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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Children urged to use word power
Primary pupils Dana O'Neil and Aiden Curren with Braw patron Joan Lingard
The scheme aims to fire up enthusiasm in younger readers
A scheme which helps children grow in confidence by putting books at the centre of life has been launched.

Books, Reading and Writing (Braw) has been set up to showcase Scottish children's authors and illustrators.

The project, run by the Scottish Book Trust, will support festivals, book tours and career development using Scottish Arts Council lottery funds.

It is hoped youngsters will follow the example of an Inverness teenager whose book has sold more than 50,000 copies.

Braw said the wide-ranging scheme was aimed at parents, carers, authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, literary organisations and, most essentially, readers.

Emma Maree Urquhart
Emma Maree Urquhart published her first novel at the age of 13

Patron Joan Lingard, of the Scottish Book Trust, is a successful children's author herself and has long campaigned for vehicle to promote home-grown literature to children.

She said: "It's fantastic to see an idea become a reality with the launch of Braw.

"Scotland has a wealth of children's literature and through this initiative we will be able to introduce children to these books in a variety of imaginative and exciting ways."

The project will include efforts to:

  • Provide free advice and information on children's authors and their work

  • Create a network of links with other organisations in the children's literature sector

  • Support writers and illustrators as well as organise tours, events, exhibitions and festivals.

Braw said it hoped the programme would provide a gateway to "knowledge, experience and empowerment".

Marc Lambert, chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust, said: "We are extremely excited about the launch of Braw which will reach children throughout the whole of Scotland.

Robert King
Robert King's novel is the first part of a trilogy

"We hope that if we can engage children at a young age, they will develop a love of reading now and in the future and we may even inspire some to become part of the next generation of Scottish writers."

Many budding young authors are hoping to follow in the footsteps of 13-year-old Emma Maree Urquhart, from Inverness.

Her first novel Dragon Tamers, published by Aultbea Publishing in Inverness, sold 50,000 copies in six weeks.

Robert King, a fourth year pupil at Tain Royal Academy in the Highlands, has followed Emma into print.

His novel Apple of Doom, the first part of a children's fantasy trilogy, is also being published by Aultbea.

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