Naomi Hamer Awarded 2013 David Almond Fellowship

Naomi Hamer

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2013 David Almond Fellows

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books and the Children’s Literature Unit (CLU) in Newcastle University’s School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics are pleased to announce details of the three 2013 Fellows. Normally only two Fellowships are awarded each year but the field was so strong extraordinary measures were taken to enable three scholars to visit Newcastle and work in the Seven Stories collections. During their time in Newcastle David Almond Fellows also have the opportunity to discuss their work with staff and students in the Children’s Literature Unit (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/elll/about/childrensliterature/) and to meet David Almond.

A key aim of the Fellowships is to focus attention on the breadth and quality of the Seven Stories collections; applications are judged both on the merit of projects and their ability to make full use of the Seven Stories collections (http://collection.sevenstories.org.uk/home/). This year’s applicants proposed a number of exciting projects, some based around individual archives – such as those of the dramatist David Wood – and others tracing developments across multiple collections. The three successful applicants were:

Gili Bar-Hillel, an Israeli critic, editor, translator, journalist and postgraduate student at the University of Tel Aviv, who will be working on a biography of the late Diana Wynne Jones. Wynne Jones deposited her archives at Seven Stories shortly before her death and these will also be at the centre of a conference, jointly organised by Seven Stories and the CLU in 2014.

Dr. Naomi Hamer, University of Winnipeg, will be using Seven Stories’ extensive picturebook collections to look at transmedia storytelling. The project will map the creative and collaborative processes of writers and illustrators, looking at the paratextual dimension of the finished books. There is also an applied dimension to this project which considers the relationship between transmedia texts, picturebooks, new literacies and pedagogy.

Professor Michael Levy, University of Wisconsin, is working on a critical study of David Almond. Professor Levy is an Almond specialist who also has expertise in juvenile fantasy fiction. He will be looking at the extensive Almond holdings in Seven Stories which itself is set not just in the heart of “Almond country” but also has very close ties with his work. The archives are based in Felling, Gateshead where David Almond grew up, and the visitor centre is in the Ouseburn Valley, setting for Heaven Eyes.

The next round of David Almond Fellowships will be announced in November 2013.