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Between the lines

TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track

Children are invited to write a sequel to Anne Fine's short novel Loudmouth Louis to help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Relief. Like Louis, the boy in the book who never stops talking, schools are also being asked to take part in the Big Hush sponsored silence during CancerTalk week. Loudmouth Louis was written for six to eight-year-olds, but Anne Fine (pictured) will select winning stories in three age groups: under 6, 7-10 and 11-plus.

There are pound;50 book tokens for each winner and pound;100 book tokens for their schools. For more information on the Big Hush and story writing competition, or to order a Cancertalk teaching pack, call 0845 601 1716 or go to www.macmillan.org.ukschools.

If you can fit the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse in Seine-Saint-Denis near Paris into a school trip to France late this term (the biggest children's book festival in France runs from November 30 to December 5), book your linguists into the sessions by October 18 at www.salon-livre-presse-jeunesse.net. The content appeals from early years to 15, the exhibitions and the weekend of December 3 and 4 (with sessions on France's Tam-Tam book awards) are accessible to individuals and families and the website alone offers much to enjoy. You don't need any French, just a lot of patience, to play the online Red Riding Hood game, which is effectively a crash course in the history of illustration.

The New Writing Ventures award shortlist for unpublished authors has launched two teachers on a writing career: John Smart teaches English at Gresham's school, Norfolk, and has been shortlisted in the literary non-fiction session for his essay on "John Hayward, TS Eliot and their circle". Meryl Pugh, on the poetry shortlist, is former head of English and currently part-time librarian at Oaks Park high school in the London borough of Redbridge. She took the library job in 2003 to allow more time for her writing.

These are the first awards presented by the New Writing Partnership in association with Arts Council England. The winner in each of the three categories (fiction, literary non-fiction and poetry) will receive pound;5,000 and all the shortlisted writers will benefit from workshops, mentoring and professional advice. Entry forms for the 2006 awards will be available to download from www.newwritingpartnership.co.uk from next month, or tel: 020 8516 2960.

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