Between the lines

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track

Check with your local branch of Waterstone's, Borders or Ottakars for details of Lynne Truss's signings, talks and readings this month. She's promoting the new paperback editions of her novels published by Profile Books (the first, With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed, is memorable for introducing the concept of celebrity sheds long before anyone knew about Philip Pullman's garden retreat) but the evening sessions will no doubt be punctuated with digressions into Eats, Shoots and Leaves territory.

Besides her tour of the big chain bookstores, she'll also be appearing at Bookmark in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on July 8, the Dartington Ways with Words Festival on July 10 and 11 (tel: 01803 867373) and in Edinburgh and Glasgow in August.

At least two people are feeling good about football this week: author and Norwich City supporter Mal Peet (pictured) and Paul Harrison, who edited Peet's novel Keeper for Walker Books. Keeper, in which El Gato, "the world's greatest goalkeeper", tells his compelling life story from logging camp to World Cup, is a key title in the National Literacy Trust's Reading the Game programme to build enthusiasm for reading through football. Now it has collected the Branford Boase award for first-time authors of children's fiction and their editors.

Dunblane high school having cleaned up in New Zealand by winning the Kids' Lit Quiz, 12-year-old Charlotte Branfield of Kilgraston prep school in Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, is heading for Australia to meet author Garth Nix.

Charlotte has beaten pupils from 38 UK schools to scoop top prize in a Collins Children's Books competition. She submitted the best 10 interview questions for the author of mythical adventure stories such as the Old Kingdom trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) and Mister Monday, the first in the Keys to the Kingdom series.

Her school receives books worth pound;3,000 and a class set of signed copies of Mister Monday. So Mr Nix should brace himself: Charlotte wants to know how he keeps the detail in his fictional universe "relevant and consistent".

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