statement made a short video of the project which you can see here.
Give the Ball to the Poet
Give the Ball to the Poet is an anthology of Caribbean poetry aimed primarily at 11- to 16-year-olds, with an emphasis on the music of Caribbean poetry as it is spoken.
Published in time for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, the anthology includes poetry on sporting themes, including a tribute to Usain Bolt by Mervyn Morris. The language ranges from Creole to Standard English and the anthology contains a useful glossary for readers less familiar with varieties of Caribbean language. The anthology is edited by Dr Georgie Horrell and Professor Morag Styles of the University of Cambridge, UK, and Dr Aisha Spencer of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
Give the Ball to the Poet was shortlisted for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s 2015 Children’s Poetry Award.
Teaching Caribbean Poetry
In 2013 Routledge published Teaching Caribbean Poetry based on the course jointly devised by the Universities of Cambridge and the West Indies as an outcome of the Caribbean Poetry Project, and edited by Professor Beverley Bryan and Professor Morag Styles. The course has been taught in some form in Antigua, Barbados, Cambridge (UK), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, London (UK), St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago.
Buy the books
The books are available from all good bookshops. A River of Stories is also available in digital formats (Kindle, Kobo and iTunes).