Tag: The Last Wild

Prequel to The Last Wild announced!

Delighted to announce that, eight years later, there will be a prequel to THE LAST WILD.

THE WILD BEFORE will be published on August 19th 2021 with Hachette Children’s.

Drawing on themes of climate change, hope and friendship, The Wild Before returns the reader to the world of the beloved The Last Wild series, before the redeye virus has taken hold of every animal in the land, years before the events of The Last Wild have unfolded. The Wild Before tells the story of a young hare who is the world’s only hope of saving the legendary Mooncalf and avoiding certain disaster.

And I can’t wait for you all to read it!

Artwork: Thomas Flintham

Wild new writing competition!

Writing competition

It has been a strange old few months for many of us, but what has kept me going, and kept me so inspired, has been all the amazing creative writing by children.

Research by the National Literacy Trust has revealed that lockdown gave many children more time and space to write, and that nearly 40% of you were writing more often and enjoying it more. That’s a lot of stories!

I’ve also been blown away by the hundreds of responses I have had to my story starters, and so to celebrate your wonderful creativity, I’ve created an extra special summer holiday creative challenge for you all.

Writing competition

My publisher, Hachette Children’s Group, and I are delighted to have teamed up with Blackwell’s bookseller to invite children across the UK and Ireland to get creative in this special summer writing competition for 7-12 year olds.

We would like our young writers to write up to 1,000 words using the following line to get them started…


…they can then take the tale wherever their imagination chooses.

This is their chance to show off their creativity and be in with a chance to win £500 worth of books for their school library along with an exclusive printed copy of their winning story, with a specially designed cover. The prize also includes a school event from me (either virtually or in person, when circumstances allow) and a £50 Blackwell’s voucher. Also 19 runners up will each receive a £10 Blackwell’s voucher and a signed copy of The Last Wild.

The competition is open to residents of the UK and Republic of Ireland, from 5th August to 13th September 2020.

I’m so looking forward to reading everyone’s entries.

Good Luck!

Here is a little video from me introducing the competition and for more information on the terms and conditions and how to enter, please


UPDATE: This competition is now closed to submissions. We are reading the entries, and the winner will be announced early in October. Watch this space!

Reading Stories Aloud

It’s wonderful that so many of you want to continue reading my books out to your class online during the school closure. Normally this is more complicated than it sounds due to copyright issues (my publisher holds the audio book rights) but owing  to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in, Hachette Children’s Group have generously granted an open license to September 30th, and you can find the details below.

All of my titles are available as audiobooks on Audible.

And I will also be reading all of my titles out loud, daily on weekdays, at 2.30pm every day, on Instagram Live (@piers_torday), a chapter a day, beginning with The Last Wild. The chapters will be available on Instagram TV for 24 hours.

Happy Reading and Listening! #unitedinbooks


Hachette Children’s Group: Open Licences and Permissions for Online Story-Time and Classroom Read-Aloud Videos and Live Events – information

In order to encourage reading and classroom read-aloud experiences, and to support schools, bookshops and public libraries forced to close by the COVID-19 situation, Hachette Children’s Group is permitting authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians and booksellers to create and share story-time and read-aloud videos and live events on closed educational platforms or streamed temporarily on a live platform.


Teachers, librarians, booksellers, authors and illustrators providing content for children during the period 19th March to 30th September 2020:

  • Should announce the title of the book and the name of the author and/or illustrator as part of each video 
  • Should notify us via email (addressed to HCG.editorial@hachettechildrens.co.uk) when they post or stream a story-time or read-aloud video or live event, providing the following information:
  1. Name and address of the library, school, or shop
  2. Title, author and ISBN of the book that is read
  3. Contact information for the individual responsible for the reading
  4. The educational or social media platform on which the video or live event is posted or held and a link to that video or live event

Financial gain

For clarity, permission is granted only for free use of the readings.  If you are planning to charge for any use of these recordings, you should contact HCG.editorial@hachettechildrens.co.uk in the first instance, seeking formal agreement, which may not be granted.


Guidelines for educational settings 

  • School story-time or classroom read-aloud videos in which an Hachette Children’s Group book is read aloud and the book is displayed may only be created and posted to closed educational platforms 
  • These storytime and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform until the end of September 2020, after which they must be removed from the educational platform, unless this permission is extended by formal agreement

Guidelines for public libraries and bookshops

For authors, illustrators, booksellers and librarians who wish to provide a story-time reading or other read-aloud experience to young people who would otherwise visit the library or bookshop in person:

  • Story time or read-aloud live events in which an Hachette Children’s Group book is read out loud and the book is displayed may be streamed live, in real time, on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram
  • These story time or read-aloud live events may not be maintained in the archive of the social media platform and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that videos of the live events are not retained. Because these platforms automatically archive live events by default, when your event has concluded, please locate the recorded live video in your account (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and delete it. 

Our guidance on the percentage of content to be recorded for hosting on open platforms, is usually to follow standard permissions practice, specifically designed to protect IP.  However, we acknowledge that we are not operating in normal circumstances, so are happy to allow authors or illustrators, who wish to do so, to host recorded content of themselves reading their book/s on open platforms, until the 30th September.

If you are sharing your content with a third party platform, please do let us know so we can support this activity online and please do make a note to ensure the content is taken down by 30th September. Of course, no one knows how long the current situation is going to go on for, so it may be that we decide to extend this date and we will of course let you know.


Visit Kester’s room in Spectrum Hall

Well, nearly. I can’t quite believe I am writing this, but I just returned from the most surreal but wondrous visit to the fantastic Story Museum in Oxford, and their fantastic new “Animal: A safari through stories” exhibition – featuring The Last Wild!

The show takes a very imaginative and comprehensvie look at all the different ways animals appear in stories – from Greek myths and African folktales to Wallace and Gromit and Maus. In keeping with their belief in the magic of stories, the Story of Museum has created their own incredible set of illusions.

I hid in the Master’s wardrobe at Jordan College with Lyra and Pan, looking at the Northern Lights, wandered over the warrens of Watership Down, nosed about War Horse’s stable and – this is where it got really magical for me…I went into Kester’s room at Spectrum Hall.  And you can too! There is a stunning recreation of his room at the moment the pigeons and cockroaches come to rescue him. You can meet the General, lie on Kester’s bed and imagine what it would feel like to be him… There is also a great game you can play built around finding a cure for the Last Wild.

There are also many other brilliant recreations of scenes and characters from other contemporary books – Gill Lewis’ Moon Bear is there, as are Katherine Rundell’s wolves, Tom Moorhouse’s voles – with their own board game!- and you can even throw a shadow like SF Said’s Varjak Paw.

Please go if you can. It’s an amazing day out, and as a new museum, the Story Museum needs the support of keen young readers.

And find out more about their spectacular  “Animal” exhibition here...