National Non-Fiction Day is celebrated on the first Thursday in November each year. It was the brain child of a past Chair of the Federation of Children’s Book Group, Adam Lancaster. I asked Adam for this thoughts about non-fiction and what we can do to highlight it, building on National Non-Fiction Day. Here’s what he had to say:
“Non fiction is something that I am very passionate about. It’s the reason why I wanted to set up something like National Non-Fiction Day, a celebration of everything to do with facts and information.
Non-fiction has been having a good amount of press time recently as people start to realise, even more than before, the importance facts and information can play in not only the education of young people but also in the progression of reading for pleasure. (If you haven’t already seen it do read this letter published in the Guardian about the need for exciting non-fiction for children.)
Out of the spotlight there are a lot of things going on as a party of publishers, educational specialists, journalists and organisations try to keep the momentum rolling for the promotion of non-fiction. Below are just a few examples of what we are trying to achieve, in addition to boosting the impact everyone can have by organising some sort of celebration of National Non-Fiction Day itself, and by taking part in the School Library Associations (SLA) Information Book Award.
As a larger group, we want to highlight non-fiction in as many monthly e-newsletters to schools, libraries and families as possible. Examples will be in the ReadingZone, Scholastic publications, Raintree and hopefully others including SLA and FCBG publications. Features will hopefully be experts discussing why children need non-fiction, and some better known non-fiction people’s views.
We plan to have a campaigning piece in book trade magazines – highlighting the lack of non fiction but also something more positive about how the industry is getting behind non-fiction. We are looking at the possibility of setting up a special streamed event for non-fiction authors on National Non-Fiction day (a little like what happens on World Book Day), and this could be streamed nationally with resources. If you are able to offer any PR support for this please get in touch. We’re also looking for illustrators to design some non-fiction posters, both funny and serious e.g. around famous people or packed with non-fiction facts. We’d also like to see a number of non-fiction author events in libraries leading up to future National Non-Fiction days.
As you can see non-fiction and the promotion of it is very important to us. We want to build on the success of National Non-Fiction Day and to keep the ball rolling not just through local children’s book groups but also through other national organisations and bodies.”
Don’t forget the free resources available to support your National Non-Fiction day events – available to download from the bottom of our page all about National Non-Fiction Day.