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Michael Rosen To Deliver Opening Keynote At The Children’s Media Conference 2018

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Children’s novelist, poet and previous Children’s Laureate to share his thoughts on championing creativity and imagination

Acclaimed children’s novelist, poet, broadcaster, columnist and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen will deliver the opening keynote at this year’s Children’s Media Conference (CMC), which takes places from 3-5 July on Sheffield.

After decades working in the world of public service broadcasting, children’s theatre and educational publishing, Rosen has now become a YouTube phenomenon, with over 220,000 subscribers and 40 million-plus views of his content.

As someone who interacts with children on a regular basis, Rosen will open the conference on Tuesday July 3rd championing creativity and imagination in the face of what he calls “data-driven education”. But he’s no digital Luddite. Enthusiastically embracing the liberation of YouTube over ten years ago, his channel has given him access to his audience in ways he could never have imagined as a young BBC trainee working on ‘Play School’ in the 1970s.

But the relationship with social media has its downside too. Outlining his focus for the address, Michael Rosen says: “I’m riding the crest of the digital wave, I thought.  Only to discover that what I was riding was a tiger: a tiger with an insatiable appetite and an audience only too eager to be eaten.  We want tigers to roam free.  Of course we do.  But that doesn’t mean we’d give our children to one.  So what do we do?”

Greg Childs, Editorial Director at CMC adds:

Michael epitomises the ethos of The CMC. Not only is he dedicated to creativity for, and by, children, he both embraces and challenges the new digital era which encapsulates, envelops and forms young people. At CMC we’ll be asking ‘What’s Next?’ for Michael Rosen. We can be sure of an entertaining and thought provoking reply.

Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best-loved writers and performance poets for children and adults.  His first degree was from Wadham College, Oxford and he went on to study for an MA and a PhD.  He is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London where he co-devised and teaches an MA in Children’s Literature.

He is also a regular broadcaster – in particular on BBC Radio 4 where he has presented the acclaimed programme about language, “Word of Mouth” since 1998. His weekly ‘letter to the Secretary of State for Education’ in the Guardian critiques government education policy from the point of view of a parent.

Michael has published in the region of 200 books for children and adults, including “The Sad Book” with Quentin Blake (Walker Books), “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” with Helen Oxenbury  (Walker Books) – made into an animated film for Channel 4 broadcast Christmas Day 2016 –  and “A Great Big Cuddle” with Chris Riddell (Walker Books) .  His poetry for adults includes “Don’t Mention the Children” (Smokestack) and “Selected Poems” (Penguin).  Non-fiction work for adults includes “Good Ideas: How to Be Your Child’s (and Your Own) Best Teacher” (John Murray),  “The Disappearance of Emile Zola, Love, Literature and the Dreyfus Case” (Faber), and his memoir “So They Call You Pisher!” (Verso).

Michael’s YouTube channel – “Kids’ Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen” has been viewed over 45 million times around the world.

Michael has received several honorary awards, including degrees from the Open University, the University of Exeter, the University of London Institute of Education and the University of East London/Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.  For outstanding contribution to children’s literature he received the Eleanor Farjeon Award and was Children’s Laureate 2007-2009.  In recognition of his contribution to the profile of French culture in the UK, he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

 For more information and the full programme of sessions and speakers, visit: www.thechildrensmediaconference.com

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