Barnes Children’s Literature Festival 14 – 15 May

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival returns for bigger and better second year 14-15 May. Authors and illustrators confirmed include Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Axel Scheffler, Anthony Browne and Morris Gleitzman.


The Barnes Children’s Literature Festival will be returning to south-west London for its second year on 14 – 15 May 2016, with twice as many events to make it London’s largest dedicated children’s book festival. Set up and run entirely by a group of 40 volunteers, in partnership with the Barnes Community Association and leading independent, the Barnes Bookshop, the festival launched with a one-day programme in May 2015, offering 25 events across six venues with authors including Axel Scheffler, Sally Gardner, Alexander Gordon Smith, PiersTorday and local poet, Roger McGough.


Following unprecedented success in the first year, with ticket sales of over two thousand and 70% of events sold-out, the festival will this year double the number of events to nearly 50 and expand to a weekend packed with sessions for all ages from 2 years right through to YA with crossover appeal. A new venue will be introduced to meet demand, with a ‘Booktop’ marquee on Barnes Pond to seat 500, and a number of special events will take place during the week leading up to the festival weekend.


The festival will be launched at a special event with much-loved bestseller and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, on Saturday 7th May, and a ceremony on 12th May will see the shortlist announced for the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA 2016).


The full 2016 programme is due to be announced mid-March when tickets will go on sale, and the impressive line-up already confirmed includes Jaqueline Wilson, Costa Children’s Book Award winner Frances Hardinge, Robin Stevens, Jeremy Strong, Holly Webb, Philip Reeve, Anthony Browne and Axel Scheffler, returning by popular demand. Many more authors and illustrators will be announced in the coming weeks.


The festival is committed to programming some of the best-known names in children’s books alongside a few treats visitors are unlikely to see anywhere else. Last year Barnes scooped the sold-out UK premiere of the theatre production of Chris Haughton’s multi-award-winning picture book, A Bit Lost, and this year Morris Gleitzman and Cornelia Funke will both be travelling to the UK especially for the festival. Festival Director, Amanda Brettargh, believes that Barnes is “the best place in Britain for a children’s literature festival.” She said: “Barnes is a place that loves its books. There’s a rich literary heritage here, one of London’s best independent bookshops too, and our setting, under the magnificent trees around Barnes Pond, provides a literary experience like no other.”


Click here to enter our prize draw: We have 2 family passes for 4 people to give away to see Axel Scheffler on Saturday 14 May. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 1 April 2016. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 8 April 2016.

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