Stories are one of the reasons I’m so excited. Each laureate gets to choose their own patch of territory on the reading landscape, and stories are my patch. Stories that delight, beguile, inspire and move deeply. In particular, stories with the power to help young people embrace an often dark and uncertain world with optimism, love, determination and creativity.
You may have noticed that one of the things I’ve already been inspired to do by my predecessors is create a laureate’s calendar. It’s a sort of mission statement broken down into twelve monthly parts. Mine is about stories, and how they work, and the things they give us, and how they make us. Lots of themes and ideas that I hope will start lots of conversations. And thanks to Andrew Weldon’s wonderful drawing skills and sense of humour, they’re fun to look at too.
Each month I’ll explore some of these themes and ideas here in the newsletter. And also on the laureate website, which we want to build into a sort of cross between a library, a laboratory, a lounge-room and a resource loading-dock. Mission central for everything I’ll be doing as laureate over the next couple of years, and for what the laureates who come after me will eventually do, and I hope also for some of the things you’ll be doing.
This month, the calendar tells us, is Me-In-Your-Shoes March. Stories, the calendar claims boldly, Make Us Hopeful.