Countdown to NCRCL/IBBY UK 2018 – 7 Days to Go!

25th Annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference

Crafts and Hobbies in Children’s Books’

Saturday 10th November 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Tickets are available here.

Only one week to go! Bookings close Tuesday 6th November.

This short blog series will span the next seven days, counting down to the 25th Annual Conference. It will be showcasing some of the papers anticipated for this year’s NCRCL/IBBY UK conference. You can expect lots of exciting content from well-known illustrators and craft practitioners, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature world!

One of 2018’s plenaries will be given by renowned scholar Kimberley Reynolds. We are honoured for her to be joining us for this event. Her paper is titled:

‘Political projects: hobbies and youth activism in mid-twentieth century Britain’.

About the speaker:

Kimberley Reynolds is the Professor of Children’s Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University in the UK. She is a Past


Kimberley Reynolds via

President of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature, Senior Editor of International Research in Children’s Literature and in 2013 she received the International Brothers Grimm Award for contributions to children’s literature research. She has twice received the Children’s Literature Association Award for Children’s Books; in 2009 for Radical Children’s Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations and in 2018 for Left Out: The Forgotten Tradition of Radical Publishing for Children in Britain, 1910-1949. Kim also has a long association with the IBBY British section and the University of Roehampton. She is a Chapter One Founder of Seven Stories, the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature and a founding member of the Children’s Laureate steering committee.

About the paper:

Between the two world wars, hobbies and other leisure activities for young people growing up in left-leaning homes were bound up with aspirations for social transformation. This meant they often combined the acquisition of life skills with activities designed to turn children into healthy, well-informed, competent, well-adjusted adults and good citizens. The Left’s approach to developing children’s skills often involved group activities under the aegis of organisations such as the Socialist Sunday Schools (founded 1909), the Young Communist League (founded 1921), or the Woodcraft Folk (founded 1924). These groups combined hobbies with education and cultural improvement, play with exercise, and a range of recreational activities, including work in the community, which promoted political development. Unlike uniformed movements such as the Scouts and Guides, these left-leaning groups included males and females and, as far as possible, avoided hierarchies based on age. This paper will look at a range of these hobbies and activities – including reading – and their relationship with attitudes to children and young people in mid-twentieth century Britain.


Image via

We’re also pleased to announce that Sarah Turvey, NCRCL colleague and Director of the Prison Reading Groups scheme, will be joining us at the conference. She will be saying a few words about Prison Reading Groups during one of the plenary sessions. Sarah will also be available during the conference to answer questions and talk more about this fantastic scheme. They are currently looking for volunteers to help run family workshops in Feb 2019.



About Emily Corbett

I'm working on my PhD in YA literature with the National Centre of Research in Children's Literature @ Roehampton University. I'm the administrator for the Trans Studies Network UK. I'm co-editing RoundTable academic journal 2019. I'm the editor for the NCRCL's blog. I'm also organising a couple of conferences, teaching a few students and generally keeping my to-do-list longer than my thesis!

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