Head of UK Theatre, Cassie Chadderton, has been appointed the first Chief Executive of World Book Day, the charity behind the world’s biggest annual celebration of books and reading. She will take up the post in October with Kirsten Grant continuing in her role as Director.
As Head of UK Theatre, the major professional association for theatre and the performing arts in the UK, Cassie represented the interests of the sector with political and policy stakeholders and was placed 44th on The Stage’s ‘100 most influential list’. Previously Director, Media and Stakeholder Relations at Arts Council England she developed relationships to promote the importance of the arts within the creative economy.
Cassie began her career in publishing, with companies including Fourth Estate, Little Brown, Macmillan and William Heinemann where she was Publicity Director from 2003 to 2007 and led campaigns for bestselling authors such as Kathy Reichs and James Ellroy. She is also a Fellow of the RSA and a Trustee for the National Campaign for the Arts.
In recent years, World Book Day has made a strategic move to reach deeper into the workplace, and corporate and public sector life to galvanise an ever-wider constituency around the benefits of reading at an early age, and the importance of sharing stories. With her track record of representing policy and political and stakeholder relations within the arts sector, Cassie is well-placed to take the charity to the next level and to realise its mission to give every child and young person the opportunity to read and love books.
Cassie Chadderton said: ‘I’m thrilled to be joining World Book Day as its first Chief Executive, and to have this wonderful opportunity to build on its profile and success. I’m looking forward to developing its ambition to give even more children and young people across the country, and from all backgrounds, the chance to be excited about reading and books.’
Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association and Chair of World Book Day, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Cassie as the first CEO of World Book Day. Cassie’s experience in both the publishing sector and with the Arts Council England and at UK Theatre are a perfect combination to take the charity into its next chapter. The World Book Day Charity has gone from strength to strength thanks to the tremendous work from Kirsten and the team over the years and we are excited to see where the charity and its core objectives around reading for pleasure can be developed even further.’
Cassie joins World Book Day after one of its most successful years to date, with book token redemptions up 3% and sales of the £1 books in excess of one million. A new ‘Share a Story Live’ events programme brought authors, illustrators and the reading for pleasure message to 3000 children in low literacy areas and 20,000 free £1 World Book Day books were given to prisoners to read with their children in all HM prisons in England and Wales for the first time.
About World Book Day:
World Book Day is the registered charity behind the world’s biggest annual celebration of children’s books. It is dedicated to celebrating the benefits of reading for pleasure for everyone, everywhere – promoting the magic of books, the power of imagination and the importance of sharing stories. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.
It is sponsored by National Book Tokens and supported generously each year by the publishing industry, book trade, authors and illustrators. Every year, with a host of publishers and booksellers, World Book Day curates a list of bespoke £1 books for children and young people across the UK and Ireland. World Book Day’s mission is to encourage children and young people to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. To mark the day each year, children are welcomed into bookshops and supermarkets across the nation where they can redeem their £1 World Book Day book token (or equivalent €1.50 in Ireland) to redeem for a free World Book Day title or, if they prefer, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audiobook of their choice, costing £2.99 or more. The day also sees children bringing books to life through an array of organised events and activities in schools, bookshops, libraries and at home. www.worldbookday.com
About National Book Tokens:
National Book Tokens are the perfect gift for book lovers everywhere and are the only gift cards sold and accepted in bookshops across the UK and Ireland, including all the major chains and local independents. As proud sponsors of World Book Day, National Book Tokens supports lifelong learning and improving literacy and access to reading for everyone. www.nationalbooktokens.com