Author of the Term

The School Council decided last term that a number of junior classes would like to nominate, Adam Blade (author of the Beast Quest series) for our spring term Author of the Term.

For the infants and early years children we have chosen David McKee (author of the Elmer and King Rollo books) as Author of the Term.

Adam Blade

Fo the children’s information there actually is no Adam Blade! This is a pseudonym (a made up name). The Beast Quest books are actually written by a group of authors. Other ‘authors’ that are actually pseudonyms include Lucy Daniels, Erin Hunter (Warrior Cats series) and Daisy Meadows (Rainbows Fairies). So these people don’t actually exist, but that’s no reason to not have a focus on the Beast Quest series.

In fact, we feel it would be a good opportunity to send some of our children’s ideas to Orchard Books to see if the ‘Adam Blade’ group would like to use their ideas to inspire a future novel! This will add extra purpose to our Author of the Term Competition for Junior Aged children.

Jacket and Synopsis

Our competition is for the children to design their own book sleeve (or jacket) for a potential Beast Quest novel. We will provide you with a template so that you can fit your front cover illustration and back cover ‘blurb’ around the standard template for the Beast Quest series. There are THREE elements to this competition:

1) Front Cover Illustration

2) Back cover ‘blurb’

3) Synopsis

We will then actually send a copy of your entries to Orchard Books to see if the Adam Blade team would like to seize upon your idea and character as a subject for a future novel in their series!

Front Cover

As you can see from the examples below, the Beast Quest books are based on fantasy mythological creatures. Your front cover should feature a bold and colourful illustration of your creature that takes up most of the cover space between the ‘Beauty Quest’ title and the specific title of your novel (at the bottom of the front cover).

Note that the creatures often have short, sharp ‘mythological’ names that have instant impact. These names are then followed by a short ‘sub-title.’ For example:

LARNAK… The Swarming Menace

VERAK… The Storm King

SPIROS… The Ghost Phoenix

SKOR… The Winged Stallion

This is a good starting point. Think of a catchy name for your mythological beast and a ‘sub-title’ that summarises the beast that you have created. (Note that the Beast Quest ‘style’ is often to have a three-word sub-title to expand upon the name and identity of your creature!)

The Blurb

The ‘blurb’ is a brief summary of your beast and your plot. Here are a couple of Beast Quest ‘blurbs’ as examples. The blurbs are ‘short and sharp’ summaries. The publisher is looking at around 40 to 50 words as a rough guide. If you only had 20 words, or send in 100 words then they WILL NOT consider this for the final publication. So please MAKE YOUR BLURB BETWEEN a minimum of 35 and maximum of 55 words.

Synopsis

A synopsis is really an extension of your blurb. If you ever sent a story for publication then the publishers would not look at the whole story to start with, they will always ask for a SYNOPSIS. If they like your synopsis, then they make ask to look at the whole story.

The synopsis therefore has to be interesting and persuasive. It should expand in greater detail on your character and plot. Unlike the blurb, where they prefer to avoid any ‘spoilers’ and often use questions to give you a ‘hook’ and make you want to read the book, the synopsis needs to inform the publishers on how your story is set, and how it opens, how the plot and characters might develop, and how your story ends.

The synopsis for your Beast Quest story should aim to be between 250 and 300 words.

We will need the full book ‘jacket’ (cover illustration plus blurb) along with your synopsis in order to persuade the ‘Adam Blade Syndicate’ that there would be some potential in using your ideas as the inspiration for the genuine production of a future ‘Beast Quest’ novel. This is a really exciting opportunity for our fantastic illustrators and story writers in Key Stage 2. The closing date will be Monday 22nd February (The first day of next half-term).

David McKee- Author of the Term for Infant and Early Years children.

David McKee is a wonderful author, most famous for Mr Ben, Elmer and King Rollo.

We have two competitions for this term. One is an art competition and the other is a short story writing competition.

Elmer Art Gallery

We intend to set up a wonderful Elmer Art Gallery in the School Hall for when we return to school.

Children could produce ANY 2D or 3D piece of art based on the colourful subject of Elmer.

You might choose to create a collage, or a painting, or use colouring pencils, crayons, felt pens or pastels… it’s all up to you! Elmer’s wonderful range of patchwork colours lend themselves to all sorts of artistic opportunities.

You might prefer to create something that’s three dimensional. Maybe a model, or a glove puppet, or an ‘Elmer milk bottle’ model (see below). If any children would like to make a clay Elmer then I would happily arrange for a small pack of clay that you could collect, and then willingly fire them in the school kiln. (I can offer some advice on preparing the clay and creating a model.) If you’d like to do this then please e-mail me head@skyswood.herts.sch.uk.

Otherwise, your models could be made out of anything; junk materials, fimo, cardboard, milk containers etc…

Here are a few pieces of Elmer ‘artwork’ just to get you thinking;

Short Story Competition

The second competition for our infants or early years children is to create a short picture book based on one of two characters; Elmer or King Rollo.

You could do this with the help of your parents and my suggestion would be to read some of the books first and get a good idea of the characters.

King Rollo is a really humorous character; he’s a king but he behaves very much like a 5 or 6 year old. For example, in King Rollo’s Shoes the challenge is that King Rollo gets new shoes but he hasn’t yet mastered doing up the laces!

Elmer is also such a fun character. Your story can be whatever length you wish. Think about a simple story line and have fun illustrating your story!

Ideas might include:

King Rollo in the Park

Elmer at the Seaside

King Rollo’s Christmas Surprise

Elmer gets Lost!

King Rollo’s Holiday

Elmer at the Fairgound

You could obviously make your own title up, or use one of the above.

Have fun with your Elmer artwork or your short stories if you would like to take part in the competition.

Everyone who enters the competitions will receive a special certificate and we’ll also find some good prizes that we can give out to the winning entries.

The closing date is Monday 22nd February 2021.