Smriti Halls named as BookTrust's new Writer in Residence

Published on: 14 September 2020

The award-winning writer will use her time in the role to talk about how we can all help to bring books alive.

Smriti Halls

Award-winning writer Smriti Halls has been unveiled as BookTrust's new Writer in Residence, taking over the role from Ed Vere.

Smriti, who will be our Writer in Residence for six months until March 2021, has written books including I Love You Night and Day, I'm Sticking With You, Elephant in My Kitchen, Rain Before Rainbows and The Little Island.

Her books are often fast-paced and funny or lyrical and tender, and explore themes of relationship and identity, the personal and the political, and how it feels to be in your own skin (or someone else's).

Smriti also believes passionately in the transformative power of books and stories, saying they help to 'build bridges, rebuild hearts and give readers the emotional language to negotiate the trickiest situations, bringing hope and change in the world'.

Smriti will use her residency to encourage children and adults to read aloud, read together and to find new and exciting ways of engaging with books, stories and poems to bring them to life.

She will also concentrate on using books to help children navigate tricky times and new experiences, whether that's transitioning back to school after lockdown, solving friendship difficulties, getting to know a new sibling or thinking about some of the challenges that face our world.

'I am honoured and excited to be joining BookTrust as Writer in Residence from September 2020 to March 2021,' she said.

'I have long admired the essential work that BookTrust does to get books into the hands of children, to engage parents, teachers and carers in fostering young readers and to effect positive change in the book world. It is a tremendous privilege to be asked to take up this role.'

BookTrust's CEO Diana Gerald added that she is 'delighted' to be welcoming Smriti as the new Writer in Residence.

'It's been a challenging year for families, especially as they navigate this strange new world, so having Smriti help us bring books to life in new and fun ways that offer inspiration and hope is so very exciting.'

Find out more about BookTrust's Writer in Residence

Download the full press release

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