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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

World Book Day Plans #PassThePen Campaign

By Megan Whitlock


With World Book Day 2023 just around the corner (taking place on the 2 March), the children’s reading charity, BookTrust, have partnered with organisers to implement the #PassThePen campaign. The initiative aims to amplify the voices of emerging authors and illustrators of colour, helping them showcase their work to a wider audience and generate sales and visibility.


The social media campaign was first launched in 2020 in a partnership between BookTrust representatives and the then-Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, and saw involvement from stars such as Dermot O’Leary, Nadiya Hussain and Holly Bourne. For one day, up-and-coming literary stars take over the Instagram accounts of famous faces and celebrities in the book world, and use the space to showcase themselves, their work and their talent. This year, The Bookseller has reported that the likes of Michael Morpurgo and Nadia Shireen will be taking part, giving away their accounts to promising creators from “a diverse range of backgrounds” (The Bookseller).


Joanna Nadin, Sophie McKenzie, Sarah Horne and Rikin Parekh are just some of the names that will be joining the celebrations and passing over the pen alongside Michael Morpurgo over these few weeks. They will form just one small part of the wider 4000 booksellers that are expected to take part in World Book Day this year, with events and activities taking place at schools, indie bookshops and major retailers (such as Waterstones, WHSmith, and supermarket stores) across the country.


The official BookTrust website reported the following quote from new author of This Book Kills and participant, Ravena Guron, who will be taking the reins from veteran author Sophie McKenzie: “I'm both thrilled and very honoured to be selected! I've seen this project run in previous years and have always admired the work being done to pair up-and-coming authors and illustrators of colour with established names. It's an incredible opportunity and I can't wait to take part! [...] It's been said before, but every child deserves to see themselves in the books – and authors – they read. It's important work and hopefully projects like these help ensure real, lasting change in the industry” (booktrust.org).


For more information on who will be taking part and which social media accounts to check out, you can see the full list of participants on the BookTrust website (here).

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