‘Windows are the new mirrors’: Candy Gourlay takes the reins as new BookTrust Writer in Residence

Published on: 11 March 2019

Award-winning children’s author Candy Gourlay has been appointed the new online Writer in Residence for BookTrust.

Candy Gourlay has become the next Writer in Residence for BookTrust – and it's a wonderful choice. 

Philippines-born and London-based, Candy Gourlay is well-known for her books Bone Talk, Is It a Mermaid? (illustrated by Francesca Chessa), Shine and Tall Story. She has been nominated for top industry prizes including the Guardian Children’s Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Branford Boase Award.

During her six-month residency, Candy will share her ideas to help inspire readers of all nationalities and backgrounds. She will explore the theme of books as both windows and mirrors to the world.

Find out more about our Writers in Residence

Books as windows and mirrors

Candy Gourlay says about her residency at BookTrust:

'I’m incredibly excited to be invited as BookTrust's Writer in Residence! Growing up in the Philippines in uncertain times made me think I would probably never get a chance to see the world. But books proved me wrong. Between the covers of books, I travelled all over the world, met the most extraordinary characters and learned that there were more ways to live than I knew.
'Someone said books are windows and mirrors. Windows because they allow you to look beyond your own experience. Mirrors because they reflect the universality of humanity. Windows and Mirrors – as BookTrust's Writer in Residence, I hope everyone will join in exploring this theme.'

Highlights of Candy’s residency will include a creative writing competition for primary schools and an exciting book event for Filipino children in London.

Role model for children

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO said:

'In a time where supporting author diversity is critical, we are incredibly lucky and excited to have an author with such personal lessons and stories to share. Candy is not only a brilliant author but also an important role model to inspire children to both read and write.
'The BookTrust online Writer in Residence programme is a wonderful feature, giving visitors to the BookTrust website an invaluable insight into the lives, minds and sketchbooks of acclaimed illustrators and writers. We hope children across the country will be able to learn about the world but also learn to use books as windows to discover new opportunities and adventures.'

The power of stories

The BookTrust Writer in Residence project has been running since March 2009 and has featured authors and illustrators including Nadia Shireen, Cressida Cowell, Nicola Davies, Sita Brahmachari, Patrick Ness, Polly Dunbar, Bali Rai, Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill, Chris Riddell, Sarah McIntyre, Philip Ardagh, Taran Matharu and Phil Earle.

The residency encourages each writer or illustrator to explore topics that they are passionate about, with past residents exploring themes such as the power of stories, diversity in children’s literature and the importance of libraries.

Keep up to date with all of Candy’s blogs

Download the full press release (.docx, 375 KB)


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Writer in Residence

Our current Writer in Residence is Candy Gourlay, who is writing blogs, running competitions and giving us her unique perspective on the world of children's books.

Find out what she's been up to