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PAM ROYDS 1924 - 2016

Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

About Me

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United Kingdom
My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


When The Seven Stories Children's Book Centre bought three of my Selkie pictures, I donated a Selkie rough, the dummy and a sketch book. I was concerned to find, when I looked them out, that there were yellow stains on some pages of the dummy and sketch book where I'd used a glue - probably any old glue I had to hand - Pritt Stick maybe -  not thinking about long term consequences.  I consulted a paper conservator and was told the stains could probably be removed. The safe glues he recommended were: Shofu starch paste which has to be made up fresh each week and if I wanted something that was less bother to make up, then sodium carboxymethylcellulose. Both are available from Conservation by Design.

Conserving artwork is one more thing to think about but, one day, it will be worth it.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


I always associate hens with Philippa Pearce - she loved to keep hens and we did a book together in 1996 - The Little White Hen.


Philippa died in 2006 and the Pearce Memorial Lecture was set up in recognition of her great contribution to children's literature. Last year Michael Rosen was the guest speaker at Homerton College, Cambridge and today the steering committee met to plan the 2010 lecture which will be held at the Seven Stories Children's Book Centre in Newcastle with Michael Morpurgo the speaker. Next year the lecture will be back in Cambridge again and Philip Pullman will be the speaker. Follow the link to find out more about the lectures and how to book: http://www.pearcelecture.com/

Friday, 14 May 2010


I took a break from illustration this morning when my eyes started to ache and cycled to the Cambridge market to rest my eyes. That was where I saw the litter fairy -
beautiful but smelly.

Like all good fairies she offered me a gift  - a nice cloth bag for my old plastic one. So I exchanged bags, got on my bike and went back to the drawing board. And my eyes felt better.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


I'll be giving children's workshops based on Selkie plus a signing at the Steyning Bookshop on Monday 31 May during the Steyning Festival.  Follow the link for details: Steyning Festival - Literature 

Steyning is situated beneath the West Sussex Downs and there's a great walk from the town to Chanctonbury Ring along the South Down Way, with a view of the sea to the south and the Weald to the north.  Chanctonbury Ring was always a landmark for ships at sea. It used to look like this before the great storm of 1987 blew down most of its beech trees.  I was pleased to see that it's now going to be replanted, even though it will take another century before it looks like this again and I won't be there to sketch it.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


In his post on the London Book Fair, John Shelley gives an interesting interpretation of UK children's picture book publishing, saying that unlike other European countries it has 'been downgraded and closely bracketed as only for kids'.  I was also pleased to hear that Anthony Browne was championing picture books for older children and adult collectors in the Big Picture seminar at the fair.  

I've had great difficulty in getting UK publishers to take my own picture books for older children over the last few years. My frustration at not being able to proceed with any book and complete it, led me to set up the Plaister Press - (see the posting Plaister Press on 16.4.2010).  
Working with typographer, Lisa Kirkham, I plan to publish my own high quality picture books under this imprint and sell to a niche market which, if it isn't already lurking out there already, I believe will return  in reaction to, and as an alternative to, the mass market.