vendredi 27 février 2009

7th Annual Red Wheelbarrow Children's Writing Contest

Have we got great news! Sally Gardner has just agreed to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Celebration of Writing and Writers Ceremony of the Red Wheelbarrow Children's Writing Contest on the 5th of June 2009. We are super excited with this news as Sally Gardner is one of RWB's favorite authors. She's written a number of great children's books and among our favorites are I, Coriander and The Red Necklace. Her new book will be coming out in April and we are very much looking forward to it! If you haven't had the chance to read her work yet, I strongly suggest you do!

Now for the contest, the rules have been slightly modified so please read carefully as only those stories fully complying with the rules will be accepted. Deadline for submission is the 30th of April 2009


1) WHO: All English writers, from Kindergarten/Grande Section through Grade 12/Terminale, in the greater Paris area.

2) WHAT: ONE original story per student written after September 1, 2008. All stories must:

· Have a clear beginning, middle, and end;
· Be submitted under one of two categories: 1) independent project or 2) school-based project. This tells us whether you wrote your
story on your own or had the help of teachers and friends. Please, be honest. Only one submission per student will be accepted.
· Respect the following word limit: 750 words, grades K-5 / GS-CM2
1000 words, grades 6-12 / college-lycée
Longer pieces will not be accepted.
· Be typed, using Times New Roman or Arial fonts, 12 pt, and double-spaced, with 5 cm. margins*
No handwritten work, illustrations or color print, please.

3) WHEN: The deadline for story submissions is 30 April 2009 at midnight. No late submissions will be accepted.

4) WHERE: Submit your stories only by e-mail attachment to, using the following directions:

5) HOW:
· In the SUBJECT line of your e-mail, write "Red Wheelbarrow Contest Entry", and your grade.
Example, Subject: Red Wheelbarrow Contest Entry, 3rd Grade (or CM1).
· In the BODY of your e-mail, tell us about you and your story, using the form provided on page 2 of these guidelines.
COPY and PASTE this form onto the e-mail page and fill it in. We cannot accept any stories without this information.
· ATTACH your story to the e-mail as a WORD file, using the story title ONLY as the document name.


DO NOT include your name anywhere in the story attachment, neither in the story text NOR in the document name. Your document name should be your story TITLE only. We must receive an anonymous copy in order to accept it. When we receive your story submission, we will send you an e-mail telling you so. If you do not receive this e-mail confirmation within 24
hours, we may not have received your story. So please let us know!

Please note also that after all entries are submitted, the school must send a representative to the Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore (22 rue St. Paul 75004) with a list of all participating stories. This way we can validate that you have participated!

6) Do not use obscene language – The winning stories will be published and read by people of all ages.

7) Join us for the Celebration of Writing and Writers with Sally Gardner as Master of Ceremonies to be held at L’Ecole Massillon, on Friday June 5, 2009. Come enjoy a book-making
atelier, workshops, readings, and books, books, books. All participating writers will be honored! The top five writers in each category and grade will be announced (they will be notified in advance so they’ll be sure to come). We strongly encourage all authors to attend!

9) The Red Wheelbarrow Creative Writing Contest is absolutely free-of-charge to enter.

10) Any Questions? Please contact: June or Sarah,, or come by the bookstore!

Here is the Info sheet you need to fill up:


Please COPY and PASTE the cover page below into the BODY of your submission e-mail and FILL IN your personal information so that we can clearly identify your story. ATTACH your story to the message as a document with the TITLE of your story as the file
name. DO NOT TYPE your name anywhere on the story.

We MUST RECEIVE an anonymous copy of your story.
- Story Title: ____________________________________________________
- Word Count (total number of words in the story): ________
- Number of Pages: ________
- Author’s Last Name: ______________________________________
- Author’s First Name: ______________________________________
- Author’s submission category: ____ Independent Project
____ School-based Project
- Author’s School/Program: _______________________________
- English teacher’s name (if applicable): _______________________________
- Grade/Year in which author is enrolled: _______________________________
- Author’s age on 10 April 2009: _______________________________
- Author’s address (street, postal code, city): _______________________________
- Author’s Email Address: _______________________________

Please type YES or NO in response to the following:
On your honor, did you imagine and write this story yourself? _____
On your honor, was this story imagined and written after 1 September 2008? _____
Do you give permission for your child’s story to be used to promote the Red Wheelbarrow Writing Contest? _____
Do you give permission for the author’s photo to be used to promote this contest? _____

Eh voila...ready set go!!!

vendredi 20 février 2009

Our week was considerably brightened by two authors who passed by RWB. First to visit was Judith Adler Hellman whose book The World of Mexican Migrants was named outstanding academic title of 2008 by Choic, magazine of the American Library Association. Judith is a friendly and interesting person and we are very much looking forward to doing an event with her before she leaves our shores.
We very nearly didn't recognize our next author. In fact, it wasn't till nearly the end when we realized it, and he 'fessed up to being Horatio Clare, author of Running for the Hills. His book has received wide praise for being beautifully written and with an eye for the wild landscape of Wales.

Who will come a -visiting next, I wonder?

mardi 10 février 2009

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Q and A, Vikas Swarup’s debut novel begins with its protagonist Ram Mohammad Thomas in jail. Reason? He has just won a billion rupees in India’s Who Will Win a Billion. Since he is a poor uneducated boy from the chawls (or slums), producers of the show reason out that he couldn’t have won on merit and instead cheated. They ask the police to “persuade” Ram to confess to cheating. He is saved from the tender ministrations of the police by a lawyer who demands to know how exactly he came to know the answers. Thus begins Ram’s Scheherazade like telling of his life, whose twists and turns fortuitously give him the answers to the various questions.
Reading the book, I could see how its plot could be taken to form the basis of a movie. And a hugely successful one too; last I heard, Slumdog Millionaire had 10 Oscar nominations and was being called the little film that could. The book though is one that could be enjoyed independently of the movie. Granted, Swarup’s plot requires a suspension of belief but it is a hugely enjoyable story nonetheless. He writes with a deft and engaging hand and the plot twists and turns make it a fast novel to read. He has given Ram a distinctive voice that carries along the tale. What Swarup has done really well with this book is to paint a portrait of modern India with all its squalor and filth but also the vibrancy and grit of its inhabitants. He has written this story with genuine humor and sympathy for those whose lot in life is most unfortunate. All the more reason to cheer for Ram’s one billion rupees. At the end of the day, don’t we all want a happy ever after?

vendredi 6 février 2009

On Paris Guide books

Today was a blessedly beautiful day, blue skies and relatively mild weather. Finally. It was certainly a welcome relief. So we threw open our doors and who should walk in but Heather Stimmler-Hall who's just published her own unique guide to Paris. Her book is called Naughty Paris Guide and it is chock full of insider tips about this fabulous city of ours, albeit with an empahsis on its sexy side. As Heather puts it, "there were a lot of people asking her about these details". So for all you ladies out there, if you've ever wondered where to buy those corsets (leather or otherwise) and lingerie that add that va-va voom touch to your wardrobe, or wondered where a fabulous woman may hang out and maybe meet the love of her life, this is the book for you. Champagne and roses not included.

Another Paris guide book to look forward to is the one by Ami Sioux a talented photographer who was in RWB today. Her idea behind her guide books is highly original and wonderfully interesting. The idea is to ask 50 different people to draw a map of their favorite place and she goes out to take a photo of each place. It sounds simple but the result is a unique guide to what makes a city so special to the people who live in it. As she puts it, "its not about the latest or trendiest cafe". To get an idea of what her Paris book will be like, check out the first one on Reykjavik

Here's a page on Reykjavik...
For more of Ami's work, check out

Also in the store today were Jobic and Emilie Le Masson. If you guys aren't yet aware of it, we are carrying Hill, Jobic's awesome first CD. In my completely unbiased opinion, this is a great CD and one you should be listening to. If you have the chance to hear Jobic play, you should definitely do so. For more information on his concerts, check out his website

mercredi 4 février 2009

What's new at RWB

Its a freezing start to this month but we have stacks of new books that can keep you company at home and away from the cold. But before giving you the list, I wanted to share the news that we will soon post up the revised rules for the 8th annual Red Wheelbarrow Children's Writing Contest. One of the more important changes, I can already tell you is that, this year the deadline for the submission of entries has been extended from April 1st to May 1st. Keep reading the blog for further information.

Now for those books..

New in Nonfiction
1. Byron in Love by Edna O'Brien
2.Up From History: The Life of Booker T. Washington by Robert Norrell
3. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
4. The Dark Side by Jane Mayer
5. Angels and Ages by Adam Gopnik
6. The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazeo
7. Love's Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie: Letters and Diaries 1941-9173 edited by Victoria Glendinning
8. Passing Strange by Martha Sandweiss
9. Great Powers: America and the World After Bush by Thomas Barnett
10. Fidel and Che: A Revolutionary Friendship by Simon Reid-Henry

New in Fiction (Hardcover and Trade Paperback)
1. The Women by T.C. Boyle
2. The Devil's Brood by Sharon Penman
3. The Associate by John Grisham
4. The Naqib's Daughter by Samia Serageldin
2. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
3. The Truth about Love by Josephine Hart
4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
5. UFO in her Eyes by Xiaolu Guo
6. The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
7. The Great Lover by Jill Dawson

New in Fiction Paperback
1. The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
2. Death at Intervals by Jose Saramago
3. Sorrows of an Amerian by Siri Hustvedt
4. A Partisan's Daughter by Louis de Bernieres
5. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
6. Beaufort by Ron Leshem
7.The Room of Lost Things by Stella Duffy
8. Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
9. The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
10. Submarine by Joe Dunthorne
11. God's Own Country by Ross Raisin