The Royal Literary Fund begins its work at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. The Royal Literary Fund, set up by A.A. Milne, sponsors the employment of writers at colleges and universities, writers who will work one-on-one with students to improve their writing. Gareth Rose explains in the Scotsman: "The scheme - one of Milne's last wishes before his death in 1956 - was set up in 1999, and is funded through royalties from the Winnie the Pooh TV series, the Disney film, his books and other merchandise."
Lucy Ellman is the first Royal Literary Fellow and says she wants, "students to become more daring in their approach to academic work, which doesn't have to be dry and dull if they don't want it to be." Amen to that.
Jonathan Landreth (Hollywood Reporter) covers Katie Leung's promotional trip to China for the Washington Post. Leung, who plays Cho Chang in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, says, "I think everybody here is proud of me. I'm Chinese and I think my trip here will be good for the film."
Bob Minzesheimer discusses the perks, direct and indirect, of being a National Book Award winner in USA Today. Jeanne Birdsall, winner for The Penderwicks, gains $10,000 and an extra 20,000 in book printings. Moreover, she says, "Children don't buy children's books, but adults do. And that, Birdsall says, is where the award will most affect sales. Until now, she says, she has relied mostly on independent bookstores that have 'hand-sold the book — one at a time.'"
Elizabeth Ward singles out four new books in her "For Young Readers" column (Washington Post). She especially likes a new picture book by Lena and Olof Landstrom (translated from Swedish by Joan Sandin). Four Hens and a Rooster, Ward writes, "is about as good as a picture book can get." An epic Chinese journey and exploration, a Holocaust memoir, and a new picture book by Cynthia Rylant round out the list.