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News & Comment

The Big Draw 2015

I was delighted to take part in the launch of this year’s The Big Draw festival in Oxford. The children’s laureate, Chris Riddell, and other distinguished advocates of drawing all helped to open the 15th annual series of events that encourages drawing by people of all ages.


08 October 2015

Campaigners Buy Blake's Cottage

William Blake’s house in Felpham, where he lived between 1800 and 1803 and penned the words to the hymn Jerusalem, has been bought for public use by the Blake Society for £520,000. 


24 September 2015

Don't Downgrade the Arts

In September it will become compulsory for secondary school children to study the English Baccalaureate core subjects of English, maths, science, a language and history or geography. I believe that arts subjects are also essential to education. They are of incalculable worth in what it means to be a human being.


31 August 2015

Creative Industries Face Disaster

The internet has given us, along with many wonderful things, the ability to steal great quantities of material that used to have to be paid for.


10 June 2015

Pay authors properly for eBook loans

New media and new forms of buying and lending are all very interesting, for all kinds of reasons, but one principle remains unchanged: authors must be paid fairly for their work. Any arrangement that doesn't acknowledge that principle is a bad one, and needs to be changed. That is our whole argument.


01 June 2015

William Blake and me

Sometimes we find a poet, or a painter, or a musician who functions like a key that unlocks a part of ourselves we never knew was there. The experience is not like learning to appreciate something that we once found difficult or rebarbative, as we might conscientiously try to appreciate the worth of The Faerie Queene and decide that yes, on balance, it is full of interesting and admirable things. 


01 June 2015

Scrap baseline tests for four and five-year-olds

I have joined leading educationalists, early years specialists and psychologists in calling for plans to introduce tests for four- and five-year-olds in their first weeks at primary schools to be scrapped.

31 March 2015

Language, writing and imagination

I talk with Michael Rosen on BBC Radio 4 about language, writing and imagination. We share examples from our own work and also discuss the books that influenced us and who we are writing for.


19 January 2015

Listen to an extract from The Collectors

Listen to an exclusive extract from my new Northern Lights story read by Bill Nighy. 


17 December 2014

Books for prisoners

Leading authors have hit out at Chris Grayling's claim that prisoners have "full access to the same public library service in prisons as every other citizen", saying that statutory requirements for library facilities in prison are not being met.


02 May 2014

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His Dark Materials