2014-15 David Almond Fellowships Call for Applications


Newcastle University’s School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics and Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books are pleased to announce that the application process for 2014-5 David Almond Fellowships is now open.

Further particulars

The awards recognise both David Almond’s contribution to children’s literature and his connections with these partner institutions: he is a patron of Seven Stories and an honorary graduate of Newcastle University.

The Fellowships aim to promote high-quality research in the Seven Stories collections that will call attention to their breadth and scholarly potential. The two awards of £300 each are to facilitate a research visit to the Seven Stories collections in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK of at least three days by a bona fide researcher working on a relevant project. Applications will be considered from candidates in any academic discipline. The successful applicants will have a clearly defined project that will benefit from having access to the Seven Stories collections (please see indicative information about the collections below). All applicants should consult the Seven Stories catalogue as part of preparing their applications: http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/collection/. A well-developed dissemination strategy will be an advantage. Priority will be given to the importance of the project and best use of the Seven Stories collections as judged by a senior member of the Children’s Literature Unit in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University and a senior member of the Collections team at Seven Stories.

Eligibility for the award

Applicants must hold a first degree or higher from a recognised institution of higher education.

Note: non-EEA applicants are reminded that to take up a Fellowship they must hold an appropriate visa. Neither Newcastle University nor Seven Stories can help with this process. Please see the UK visas website for more information: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply


Fellowships must be taken up before the end of April 2015. Recipients are expected to spend at least three days in Newcastle and are encouraged to time their visits to enable them to participate in events organised jointly or separately by the Children’s Literature Unit and Seven Stories. (Please note: successful applicants must contact Seven Stories and agree a date for the visit prior to making travel arrangements; normally a minimum of two weeks’ notice is required before any research visit.) Acknowledgement of the Fellowships must accompany all dissemination activities arising from the research.

The Seven Stories archives

Seven Stories is the only accredited museum specialising in children’s books in the UK. Its collections an support original research, particularly in documenting aspects of the creation, publication and reception of books for children from the 1930s to the present day. The steadily growing archive contains material from over 100 authors, illustrators, editors, and others involved in the children’s publishing industry in Britain.

The following are a few examples of particularly substantial collections and their research potential:

The Ursula Moray Williams archive spans the career of a prolific and highly regarded children’s author and documents her working relationships with illustrators and editors. Her collection offers a valuable opportunity for research into all aspects of the process of writing, editing and publishing books for children in the mid- to late-twentieth century.

The Leila Berg archive covers the broad and varied career of a writer and journalist who championed children’s rights and comprehensive education. Material relating to Berg’s published works for children offers a unique opportunity to study the creative output of one of the foremost proponents of realism in British children’s literature. In addition, Berg’s correspondence, articles, and notes are a hugely valuable resource for anyone interested in the study of children’s welfare and education in twentieth-century Britain.

The Geoffrey Trease archive comprises a substantial wealth of material charting the creative output of one of Britain’s most important children’s writers. The collection includes research material, notes and drafts relating to a significant number of Trease’s works for children. Material documenting Trease’s early career, as well as a selection of lectures and articles by Trease, gives a valuable account of the writer as a proponent of a more progressive and realist children’s literature.

The David Wood archive is currently the largest collection in terms of scale; it provides a broad and comprehensive reflection of the work of Britain’s foremost children’s playwright. The collection includes material relating to the vast majority of Wood’s plays and books, as well as notes, drafts, and correspondence relating to the production and publication of plays and books for children. It offers a highly unique opportunity for research into all aspects of children’s theatre and performing arts.

The Peter Dickinson archive is a broad and valuable record of the creative process of a prize-winning and highly renowned children’s author. In particular, the material documents in some detail the working relationship between author and editor. As Dickinson was successful in both Britain and America, the collection also provides a great deal of information on the publication of children’s books in both countries.

The Diana Wynne Jones archive contains a diversity of material documenting the life and career of one of Britain’s most highly regarded fantasy writers. The collection includes papers from Jones’ childhood, draft material for the majority of her works, personal and professional correspondence, and various other papers. It offers a unique opportunity for research into the children’s book industry and the creative formation of a writer.

More information can be found on the Collection pages of the Seven Stories website – http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/collection. All of the artwork and manuscript collections are fully catalogued, and the catalogues can be searched online via the link provided on the website. A list of many of the authors and illustrators represented in the collection can be found at: http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/collection/authors-and-illustrators

(Please bear in mind that this is not a complete list of the collections.)

Application process

Applicants are asked to submit the following items by 1 August, 2014.

  • an application form
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a brief proposal (of 1,000 words maximum)
  • one confidential letter of recommendation (sealed and signed; confidential letters may be included in your application packet or recommenders may send them directly)

Applications may be submitted by email or post.

Email: Kim.Reynolds@ncl.ac.uk

Post:David Almond Fellowships
School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, United Kingdom