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Campaign by Kids is all about the children – This year (2021) we’re handing the mic over to some of our children and young people who will be sharing their inspirational stories with you in their own creative way.

We are putting the children at the heart of the campaign, dispelling the misconceptions of fostering through their eyes and their voice.

 

The children will be telling us their thoughts, views and feelings about what fostering means to them through amazing content that they have created.

We will be sharing poetry, drawings, quotes, videos, comic scripts and much more across our website and social media channels.

Campaign by Kids Interview Foster Carers!

 

Some of the children from our Campaign by Kids interviewed foster carers.

Watch the below to find out about their favourite meals, how they started their fostering journey and more.

Story Time with Lisa

Meet Lisa one of our wonder foster carers and children's librarian. She has read a wonderful story for you to watch and listen back to. Just click on the link below.

Jacqueline Wilson

 

Jacqueline Wilson, the author of The Story of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather, and more than a hundred other books took the time to answer some questions from our children and young people.

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What did you like to read as a child?
I loved a book called Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.  My mum didn’t let me have ballet lessons myself, but I pretended my pink bedroom slippers were ballet shoes and pranced around our flat pretending to be one of the girls in the story.  I must have looked ridiculous but luckily no-one saw me.  I also liked books like What Katy Did and A Little Princess and Little Women.  They might all seem old-fashioned now, but they’re still great stories.

How did you know you wanted to write books?
I made up stories even before I could read, and would act them out in private.  As soon as I could print comfortably I wrote little stories in exercise books, and by the time I was a teenager I was taking it all very seriously, determined to be a writer one day.  I’m so lucky that all my dreams came true.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes about six months, from the first idea to the time I can type The End when I’ve finished writing the story.  It might seem a long time, as it only takes a few days to read a book - but a lot of other writers take much longer.

 

Our of all the books you have written, which is your favourite?
I’ve always loved the Tracy Beaker series, and now I’m fond of the two recent books about Tracy now she’s grown up with a daughter of her own.  My Mum Tracy Beaker has just been on television and proved very popular.

Why did you write a book about fostering and did you enjoy it?
I saw a feature about children in care long ago in the local newspaper, and I wondered what it would be like to be fostered.  I invented Tracy Beaker and put down all her thoughts and feelings, and all the outrageous things that happened to her.  It was great fun writing her story.

Photo credit to James Jordan

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When did you know you wanted to write books?
I used to say I wanted to be a writer from when I was six years old.  No-one thought I’d ever get a book published and earn my living from writing, so I decided to be a hairdresser too as I loved styling my friends’ hair.  Luckily I’ve been able to be a writer from when I was seventeen.

Do you speak to children about what has happened to them before you write your books.
I’ve met many many children over the years I’ve been writing, and sometimes they tell me their history - but I never use anything that’s really happened in my books.  I like to make everything up.

How do I become a writer like you?
It helps to read a lot, to see how other people write their stories, and maybe keep a daily diary to get into a writing habit.  I should just enjoy writing whenever you feel like it for the moment.  Good luck!

What books did you read when you were a girl?
I read lots of books published by Puffin Children’s Classics - Ballet Shoes was my favourite.  If I was a girl now I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy Katherine Rundell’s books - she’s a great writer.

Why do you write about fostering in some of your books?  

I think it’s a very interesting subject and since writing The Story of Tracy Beaker I’ve met many children in care.  I’m an ambassador of my local Foster Care Association and go to their various outings and parties (though of course that’s not possible right at the moment!)

5394g Campaign by Kids Polaroid Lissie,

Question from all : Who inspired you to write books?
I don’t think a particular person inspired me - it was reading the books themselves.  I just wanted to create my own.

Question from all : How do I become a writer like you?
You probably have to wait until you’re grown up - and then write a story that people will love.  It’s quite hard to get published - but you never know!

Question from all : How many books have you written?
I’ve written 112 books!

Question from all : When did you know you wanted to write books?
From when I was very young - it was my biggest ambition.

Question from Georgie : Why do you write about fostering in some of your books?
I think it’s a very interesting subject - and Tracy Beaker is my favourite character.

Question from Georgie and Lissie : Who gets to read your new books first and do you show these to your friends?
I send my completed story off to my agent Caroline and she sends it to the publishers to turn into a book.  I give a copy to several special friends.

Question from Jess and Lissie : Do you speak to children about what has happened to them before you write your books?
I love to chat to children and I’m touched if they confide in me, but I never use their own experiences.  I make up my own characters and stories.

Question from Lissie : What is your favourite thing about being an author?
I like living in my own imaginary world - and I love doing events where I talk to children and read from my books.

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What do you enjoy about being an author?
I never get bored, because I’ve always got my pretend characters in my head.  It’s great seeing my book on sale in a bookshop.  It’s lovely when children write to me to tell me that they’ve enjoyed one of my stories.

When did you know you wanted to write books?
I knew from when I was little.  My family and friends and teachers all thought I was being silly!

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When did you publish your first ever book?
I had my first short story published when I was 17.  I think I was about 23 when I had my first proper book published.

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I’d really love to be an author/illustrator.  Have you got any tips to get started?
I would just enjoy writing and illustrating your stories for the moment, but as you get older you could go to a library or bookshop and look at other people’s books to give you some idea of the sort of stories that get published.  

What inspired you to write about fostering in some of your books?
I think it’s such an interesting subject - and over the years I’ve met many children with experience of being in care and seen how they blossom with the right foster family.  These children themselves are inspiring!

A huge thank you to Jacqueline Wilson for being involved in our Festival of Fostering