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'It's the story, stupid'

1 March 2004

'I think I'm a storyteller rather than a writer. The difference is that with me the story comes first, rather than the literature. When people go on about literacy and why children are put off books, and they can't quite grasp why children don't love spelling and punctuation, you have to point out that what they're missing is that it's the story, stupid. The story has to come first, it's the heart of the thing. And then, of course, there's the telling of it, which is the literature.'

Michael Morpurgo, the new Children's Laureate in Publishing News