Our Corona Diary

Our Corona Diary is Open for Submissions!

Zane age 9 was inspired by #hellohobby to create a cartoon diary – here’s his entry recording the Clap for Carers.

The team at Our Corona Diary are ready to receive your diaries! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to but first, we need permission from a responsible adult.

As soon as they’ve filled in this form (click the button below)…

They’ll be sent all the information you need.

Hope you’re all safe and well!

Kathryn & the Our Corona Diary Team

Our Corona Diary

Week 7 of #Lockdown

Kathryn Evans is a UKYA author of award winning novels More of Me and Beauty Sleep. When Lockdown began, she set up Our Corona Diary. She’s going a bit stir crazy now.

How are you doing? Bored? Frustrated? Lonely? Worried? Sad?

I know a few people who are enjoying Lockdown. I am genuinely pleased for them but I am not one of them.

Writing is difficult, a real slog, possible at least now, but still hard.

I miss my daughter. I haven’t hugged her since Christmas because she initially got stuck in China during the outbreak of Covid 19 there and then…well, then is now. Lockdown. She’s in her house. I’m in mine.

I’ve zoomed and run and walked and cooked. I’ve painted and phoned and gardened. I am still working for the farm, and trying to finish my new book. I’ve queued for shopping, and growled my way through people not obeying the new rules. I’ve cleaned my house and cleaned out some of the farm archives. I’ve taught my dog new tricks and I’ve read new books. I have much to do but none of it fills the gaping void of normal life. With one tiny exception. This:

When I set up Our Corona Diary, I thought I was doing something for all the children who’s world had been turned inside out. I had no idea how much it would help me when I hit the pits.

Every week we have a new theme. Week 4 was #Friends and I made what turned out to be a bit of a rough and ready therapy video for myself.

#HelloHobby week actually got me motivated to do more than walk my doggo in the allotted exercise outside hour. Although fencing training proper seemed pointless and impossible without my beloved coach, I tried, and it made me smile:

Our Corona Diary has kept me close to the pals who answered my pleas for help to get it all up and running. Jo Wyton who set up the entire website while working full time and home schooling her gorgeous little boy. Addy Farmer who is inspiring the youngest of our diary writers and who’s very breath seems to calm me. And Candy Gourlay whose friendly professionalism and wisdom have such magnetic charm that she’s convinced many, many wonderful writers and illustrators to share their diary making ideas on our website. I have amazing friends. No wonder I miss them.

And then, there are the people I set the project up for. People like 10 year old Charlie who will probably never get to have his year six T.D.O.F (Three Days Of Freedom)

And Violet Class who sum up #SchoolLockdown so well :

Diarists, you’re helping me, I hope we’re helping you because we hear you and we’ll keep our promise. Our Corona Dairy will be posting until Lockdown is over and then we’ll open up for submissions to our archive – and all of you, everyone of you who tell us you’ve taken part, will be named.

Want to know more? Sign up at Our Corona Diary.

Follow us on Instagram @OurCoronaDiaryGram

And on twitter @OurCoronaDiary.

Our Corona Diary

Our Corona Diary

A few days ago, Covid-19 took  hold in the UK, everything went weird,  we were told to stay indoors and I had an idea.

I felt lost, having life as I knew it just switched off,  and I knew the many, many children I visit in schools and contact through programmes like Book Pen Pals could be feeling exactly the same.

Gp Eyes covered

I wanted to give ALL of them a voice during this terrible time. A space to tell their story. A chance to document their version of this historic period in our lives.

I wanted to build an online community of these diary makers and one day, to turn their work into a book that held the name of every single child who took part in the project.


I asked some friends to help me and boy, did they HELP.

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Meet the team!

Legendary award winning author Candy Gourlay has guided us in resource building and ideas on how to make a website work and what to do on Instagram and, basically, all things social media AND she drew the picture above!

Dear pal and genius Jo Wyton has built the website. BUILT IT. While also having a one woman birthday party for her son, at home, with no visitors. She’s made something so clever  and beautiful I could weep with pride even though I daren’t touch it in case I break it.

Writer and woodland fairy Addy Farmer  sprinkled magic over the early years pages even while she was ill!


Matt Killeen, yes COSTA SHORTLISTED UBER-AUTHOR Matt Killeen has made videos with lego and written letters to authors asking them to contribute resources while at the same time homeschooling a 4-year-old. The man is a SAINT.

And on top of all that  :

The Wonderful Sarah McIntyre has shared diary making tips.

National Treasure  Philip Ardagh got silly and serious for us.

Best selling author Cathy Cassidy shared a heartwarming video message with us.

Celebrated Carnegie winning Sarah Crossan shared her cool Instagram posts with us

Authors Abroad have contacted all their authors and illustrators for us.

There are SO MANY authors and illustrators sharing their ideas and more to come so…

Now it’s up to you.

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We need children, of all ages, to get involved. If you are a parent, teacher, carer or child:

Get over to Our Corona Diary and sign up.

Follow us on Instagram @OurCoronaDiaryGram

And on Twitter @OurCoronaDiary

Share, tag , tweet, regram our posts and your diary entries at #ourcoronadiary

Get making and sharing those diaries.

We’ve got an archive to build!

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Our Corona Diary

How Our Corona Diary Began.

The original letter Kathryn Evans wrote to all school children.

Dear Children wether you are off school (or not!) ,

I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with a way to help the thousands of you now suddenly off school for who knows how long.  A big part of my job as a writer is going into schools and talking to young people about the themes of my books and creative writing.  I already miss the challenging questions, the cheeky interruptions, the INCREDIBLE ideas and enthusiasm.

Cropped KE with small gp

Last night, I was writing to some of my Book Pen Pal schools with a heavy heart. My role in that organisation is to recommend books to encourage children to read for pleasure. I love being part of it but I felt I couldn’t recommend a book that so many children would not be able to get hold of  – schools and libraries have closed and not everyone has spare cash, for books, especially now so many are temporarily out of work.

My book pen pal suggestion, earlier in March, was The Diary of Anne Frank. I read it recently and was struck but how completely ordinary it was and yet completely captivating. I really felt I knew that young woman, through her writing, and it’s such a precious document of a horrible time.  It gave me an idea.

Instead of reading a book, let’s write one. Together. All you need to do is keep a diary of all the ordinary and extraordinary things that will happen and I’ll figure out the rest.

You will be heard. Stay well, much love Kathryn


PS If you want to know what book I would recommend through all this though, it’s another diary! Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – guaranteed to make you laugh!