World of Stories 2021: Applications open

“A book has the power to change anyone, so they must be available to everyone – with young people from all backgrounds able to feel excited and inspired by the characters they read about.” – Nathan Bryon, World of Stories Ambassador


At Puffin, we believe that stories can inspire a child to feel that they can be and do anything. We know that many primary schools share our passion, but there are numerous challenges when it comes to finding the time and money to invest in reading for pleasure.


In 2018 we launched World of Stories in partnership with the National Literacy Trust. We’ve now worked with 225 primary schools, supporting them to transform their libraries and reading spaces into hubs of creativity and imagination. Each primary school received boxes of brand-new books to reinvigorate their reading corner or library, and teachers and librarians attended specialist training, filled with ideas to make reading for pleasure part of their school culture and bring stories to life.


Now we’re excited to give 160 new primary schools in Essex, South London, Middlesbrough or Tyne and Wear the chance to take part in World of Stories, starting in December 2021.


“This week we have received our books and all we can say is WOW! What a tremendous donation. We are thrilled and excited. Thank you so very, very much on behalf of the staff and pupils. We are busy stamping and distributing them and can’t wait to get reading!” – World of Stories participant 2018/19

What’s on offer?

It’s completely free to take part and participating primary schools will receive:

  • 400 free Puffin books, including everything from Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson to Robin Stevens, and Humza Arshad and new non-fiction, as well as 100 books from seven independent publishers
  • One day training session, and a networking session, delivered by the National Literacy Trust
  • Package of free audio books and training to engage readers of all abilities
  • Display kits to bring the magic of reading to life including bunting, badges, bookmarks and posters
  • Resources to encourage reading for pleasure across the whole school
  • National Literacy Trust membership which includes teaching resources, school improvement tools and CPD


“Children who enjoy reading do better at school and are happier with their lives. At a time when school budgets are stretched, school libraries are struggling and 1 in 8 children from our most disadvantaged communities don’t have a single book of their own at home, it has never been more important to help children discover the transformative power of books and reading.” – Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust.

How can primary schools apply?


To apply you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a state primary school based in one of six areas:
    • Black Country (Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall, and Wolverhampton)
    • East London (Newham, and Barking and Dagenham)
    • Blackpool
    • Essex (Thurrock, Basildon, Harlow, and Braintree)
    • Swindon
    • Northeast (Stockton-on-Tees, Gateshead, and Redcar and Cleveland)
  • Above average level of pupils eligible to receive Free School Meals
  • Have buy-in from your Head Teacher or a member of your Senior Leadership Team

Register your interest by 30th November 2021 here.

Please note that this information will be shared with the National Literacy Trust.

Get the World of Stories 2021: Applications open