General Call – Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship, NCRCL

University of RoehamptonDepartment of English and Creative Writing

Postgraduate research studentships – Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship

The University of Roehampton is pleased to make its annual Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship open to a general call for research topics in the field of children’s literature. This will be awarded to a postgraduate PhD student working in the field of children’s literature or creative writing for children. The Jacqueline Wilson Scholar will be based in the award-winning National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL) with access to the Children’s Literature Collection and archives, and will join a lively community of researchers, writers and students. This fully funded scholarship will cover home/EU fees of £4052 for Home/EU students and maintenance of £16,057 p.a. in 2015/16 for 3 years full-time subject to satisfactory progress.

The scholarship is open to new students only and preference may be given to proposals that build on the research interests of the NCRCL. These include, but are not limited to: philosophy; theory; historical fiction; landscape; domestic spaces; memory; reading. Applicants are encouraged to identify potential supervisors as part of their application.


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Reminder: NCRCL Open Day & Virtual Open Day

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A brief reminder that the NCRCL Virtual Open Day: Live Seminar will be held online this Friday 29th May from 19:00-20:00. If you are interested in joining this live session, please email Alison at The Virtual Open Day is ongoing and currently available online.

The NCRCL Open Day will be held on campus at Roehampton University on Saturday 30th May from 10:00-13:00. Research talks include presentations by Olga Holownia (University of Iceland) and Jacqueline Wilson, children’s author and Chancellor of Roehampton University. There is no charge for the open day, but you will need to book a place for catering purposes. In order to book please contact Julia Noyce:

We hope to meet you at either event!

Travels in Children’s Literature

We asked two of the current students of the MA in Children’s Literature, Judith Digby and Katharina Schaefers, to write about their experiences from the Travels in Children’s Literature module taught by Dr Alison Waller in Spring 2015.

As part of the MA in Children’s Literature, the Travel in Children’s Literature module aims to ‘examine the importance of travel and journeys in classic and contemporary children’s literature. Through texts such as the seminal Gulliver’s Travels and more recent books such as The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, students will explore the role of literary children as explorers and adventurers, but also as refugees, migrants, tourists, and students of the world. From accounts of personal odysseys to stories of historical or fantastic voyages, the texts studied will raise questions about how children can move through geographical and imaginative space, as well as issues of nation, race and culture.’

To find out more about Travels in Children’s Literature or the MA/PGDip programme, read Judith and Katharina’s reviews below and consider attending the NCRCL Open Day or Virtual Open Day 2015.

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Hammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection

FullSizeRenderHammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection

By Dr Jane Carroll, NCRCL Lecturer

If you’ve been up to visit the children’s literature collection in the University of Roehampton in the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed a new set of old books up on the shelves. This is the Hammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection.

This collection, comprising over a thousand early children’s books dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century, was originally held by Hammersmith and Fulham library.   The collection began in 1931-2 with the first 300 books – it then grew by purchase and gift to a total of roughly 1,120 books.   Last year, Hammersmith & Fulham libraries approached the University of Roehampton to see if we would be interested in taking it on.

In May 2014 I visited the collection with Julie Mills (Subject Librarian) and Kornelia Cepok (Archivist). With the help of staff from Hammersmith & Fulham library, we picked a few boxes at random to get a sense of what might be there. Once we started unpacking the books we realised that this collection was unusual. While there were lots of well-known texts and good early editions of ‘classics’, there were also plenty of books we’d never even heard of and large numbers of strange non-fiction texts that were unlike anything else in Roehampton’s collections.

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Call for Papers: NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference 2015


22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference 

Saturday 14th November 2015

Froebel College, University of Roehampton

Steering the Craft: navigating the process of creating children’s books in the 21st century

Ursula Le Guin provides the title for the 22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference, a writer and thinker who has contributed a great deal to discourse surrounding the craft of writing. This year’s conference starts with the concerns of Le Guin’s Steering The Craft (1998), considering the role of writers in book production, and moves beyond this to explore the wider processes involved in creating books for young people. Developments in digital technology and social media, along with the shifting economic climate, have transformed the landscape of book production in recent years and this conference seeks to consider the implications of these changes for children’s books. We invite delegates and contributors to think about book production in the widest sense, taking in the various role of: authors; illustrators; translators; editors; designers; printers, agents; publishing houses/marketing teams; book reviewers; booksellers; curriculum design….and so on.

The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known writers, publishers, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature domain. Proposals are welcomed for workshop sessions (20 minutes) on the following or other areas related to the production of international children’s literature in the 21st century:

  • the translation of children’s books
  • book reviewing in newspapers/blogs/schools etc.
  • author/editor relationships
  • innovative/experimental fiction and its place in children’s literature
  • the role of independent booksellers and publishing presses
  • the author/illustrator’s routine and process
  • the art of publishing a picture book
  • pop-up books and paper engineering
  • history of book publishing – placing the current landscape in context
  • socio-cultural differences in book publishing
  • poetry – on the page and in performance
  • e-books, apps and digital platforms
  • book-binding, manuscript illumination, printing techniques, typography – crafts/trades associated with book production
  • academic perspectives – theoretical/critical discourse and its impact on book production
  • self-publishing
  • children’s writers in higher education

We welcome contributions from interested academics, authors, illustrators, publishers etc. in any of these areas.

The deadline for proposals is Wednesday 24th June 2015. Please email a 200-word abstract (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to:

NCRCL Virtual Open Day 2015


Virtual NCRCL Open Day

Available Online Now

Live Seminar: Friday 29th May, 19:00-20:00

The NCRCL invites you to find out more about the MA/PG Dip in Children’s Literature by distance learning. Explore the Virtual Open Day to discover what modules you can study, who will teach you, and how to apply. You can also join us for a Live Seminar on Friday 29 May at 19.00-20.00.

Virtual Open Day

In this live session you will have a chance to meet the Programme Convener, Dr Alison Waller, and support staff on the MA. There will be a presentation about the content and mode of study, some information about resources and other practicalities, and a quick introduction to some of the texts you will be reading if you become a distance learning student with us. You will also be able to ask any questions you might have about the academic and practical elements of studying at a distance.  If you are interested in joining this live session, please email Alison at

(You will need to make sure your computer or device is set up to run Blackboard Collaborator software before you join the live Seminar – guidance on how to do this can be found here.)