2017-07-05 14:00 —
A most interesting morning in Queen's University meeting Northern Ireland's first Children's Fellow. Myra, who has recently taken up this role, spent the morning with us. She started by giving us a tour of the School of English at the University, the Séamus Heaney Centre.
We had most interesting discussions about writing, in particular writing in a minority/small languages and the challenges that goes with it, where languages like English are taking over, the issues of translating books into other languages, writing for different readers in the various cultures, what is accepted in our culture and not the next, the graphics that need to be changed. We also had a lively converstion on fairytales, nursery rhymes, how these stories have changed over the years. Myra has lots of experience of these issues.
Myra's picture book Don't Go to School! with illustrator Tarsila Krüse (Sterling, 2017) was first published in Irish as Ná Gabh ar Scoil! (Futa Fata, 2015). It was nominated for the Children's Book of the Year in Ireland, and also translated to Korean. She has also written historical fiction – Tubaiste ar an Titanic (Cló Mhaigh Eo, 2012) and Lá Leis na Lochlannaigh (Cois Life, 2016). She was three times nominated for the Reics Carló Book of the Year Award. She has recently translated Torben Kuhlmann’s award-winning Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse from German to Irish (Futa Fata, 2017) She eagerly awaits the publication in 2017 of a new series of picture books with illustrator Andrew Whitson.
Myra gave an insight into her role to inspire kids to write their own stories, her input into the promotion of reading and writing in schools, libraries, at literary festivals including Soma Gestival, which Gregor took part in, how she is planning to promote an interest in reading and writing from an early age by encouraging creativity and engagement with books with children of all ages, from preschoolers, to young adults.
We finished our morning with a walk around some of the buildings at Queen's.
Statue of Galileo