Some of our favourite stories and artwork in our recent Sporting Stories book came from local schools in Stoke-on-Trent: gymnastics from Summerbank Primary; outdoor adventures from Hillside Primary; and a veritable torrent on sports of all descriptions from St Joseph's College - we chose five stories for the book from a mountain of 250 submissions to a Sporting Stories competition the school ran.
What really struck us was the energy and enthusiasm for writing in schools, so we've been having conversations with a number of primary schools this year about a new series of books we're planning: This School Loves...Sport.
First up will be a book of poetry about swimming, which we've been working on with Hillside Primary in Baddeley Green. We're in the final stages of putting the book together, featuring work from every class in the school from Nursery to Year 6. The artwork by the children is fabulous, complemented by a stunning cover which we've commissioned from local artist Gaz Williams. Plus we've got specially written poems from the wonderful Emma Purshouse, local writer Angela James and - best of all - from Jenny Booth, world record holder and gold-medal winning paralympic swimmer. And poet.
We've got six books in the series, each with a different primary school and each featuring a different sport. This School Loves... Swimming will be published in May and will be available to pre-order from our webstore shortly.