Rafi Brown was shortlisted in this diversity competion and I was interviewed later by the Tom Avery, the winner, for his blog about
The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2010
Meet short-listed writer Sue Stern as she tells us about her writing:-
What do you usually write about and who do you write for?
I write about children and adults, who are a little different through
their cultural background or identity. Maybe they have a disability or
a social problem; maybe they’re immigrants, strangers in a new
country. Though these themes reflect my own experience, I want to
share them with others, since everyone knows about alienation and
isolation some time in their lives. And I like to search for a way
through, to find connections, to discover something unexpected,
exciting and life-affirming at the end of the story.
Tell us, why you write?
To understand myself and other people, to play with words and
ideas, to tell stories which take people to another world.
Where and when do you write?
The smallest bedroom at the front of the house is now my study; I write as early as Ican, before anyone is up- preferably from about six o’clock until nine!
What inspired you to enter the Diverse Voices Award?
I’d already written a novel about a little girl in a West End sweatshop whose family weresocialists in Russia. The story Rafi writes and draws in Rafi Brown and the Candy FlossKid explores elements of this in a different way. Also, I’m deeply affected by my Jewish Eastern European heritage and hoped this might be recognised by the Diverse Voices
Did you enter the Diverse Voices Award because you feel that your own ethnic andcultural origins are under-represented in British children’s books today?
I do. Jewish people came here initially between 1860 and 1914. They assimilated swiftly to mainstream life, influenced by the colonial/ British ethos of the early twentieth century. They were particularly encouraged not to provoke anti-Semitism in their new country. Their original culture almost disappeared during the Second World War. Few books in modern children’s fiction show any of this,
and I’d love to do so in my writing.
What was your favourite book as a child? The Little White Horse by Elisabeth Goudge
And who is your favourite children’s author, contemporary or classic? Louisa May Alcott>