Waterstones welcomes Skandar series author
THE READING branch of Waterstones is hosting a children’s author to celebrate the release of a muchanticipated sequel novel.
The store on Broad Street will welcome AF Steadman, the author behind the acclaimed fantasy novel Skandar and the Unicorn Thief.
The event will follow the release of the sequel to the best-selling book, titled Skandar and the Phantom Rider, which is due for publication on Thursday, April 27.
Steadman will be signing copies of the book and greeting readers in store.
The first novel in the series sees 13-year-old Skandar
Smith attempt to live out his dream of hatching, rearing, and riding a unicorn as a racer.
Things are thrown into turmoil, however, when a dark enemy steals the most powerful steed on the Island, posing a powerful threat and uncovering a secret which could blow his world apart.
The sequel features a new mystery, where supposedly immortal unicorns are being killed by a shadowy force as elemental destruction besets the Island.
It is part of a five-book deal signed by Steadman for the series, which also includes a further untitled novel.
This followed a three-book contract which was signed in 2020, when film rights were also acquired by Sony.
AF Steadman will be attending the signing at Waterstones, Broad Street, from 2pm on Saturday, April 29.
The event is first come first served and copies of the books will be available.
THE UNIVERSITY of Reading has announced an expanded funding scheme for community projects across the Thames Valley region.
Up to £30,000 will be up for grabs in the 2023/24 academic year as part of the university’s Community Fund initiative.
Staff members can apply for funding to support projects they are involved with, either as part of their job or in a voluntary capacity.
Prof Robert Van de Noort, vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The university is proud to support projects that play a vital role in helping communities to thrive. In the current climate, it is more important than ever that we all work together for the greater good of our society.
“Many of our colleagues are active volunteers in their local communities and the Community Fund is a way for us to support them in those roles. I look forward to hearing innovative ideas of how the skills and determination of our colleagues can be given a bit of extra support to help local communities.”
One-off and multi-year awards will be available in the region of £1,000 per year, as well as larger awards up to a maximum of £10,000 per year.
The Community Fund forms part of the university’s commitment to working with and supporting the community.
It initially only supported projects within Reading, when it was launched in 2021, but has since expanded to benefit residents in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the rest of Berkshire.
All funding proposals must further at least one of the university’s charitable objectives of advancing education, learning and research.
Projects which have previously been supported include: helping a mixed ability rugby club expand, funding vital supplies for a homeless charity, supporting a multilingual storytelling project for nurseries, funding specialist equipment for an air quality in schools project, and supporting a refugee football team.
Applications for Community Fund awards are now open, with university staff members invited to apply before the deadline of June 30.
A link to the application form can be found on the university’s Staff Portal.
Applications will be reviewed by a panel, which include Prof Van de Noort and the university’s community relations manager, Molli Cleaver, in September.