I'm a judge for the BIG IDEA COMPETITION 2018

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If you have an idea for a story that could be a children's book, an animation or a movie, then you have a big idea! And, if you fancy submitting it to the big idea competition, then you could win £1000 and see it turned into any or all of those things. I am joining a very prestigious panel of judges who will be reviewing the ideas and choosing the winners. You can find out all about it here.

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Beetle Queen is nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal

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I am delighted that Beetle Queen has been nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal.

The Carnegie Medal is special because to be nominated is to be chosen by librarians up and down the country for this prestigious prize.

The second book in a trilogy often gets very little attention, rather like a middle child, and I love my middle child. She may be villainous and frightening in places, but I'm proud of her.

It means a great deal to me that librarians rate the book, as my reading world was built in libraries, and my taste developed by librarians. I owe them everything, including my career.

So hoorah for Beetle Queen and all librarians everywhere.

Beetle Boy is selected to be a White Raven 2017

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Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard, with illustrations fromJúlia Sardà, is a White Raven 2017. It has been selected for the White Raven annual book catalogue, of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature. This year’s White Ravens catalogue contains 200 titles in 38 languages from 56 countries and represents the best children's books in Europe. The list will be launched at Frankfurt and be on display at Bologna next year. It's such an honour.

I'm contributing to an anthology celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's suffrage

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I am so pleased to be a part of this project which sees a whole bunch of my favourite authors writing stories about kickass girls and heroic women to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Needless to say, my story will have bugs in it, after all #BugsR4Girls. Read below what Nosy Crow - the publisher - has to say about the book, Make More Noise! which will be available in bookshops on the same day as Battle of the Beetles is published, February 1st 2018.

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Tom Fletcher chooses Beetle Boy to be a part of his new WHSmiths Children's Book Club

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Tom Fletcher and WHSmiths have joined forces to create a children's book club, which is wonderful news. The best bit of the story is that Tom loves Beetle Boy and chose it to be one of the first ten titles in the book club. As if this couldn't be topped, he's made a BRILLIANT video about the book club which meant he had to dance around with a giant Beetle Boy! Honestly, I can't tell you how happy I am right now.

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You can read more about Tom Fletcher's Book Club, the exclusive content and the other brilliant books on the list here.

Edinburgh Festival was a blast!

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I did three days of events at Edinburgh Book Festival this year and I had the best time. Thanks to all the girls, boys and grown-ups who came to meet the beetles, and a special big thankyou to Callum from Cool Creatures for bring the beetles. It's not every day you get to see a giant African fruit beetle flying in a tent in Scotland! Here are some pictures from the festival, but my favourites are of course when I got to do my official portrait with a PYTHON! Thanks Callum for the loan of your beautiful albino python.

NEWSFLASH! New Non-Fiction Book Announcement

Finally, I'm able to tell you about The Beetle Collector's Handbook.

I am writing a non-fiction companion to the Beetle Trilogy. You'll discover all the wonderful facts that Darkus finds in his Beetle Collector's Handbook and read his, and his father's, annotations in this book, which will be reminiscent of the nature books from the early 20th Century, with lyrical writing and romantic (but anatomically correct) illustrations, as well as helpful hints on how you can become a Beetle Girl or Boy.

The book will be published after the Battle of the Beetles, next summer. Read more here.

I appear in a new BBC1 documentary on Entomophagy

Next Monday evening at 7.30pm on BBC1 - and on the iplayer - I'll be part of a documentary about Dr Sarah Beynon (scientific consultant to the Beetle Boy books) and Andy Holcroft's (bug chef extraordinaire) mission to get the UK eating bugs.

My Hay Festival event with Sarah and Andy was filmed for the documentary, and will feature in the film, when we got the audience munching insects, and I'll be chatting about the wonderful work Sarah and Andy do, and why we fear insects.

Personally, I'm very excited to see it! This is the iPlayer link.