Aardman hires Riot Communications for corporate comms brief

British animation studio Aardman has appointed culture and entertainment specialists Riot Communications to handle its corporate comms.

Founded in 1972 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, Aardman became famous worldwide for its compelling storytelling and much-loved characters which include Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Morph. Always innovative, the studio is now known for pushing the boundaries of animation as it continues to produce series, feature films and advertising alongside cutting-edge projects such as 4D theatre attractions for theme parks and the ‘visually astonishing’ (The Guardian) console game, 11-11: Memories Retold. The studio has had ten Oscar® nominations and won four.

In November 2018, Lord and Sproxton announced that they would be transferring the company into Employee Ownership, effectively selling the company to the workforce. The sale is aimed at ensuring that Aardman remains independent, securing the creative legacy and culture of the company for many decades to come.

Riot Communications won the account in a competitive pitch process and will focus on corporate communications while also providing strategic advice and consultancy across the studio’s various divisions and projects.

Preena Gadher, co-founder and MD of Riot Communications, said: “Aardman is a creative British powerhouse and one of the world’s most inspirational and beloved animation studios. It was on our dream client list when we first started the agency. Part of the appeal is an alignment of values – including independence, collaboration and integrity – which we believe to be fundamental to a successful client-agency relationship. As we expand our culture and entertainment offering, we look forward to helping Aardman achieve their objectives as they embark on exciting new projects.”

11-11: Memories Retold, the ‘visually astonishing’ (The Guardian) console game

Claire Adam wins 2019 Desmond Elliott Prize for “masterly” Golden Child


The “electrifying” debut “combines the harsh force of a fable with the unforgettable strangeness of real life”

Claire Adam has won the 12th annual Desmond Elliott Prize, the “UK’s most prestigious award for first-time novelists” (the Daily Telegraph), it has been announced this evening (19th June). Adam takes home the £10,000 Prize for her debut novel, Golden Child, beating fellow shortlisted authors, Michael Donkor (Hold) and Anna Mackmin (Devoured).

Set against the backdrop of the colourful but dangerous Trinidad of Adam’s own childhood, Golden Child tells of Clyde Deyalsingh’s relationship with his sons Peter and Paul, twins who are in no way alike – the one driven, academically gifted, the other a dreamer, indecipherable.. When the ‘misfit’, Paul, is abducted, Clyde must race to save the son he has never understood.

It was chosen as the most outstanding debut of the year by a trio of judges chaired by Alan Hollinghurst, author of The Line of Beauty (2004 Man Booker Prize winner), who was joined by literary editor of The Times, Robbie Millen, and managing director of the Booksellers Association, Meryl Halls.

In a speech at the Prize ceremony, Alan Hollinghurst said, “The Desmond Elliott Prize is about more than winning: it’s about attending to, and tending for, the newcomers — and over its twelve years it has shone the warmth of its attention on a marvellous body of work, creating a kind of informal community of the strongest new talent, many of whom have already gone on to do even finer things.

“Our 2019 winner Claire Adam demonstrates masterly control as she details the tragic fracturing of a family, and the beauty and the latent violence of her Trinidadian setting are miraculously vivid. Her novel combines the harsh force of a fable with the unforgettable strangeness of real life and – like all the very best debuts – Golden Child gives a sudden and enlightening view of both a new subject and a new mind.”

The Chairman of the Prize’s Trustees, Dallas Manderson said, “My fellow Trustees and I are delighted to present the judges’ choice of winner, Golden Child. This electrifying psychological thriller contains a vibrancy and life that we know Desmond Elliott would have greatly admired. It is our hope that winning the Prize will help cement  Claire Adam’s reputation as an up-and-coming star and support her in the writing of a second novel which equals, if not surpasses, her deeply impressive first offering.”

Golden Child is published by Faber & Faber, who are one of several independent publishers to have excelled in the Desmond Elliott Prize. They also published 2017 victor Golden Hill by Francis Spufford as well as later editions of the 2014 winner A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride, originally published by Galley Beggar Press. Galley Beggar have themselves had outstanding success with the Desmond Elliott Prize, having won twice and been longlisted three times.

The Desmond Elliott Prize has a track record of spotting exceptionally talented novelists at the very beginning of their careers. Last year, the Prize was awarded to Preti Taneja for her epic debut novel, We That Are Young, which has since been published in the U.S. and Canada, India, Germany and France. It is currently being adapted for television by producer Dina Dattani for Gaumont US. Other past winners include Lisa McInerney, Claire Fuller and Ros Barber.

For further information please contact Emily Souders at Riot Communications on

020 3174 0118 / emily@riotcommunications.com

Two verse books that shine light on forgotten voices and words win UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people


  • Debut novel from Dominican-American author and slam poetry champion Elizabeth Acevedo clinches CILIP Carnegie Medal
  • British illustrator Jackie Morris earns first CILIP Kate Greenaway win with ‘cultural phenomenon’ The Lost Words
  • Acevedo and Morris also take home the first ever ‘Shadowers’ Choice Awards, chosen by thousands of schoolchildren

www.ckg.org.uk / #CKG2019 / #bestchildrensbooks

The winners of the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people, have today (Tuesday 18th June 2019) been revealed at a ceremony at The British Library, hosted by broadcaster and writer Konnie Huq.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Electric Monkey) scoops the Carnegie Medal for writing, whilst The Lost Words illustrated by Jackie Morris and written by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton) takes the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. They have been chosen by 14 volunteer Youth Librarians, from over 254 nominations this year, as the very best in children’s writing and illustration published in the UK.

This is the first time both Acevedo and Morris have won a prestigious Medal in either category. The Poet X is Acevedo’s debut novel. Morris has previously been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2016 for Something About a Bear. The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice, a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

It is the first time in the Medals history that both winning titles have been written in verse: in The Poet X, in verse influenced by slam poetry; in The Lost Words, in the form of spells. Only one verse novel has previously won the Carnegie Medal: Sarah Crossan’s One, in 2016.

In both cases, the books use verse to create space for forgotten or marginalised voices and words. Acevedo conceived The Poet X whilst working as an English teacher at a secondary school in Maryland, USA. The daughter of Dominican immigrants, she realised that most of the books she had been teaching didn’t contain characters of colour that reflected the pupils she worked with, and that this feeling of being unseen consequently led to a marked disinterest in reading.

In her speech, Elizabeth Acevedo paid credit to a particular student who inspired her to write the book: “I felt like this student had given me a challenge, or at least permission to grab the baton. She gave me permission to write a story about young people who take up space, who do not make themselves small, who learn the power of their own words.” Closing her speech with an empowering poem celebrating girls of colour, Acevedo said: “I think we should have poetry in every room as much as possible, and because I fundamentally believe in Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s words that children’s literature should be a mirror and a window.”

The Lost Words was born in response to the removal of everyday nature words, such as ‘acorn’, ‘bluebell’, ‘kingfisher’ and ‘wren’, from a widely used children’s dictionary on the basis that they were not being used enough by children to merit inclusion. Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has gone on to become a ‘cultural phenomenon’ (Guardian) and adopted by environmental activists, most recently during the Extinction Rebellion protests in London, with actress Dame Emma Thompson reading one of the poems to crowds alongside Morris’s composition, ‘Letter to the Earth’. A proportion of the proceeds from each book are donated to youth charity, Action for Conservation.

In her speech, Jackie Morris, said: “The times ahead are challenging. It seems to me that artists, writers, musicians have one job at the moment – to help to tell the truth about what is happening to this small and fragile world we inhabit, to re-engage with the natural world, to inspire and to imagine better ways to live. Because there is no Planet B and we are at a turning point. And because in order to make anything happen it first needs to be imagined. And as writers and illustrators for children we grow the readers and thinkers of the future.

“I’m learning so much as I watch our young people call politicians to account. Together we can make a change. And we must. While politicians nod and pretend to listen to Greta Thunberg, declare Climate Emergencies, then continue with ‘business as usual’ finding money always for bombs and seldom for books we need to stand beside these children and hold our deceitful leaders to account.”

In a speech that paid tribute to the recently departed John Burningham and Judith Kerr, Chair of judges Alison Brumwell praised the immeasurable, lasting impact children’s books and illustration have on our minds, both as young people and later as adults.

“2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The right to an education and to be able to read are fundamentals. We know how much power a book holds between its covers. This year’s two Medals winners are a case in point, each offering a rich, layered reading experience and an enduring power to inspire.

“Carnegie Medal winner The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo offers a searing, unflinching exploration of culture, family and faith within a truly innovative verse structure. We follow the emotional odyssey of its heroine, Xiomara, as she rails, cries, laughs, loves, prays, writes, raps and, ultimately, offers hope. Xiomara comes to life on every page and shows the reader how girls and women can learn to inhabit, and love, their own skin. This is a powerful novel on every level:  its vivid evocation of a Harlem neighbourhood, the challenges, disappointments and often misdirected love of motherhood and intimate glimpses of a young woman’s interior life are laid bare for the reader. The novel’s inventive use of language celebrates life and Dominican heritage.

“In Kate Greenaway winner The Lost Words, illustrated by Jackie Morris, life cycles of the natural world are celebrated in vivid detail. Every tiny movement and variegated fleck of colour is rendered exquisitely and gives vibrance to author Robert Macfarlane’s spells. The illustrations test our acuity and make us all think on a much deeper level about scale, colour and proportion; also, about representations of loss and absence. We are invited to “read” on more than one level and to reflect upon a world in which change can mean irreparable loss, impoverishing both language and the environment. This is an astonishing book, which deserves the highest accolades.”

In a first for the Medals, the winners of The Shadowers’ Choice Award – voted for and awarded by members of the 4,500 school reading groups who shadow the Medals – were also announced at the ceremony. The shadowing groups’ choices matched those of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel. Jackie Morris and Elizabeth Acevedo took home the Shadowers’ Choice Award for the Kate Greenaway and Carnegie categories respectively.

This new award has evolved out of CILIP’s recent Diversity Review, which identified opportunities to empower and celebrate the young people involved in the Medals through the shadowing scheme by giving them a more significant voice and visible presence in the process and prize giving.

In recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 17-year-old Serena Jemmett, a youth activist for Amnesty International UK, also spoke at the ceremony about the importance of young people’s right to a voice. Amnesty International UK continues to support the Medals in partnership with CILIP, providing educational resources and training to raise awareness and understanding of the power of children’s books to explore human rights, encourage empathy and empower young people to stand up and make a difference.

The 2019 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are sponsored by Peters and ALCS, and funded by Carnegie UK Trust.


CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Electric Monkey)

The Poet X explores themes of identity, freedom, first love and finding your own voice. A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. “I fell in love at slam poetry. This one will stay with you a long time.” – Angie Thomas, author of the bestselling The Hate You Give.

Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. Acevedo is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington D.C, USA, where she lives and works.

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2019: The Lost Words illustrated by Jackie Morris, written by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton)

The Lost Words is a spell book that seeks to conjure the near-lost magic, beauty and strangeness of the nature that surrounds us, for readers both young and old. Taking the form of twenty ‘lost’ words, each word becomes a spell which summons the image and the word back into being, making this a book of enchantment in more than one sense.

Jackie Morris grew up in the Vale of Evesham and studied at Hereford College of Arts and at Bath Academy. She has illustrated for the New Statesman, Independent and Guardian, has collaborated with Ted Hughes, and has written and illustrated over 40 books children’s books. She lives in Pembrokeshire, UK.

For further information about the history of the Medals visit www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk

For media requests, please contact Katy MacMillan-Scott or Hephzibah Kwakye-Saka at Riot Communications: 020 3174 0118



Thinking about a paid PR internship? Applications now open!

Paid internship – Four-month fixed term contract, full-time based in Bethnal Green, London

Are you looking for your first step into the PR industry? Do you want to gain valuable insight and experience in public relations? Are you passionate about culture and entertainment? Riot Communications is seeking enthusiastic and energetic self-starters to assist our team.

About Riot Communications:

Riot specialises in culture and entertainment PR because, like our clients, we want to make a positive impact in the world. We are purpose and integrity driven: we passionately believe that both culture and entertainment help promote empathy, creativity, respect for others and joy. We are guided by the four principles of the Riot ethos: intelligence, passion, collaboration and disruption which drives everything we do: from the clients we choose to work with, how we deliver our work and who we hire.

We work with some of the best creatives in the world – writers, artists, actors and visionaries. Clients include Penguin Random House, Mammoth Screen, DeepMind, Gutsy Animation, Moomin Characters, The Astrid Lindgren Company, London Review of Books, William Hill, and the Royal Society. Recent work includes: hosting A-list talent such as Jennifer Saunders, Taron Egerton and Rosamund Pike at the world premiere of Moominvalley in Finland; securing Stormzy for the annual #PenguinPresents showcase at the London Palladium; masterminding the launch of the new book by the legendary Philip Pullman; getting more kids into science promoting the annual Christmas Lectures which are broadcast on the BBC; and finding the most exciting new fiction voice of the year. Our agency is growing, particularly in children’s entertainment brands, TV, events and design.

We actively support BME PR Pros, the Taylor Bennett Foundation and Women in PR because…well, if it needs to be explained, we are probably not the right agency for you.

About the role:

You will be assisting the team in general administrative duties to help support the smooth running of the office, as well as assisting the team on the execution of various PR campaigns as required. You will receive on-the-job training, the responsibility and opportunity to help run an office and deliver projects and a one-to-one line manager to help guide your development.

Examples of office administration responsibilities:

  • Answering phone calls politely and promptly – dealing with enquiries, message taking
  • Managing post efficiently – incoming and out-going
  • Accurately booking couriers, travel and accommodation for team members and clients when required
  • Co-ordinating mailings
  • Using Microsoft office packages, Dropbox and other pieces of administrative software
  • Booking meeting rooms and providing refreshments, setting up AV equipment
  • Distributing newspapers among the team
  • Ordering and managing office supplies
  • Creating timesheet reports

Examples of campaigns support responsibilities:

  • Co-ordinating mailings and producing mailing lists using our media database
  • Working with the team to create, co-ordinate and execute social media campaigns
  • General copywriting tasks including press release creation with support from senior team members
  • Press release distribution – mailing of press releases to relevant individuals and outlets
  • Liaising with clients where appropriate
  • Pitching to journalists where appropriate
  • Attending campaign project meetings
  • Keeping project meeting agendas and taking meeting minutes as appropriate
  • Event management – organising event logistics including for example venue hire, invite lists and mailings, photographers, taxi bookings

About you:

You will have a clear idea of what PR is, why you want to work in this industry and what you can bring to it. You will be a highly motivated, passionate, curious and solutions oriented individual; have exceptional attention to detail; have outstanding multi-tasking skills; be super organised and dependable and have a proactive, can-do approach. You will be unafraid of hard work and mucking in and will enjoy the challenge of working in a fast-paced, creative environment. You will have a natural curiosity for the media and be interested in the ways brands harness consumer trends, culture and current affairs to communicate and influence customers. You will be a digital native and feel very comfortable running social media accounts, for example.

Key skills:

  • Reliability
  • Adaptability
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft packages and Dropbox
  • Excellent command of written and oral English

The selection process:

We are seeking creative individuals with an ambition to succeed in the PR industry. Your enthusiasm for working at Riot Communications, your flair, can-do attitude and strong work ethic will be evident in your application. You don’t have to have attended University but if you haven’t completed any higher education you will have at least two years of work experience in a professional setting.

Interviews will take place at our offices in Bethnal Green. Only candidates invited to interview will receive a reply.

To apply please send us 350 words about a recent PR campaign that has caught your attention and why you felt it was effective or not, along with your CV and a short covering letter to info@riotcommunications.com. Please include ‘Application for Internship’ in the subject header.  

Deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 5th July 2019. Applicants should be available to start the internship towards the end of July 2019.

Summary of main terms and conditions:

Job title:          Intern

Location:         Riot Communications, Studio 113, The Pill Box, 115 Coventry Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 6GG

Hours:              Full time 9.30 to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Very occasionally there could be weekend work in which case we offer paid time off in lieu

Holiday:           25 days pro rata plus bank holidays

Salary:             £17,000 pro rata

Good luck!

Judging Panel For 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize Announced

“Every one of us has a right to know how the world of science really works, and what that might mean for the world and ourselves.” – Stephen McGann, 2019 judge

The five-strong judging panel for this year’s Royal Society Science Book Prize sponsored by Insight Investment, is revealed today, Tuesday 11th June 2019.

The Prize – which celebrates the very best in popular science writing from around the world – will be chaired in 2019 by one of the UK’s foremost computer scientists and author of The Digital Ape, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt. He will be joined on the panel by representatives from across the worlds of science and culture: Dr Shukry James Habib, stem cell specialist and Royal Society University Research Fellow; bestselling author, Dorothy Koomson; actor and science communicator, Stephen McGann and Gwyneth Williams, Controller of BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra.

The Prize aims to promote the accessibility and joy of popular science books, and this year’s judging panel will be looking for books that appeal to a broad readership as well as offering interesting narratives and excellent prose: from curious consumers eager to read new perspectives on the world around them to those with an established interest in science writing. This breadth and range is reflected in the 31 books which have previously won the Prize, with titles on teenage brain development (Inventing Ourselves by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, 2018) and gender stereotypes (Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine, 2017) sitting alongside works on humanity’s impact on the planet, theoretical physics and the origins of human behaviour by Gaia Vince (Adventures in the Anthropocene, 2015), Stephen Hawking (The Universe in a Nutshell, 2002) and Jared Diamond (The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee, 1992) respectively.

Chair of judges, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, commented: “It is a privilege to be chairing the judging panel for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2019. The prize celebrates great writing about science and the scientists who make it happen. There has never been a more exciting time for popular and accessible science writing. There is a huge appetite for books across all topics of science and writers who can explain and inspire, entertain and inform. Despite the distemper of the times, and claims we live in a post-truth age, there is a real hunger for books that explain our scientific understanding of world around us. There is huge interest in the triumphs and tribulations of science and the human stories behind the scientific endeavour. As with any shortlisting process, it will be fun and challenging to discover the books that excite us and to finally agree on a winner.”

Actor Stephen McGann added: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Royal Society science book judging panel. I’m a science communicator by academic background and love communicating science; as a public speaker, an author, and even as an actor playing a post-war medic in the hit BBC drama Call the Midwife! But most of all, I love to read and hear and see science being communicated really well for the widest possible audience. Science belongs to all of us, regardless of expertise. Every one of us has a right to know how the world of science really works, and what that might mean for the world and ourselves. Yet we also deserve an opportunity to share in the beauty and the joy of science – its people, its discoveries, its ingenuity and its endless fascination. As a judge, I’m looking for books that gain the widest possible engagement with their subject through the talents and wits of the author. Popular science isn’t simply the reduction of complexity. It’s an achievement of the widest collective insight.”

A shortlist of six titles, selected from over 178 submissions published between 1 July 2018 and 30 September 2019, will be announced on Tuesday 27th August. The winner of the 2019 Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Royal Society on Monday 23rd September 2019, hosted by Professor Brian Cox OBE FRS, The Royal Society’s Professor for Public Engagement in Science. The winner will receive a cheque for £25,000, with £2,500 awarded to each of the five shortlisted authors.

David Chellew, Head of Marketing at Insight Investment, sponsor of the Prize, said:

“It is a real pleasure for Insight to have an opportunity to support a prize which celebrates science communication at its very best. It takes courage to create something original that can unlock minds and inspire. In a world where so much seems uncertain, these authors demystify the sciences in a captivating way. By challenging conventional thinking, they encourage us to alter the way we perceive our history, the world today and our future. We look forward to reading the titles shortlisted by this year’s judging panel.”


For press queries please contact Hephzibah Kwayke-Saka or Katy MacMillan-Scott at

Riot Communications: 020 3174 0118 /  hephzibah@riotcommunications.com / katy@riotcommunications.com

Cover and publication details for Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth revealed


  • Cover art by Chris Wormell reflects Lyra’s journey across Europe in new book
  • Hints to the meaning of the book’s title revealed in exclusive Guardian extract
  • Publishers announce two public events to mark publication in October 2019


Further details about the publication of Philip Pullman’s highly-anticipated new book, The Secret Commonwealth, are revealed today. The second volume of The Book of Dust after La Belle Sauvage, The Secret Commonwealth centres around Lyra Silvertongue, the heroine of Pullman’s internationally bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy, as she negotiates a complex and dangerous new world as an adult.

The new cover, which depicts a train travelling cross-country at speed, reflects the epic journey Lyra, now a 20-year-old Oxford student, takes across Europe and into Asia in the new book. The cover artwork and chapter head illustrations are done by Chris Wormell, the official illustrator of Pullman’s His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust sequence, creating a seamless visual link across all five books and Lyra’s lifetime from babyhood to adulthood.

An extract, released in tomorrow’s Guardian Review, will also reveal content from within the new book, with a tense scene featuring Lyra as she flees Oxford by boat for the third time in her life, this time in the company of the old gyptian Giorgio Brabandt. As well as setting the scene for the dangerous journey to come, as Lyra seeks out an elusive town said to be haunted by dæmons, the extract hints at the meaning of the ‘Secret Commonwealth’ of the book’s title. Commenting on the plot earlier this year, Pullman said: “Things have been biding their time, waiting for the right moment to reveal their consequences for Lyra Silvertongue. The Secret Commonwealth tells the continuing story of the impact on Lyra’s life of the search for, and the fear of, Dust.”

Tickets go on sale today for two exclusive publication events with the author this autumn. The first will take place on the eve of publication (Wednesday 2nd October) and will take readers on a thrilling journey into Lyra’s alternate world at the recently restored theatre at Alexandra Palace in North London. The second, the weekend after publication (Sunday 6th October), will take place at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford – Pullman’s hometown, as well as Lyra’s – and will be recorded live for the Penguin Podcast. Blackwell’s and Waterstones will support the two events at publication, in Oxford and London respectively.

Published on Thursday 3rd October 2019 by David Fickling Books in association with Penguin Random House Children’s, the book will be available in three editions. As well as the standard hardback edition, priced £20 and featuring a stunning foiled cover and spine, a map showing Lyra’s journey and 33 individually illustrated chapter heads, there will be two further special editions. One will be an edition created especially for independents and priced £20, featuring a frontispiece illustration by Chris Wormell and bespoke endpapers. There will be signed stock available of this edition. Waterstones will also have a signed slipcase hardback edition, priced £40 and featuring an embossed raven dæmon (Pullman’s dæmon of choice). The publisher will be creating a broad range of stunning point of sale material for retailers, which will include exclusive items for independents such as tote bags, enamel pin badges and limited-edition Chris Wormell prints.

The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two is set 20 years after the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded, and seven years after readers left Lyra and Will Parry on a park bench in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens in The Amber Spyglass, the final book in the His Dark Materials sequence. Global in scale, the book takes readers on an exhilarating journey into places that are at once familiar and extraordinary. It is a timely exploration of what it is to be human, to grow up and make sense of the world around us, from one of the UK’s greatest writers.

The Secret Commonwealth follows the chart-topping success of the first volume of The Book of Dust La Belle Sauvage – in October 2017. It can be read as a standalone, paired with La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One, or set alongside Lyra’s adventures in the internationally bestselling His Dark Materials (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass).

A trailer for the BBC One adaptation of His Dark Materials, produced in Wales by Bad Wolf, was released last month. The series, written by playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, This is England ’88) and directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) and Otto Bathurst (Robin Hood [2018], Peaky Blinders), is due to hit UK screens following the book’s publication. Its stellar cast includes Dafne Keen (Lyra), James McAvoy (Lord Asriel), Ruth Wilson (Mrs Coulter), Anne-Marie Duff (Ma Costa), James Cosmo (Farder Coram), Clarke Peters (Master of Jordan College), Lucian Msamati (John Faa) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lee Scoresby).

The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two will be published in hardback, trade paperback, ebook and audiobook on Thursday 3rd October 2019 by David Fickling Books in association with Penguin Random House in the UK, featuring original new illustrations from Chris Wormell.

For further information or images, please contact Katy MacMillan-Scott or Hephzibah Kwakye-Saka at Riot Communications: 02031740118 / katy@riotcommunications.com / hephzibah@riotcommunications.com


Praise for La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One

‘Philip Pullman is one of the great storytellers of our time. The way he creates characters is exquisite and I am excited for anyone reading Lyra’s story for the first time; you have the most extraordinary world to discover.’ – Cerys Matthews, musician, author and broadcaster

‘Is there a richer, more complex conceit in modern fiction than Pullman’s dæmons – animal companions that are both projections of yourself and a guide, both soul and guardian angel?’ – Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Observer

‘These are dark, uncertain times. Pullman has given them the brilliant, disturbing book they deserve’ – i