One of the distinctive strengths of this research cluster, unique in the UK, is the wide historical range covered by its researchers. which stretches from Renaissance childhoods, through the long eighteenth century, to modern and contemporary publishing for children. We aim to expand the parameters of children’s literature research, with a particular focus on book history and historical childhoods, alongside publishing original work for children and young adults.
Central to the life of the Children’s Literature Unit is our partnership with Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, the only UK institution dedicated to original material relating to children’s literature. The Seven Stories Collection, represents over 250 authors, illustrators and editors from the 1930s onwards, and through The Vital North Partnership supports our innovative work on modern and contemporary children’s literature. In collaboration with Seven Stories the Children's Literature Unit hosts an annual Fickling Lecture on Developments in Children's Literature.
Staff and students studying children's literature meet for regular work-in-progress sessions at the Children's Literature Unit Graduate Group (CLUGG). Our lively and inclusive community includes an annual programme of lectures and seminars on aspects of children's literature and culture. The high-point of each year's series of activities is the Fickling Lecture, bringing a major contemporary voice in cultural affairs to Newcastle to address a very wide audience on an aspect of children's literature.