The biggest kids trends of 2018, as chosen by kids

Want to know which trends will be driving kids crazy in 2018? Then you need to ask the experts – the kids themselves!

PopJam – our kid-safe, content-sharing platform for under-13s  – isn’t just a moderated and creative walled garden, it’s also a window into the minds of kids. As a COPPA and GDPR compliant product we don’t collect any data on our users, but we never stop learning from them or asking for their thoughts.

At the end of December we asked kids what they thought the biggest trends of 2017 were – and here’s what they came up with.

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The emerging kids trend of Original Characters

Children have always used art to explore the boundaries of their imagination whether that be with finger paint, sketching under the covers – or now, more recently, using digital art platforms and tablets. While Gen X-ers might see something to mourn in the switch from real-life creativity to online exploration, the basic beauty of curiosity and creativity still exists on the digital playground.  On PopJam, we see this most clearly in the evolution of Original Characters.

So, what are they?

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Zoella and friends: the digital stars taking the book world by storm


It may have caught your attention a few weeks ago that the kids on your nearby school run were sporting rather more fairy wings, hook hands and witch hats than usual.

The reason? World Book Day: that time when schools across the country are flooded with little Heidis and Grinches, Gruffalos and Wimpy Kids. This year there was even a rogue Christian Grey.

In the midst of this, one mummy blogger noticed what she felt was a worrying costume trend: her daughter’s friends were planning to mark the festival of literature by dressing up as YouTube megastar Zoella.

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How to Make Your Blog Stand Out! Top Tips From Bethan Barker of Penguin Random House UK

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Attention Blogger category entrants! Meet Future8 Mentor Bethan Barker, Digital Marketing specialist within Penguin Random House UK’s Consumer Engagement Team, as she shares her 3 top tips to make your blog stand out!

If you want to win that life changing prize from Penguin Random House UK, including a spot as a Specialist Correspondent on one of their online platforms and mentoring sessions with Bethan herself, check out her video!

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Meet Future8 Mentor Bethan Barker of Penguin Random House UK

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Bethan Barker is a Digital Marketing Specialist within Penguin Random House UK’s Consumer Engagement Team!  The lucky winner of the Blogger category will win some life changing prizes including an exclusive series of one-on-one Skype mentoring sessions with Bethan. We spoke to Bethan about her career and passion for blogging!

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Meet Blogger Category Judge – Jeff Norton!

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Jeff Norton award-winning author, producer and creator joins our expert Future8 Judging Panel! Jeff is the author of the award-winning ‘MetaWars’ books (Orchard Books) and the hilarious new ‘Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie’ (Faber) and is currently Executive Producer of Trucktown, a new CGI TV show based on the best-selling books. Making him the perfect candidate to judge our Blogger category and help decide who will win the life changing prize! 

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Tips & Inspiration from Blogger Category Judge – Jeff Norton



Jeff Norton, award-winning author, producer, and creator joins The Future8 Awards as the newest member of our expert judging panel! As author of the award-winning ‘MetaWars’ books (Orchard Books) and the hilarious new ‘Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie’ (Faber) who better to help judge the Blogger category! (Find out more about Jeff Norton)

Jeff shares his tips and inspiration with entrants and aspiring bloggers!


We’re excited to have you as a judge for the Blogger category, what are you looking for in a winning entry? Continue reading

Tips & Inspiration from Blogger Category Judge – Shannon Cullen


Shannon Cullen, Publisher for Puffin Fiction at Penguin Random House UK and Blogger category judge shares her expert tips and advice to inspire Future8 entrants and all avid bloggers and writers! You’ll have to impress Shannon to win this life changing prize including the opportunity to become a ‘Special Correspondent’ on a Penguin Random House UK online platform!

We asked Shannon: Continue reading

Meet Blogger Category Judge – Shannon Cullen

expert judges_meet shannon

Following the exciting announcement of Penguin Random House UK’s sponsorship of our Blogger category earlier this week, the Future8 team were thrilled to meet up with Shannon Cullen, Future8 expert judge and Publisher at Penguin Random House UK. We discussed Shannon’s inspiring experience in the publishing industry and discussed the important link between creativity and technology.

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