Newcastle University and Seven Stories Launch Podcast on Representation and Diversity in Children's Literature

Laura McKenzie's picture
Online Digital Resources
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, British History / Studies, Childhood and Education, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Literature



Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books have collaborated on Whose Stories?, a new podcast focusing on diversity and representation in children’s books and the role of literary archives in documenting and engaging the public with this pressing issue. The first two episodes are available now, and feature interviews with Valerie Bloom, John Agard, Beverley Naidoo, and Errol Lloyd:


This limited series of three fortnightly podcasts is commissioned and supported by the Vital North Partnership, a strategic partnership between Seven Stories and Newcastle University. Whose Stories? sees authors, illustrators, academics, changemakers, and archivists come together to talk about why building a truly representative national archive of children’s books is so critical, and to put a spotlight on issues of diversity and representation in children’s literature and its history within these contexts. The podcast forms part of Seven Stories’ wider Windrush Programme, which seeks to inspire children of Caribbean heritage to see themselves both represented within British literature, and as writers of the future.


The Seven Stories Windrush Programme will explore the archives of four writers - John Agard, Valerie Bloom, Grace Hallworth and Grace Nichols - enabling new generations of young people to celebrate and enjoy their work. Funded by a Windrush Grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the programme will also include book packs, learning resources and public programmes.


The podcasts build upon work by Newcastle University’s British Academy Global Professor, Karen Sands O’Connor. “The podcasts represent several years of partnership between Seven Stories, Newcastle University, and me to broaden both the archival collections at Seven Stories and the wider public understanding of the role of Black British children's literature in the national culture,” said Professor Sands O’Connor. “The range of voices present in this podcast - from academics to authors to teachers, librarians and children - demonstrates a commitment to bringing the best books and the joy of reading to all children.”


Contact Info: 

Dr. Laura McKenzie

Vital North Partnership Development Manager

Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children's Books