Award-winning Irish author and publisher Siobhán Parkinson has been named Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s first laureate for children’s literature. The Children’s laureate is an initiative of The Arts Council with the support of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland. Siobhán will hold the position for two years.
Siobhán is the author of more than 20 books for children and teenagers, including Sisters… no way!, a truly double-sided tale of reluctant stepsisters, which won the Bisto Book of the Year, the leading annual children’s book award in Ireland. She recently set up a new children’s imprint Little Island, which will be translating a range of foreign books for older children and teenagers, so we will be watching them eagerly; and she has also just completed six years as the M.I.E. Poetry Ireland writer-in-residence at the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin.
As Laureate na nÓg, Siobhán will work to “engage young people with high quality children’s literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative life.” She will deliver her keynote address at the Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) Conference at The National Gallery of Ireland this weekend. There, she will be joined by other Irish and international speakers to address the theme of Nurturing the Seed: Prospects and Possibilities for Children’s Books.
Check out this video of Siobhán talking about her books, her writing and her plans for her term as Laureate: