Children’s illustrated version of Beowulf, in anglo-saxon verse

It’s been almost ten years since I wrote a children’s version of Beowulf. I wrote it in anglo-saxon verse, and have been wanting it to be a children’s book for some time now.

At the time, my six-year-old son was really into Beowulf, because I told him the story at bedtime. That Christmas he got a really nice version of it from my sister. The book was well done, with beautiful illustrations, and was pretty true to the story. But I had a very basic problem with it: it was written in prose.

Thinking that a bit too sacrilegious, I went on Amazon and horrified by what I found — not a single children’s version of Beowulf written in poetry. Firmly believing children should experience the story as a poem as well as adults, I realized there was only one thing to do, and that was to write it myself.

The problem with publishing it at the time was that it took up a lot of real estate for a publisher/editor to accept; however, with the advent of online journals and my eventual willingness to accept them as a valid means of publication (I love holding books in my hand and smelling the paper — what can I say), it was eventually picked up by qarrtsiluni.com early in 2011 for its translation issue.

And when it was, it was edited with my permission by qarrtsiluni’s guest editor Alex Cigale who undeniably made it better and truer to its anglo-saxon form.

And so, I have secured a wonderful illustrator, Sean Yates to make an ebook out of the poem; Zouch Magazine is also backing the digital project as its publisher.

Unfortunately, it won’t be ready for Christmas, but look for it in early 2012.

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