Archive for the ‘Book Festival News’ Category

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival 27 June – Sunday 3 July 2016


Chalke Valley History Festival is a true celebration of the past. For one week at the end of every June, a normally sleepy corner of England – in the fields of South-West Wiltshire – comes alive to sound of Merlin engines, cannon-fire, muskets and music.

For many attending the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival one of the highlights each year is the series of spectacular air displays, which take place at intervals over the two weekend days. There can be few more stunning places to watch the historic aircraft overhead than in the Chalke Valley and, with many planes already confirmed for this summer’s show, this year’s displays promise to be particularly special. The list includes: the only Avro Lancaster (on both days) flying in the UK, a Fairey Swordfish, an Auster, a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, a Hawker Hurricane, a Supermarine Spitfire XIX, a Supermarine Spitfire IX, a Vought F4U Corsair and a Yakovlev Yak-3.   Commenting on the huge range of events lined up for this year, co-Chair of the Festival James Holland said: “This year we have a wider range of subjects, more diverse speakers, incredible historic aircraft, and a truly spectacular living history show with World War II tank battles, Vikings, Romans, a totally authentic scale section of First World War trench and a fabulous 1940s Blitz Party. To have the likes Mark Knopfler on stage talking about and playing his history songs and eminent historians like Niall Ferguson speaking, while at the same time there are a vast number of activities and other events for people of all ages, from battles to historic cookery, is incredibly exciting.”

This summer at the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival there will be a wider range of living history activities than ever before. The centrepiece of this year’s programme will be the spectacular Second World War displays which will include multiple tanks in action, guns and infantry, all working together. At the weekend will also be a tough SOE and Commando training course, on which participants can be put through their paces and learn some of the skills needed to operate in Nazi-occupied Europe. Another major focus will be on King Alfred’s Battle for Wessex. There will be a week of activities at the ever-popular Anglo-Saxon settlement, with more than 100 re-enactors, as well as a recreated Viking longship. Covering some two thousand years of history, there will also be an impressive list of demonstrations and displays to choose from, with lots of family-based inter-active events, including Anglo-Saxon Bread Making, Musketry in the American War of Independence, a Battle of Waterloo Diorama with the BBC’s Peter Ginn and Mark Evans, and Tudor Fast Food.

Continuing the success of last year’s Pop-Up History programme, 2016 will also see a series of fun, fact-filled, informal talks at various locations around and throughout the Festival. These will be interactive and free half-hour talks where audiences will be encouraged to ask questions and feel involved. Talks will be given by living historians, speakers and experts who will talk on a wide range of topics – from a shipwreck off the Dorset coast to steam trains, and from fabrics of the First World War to the efficacy of the Cromwell tank.   At this year’s festival there will be a scale section of a First World War trench. Built by a team of experts and local volunteers, using authentic methods and materials, plus official period manuals, as well as drawing upon the testimonies of those who built and fought in them, this will be as close a representation of what a First World War trench was like as is possible. To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, there will be a service at the Trench from 7.15am on Friday 1st July, led by the Bishop of Salisbury.

Running alongside the main programme, the Festival for Schools sees thousands of pupils, from primary school to sixth formers, visit during the first half of the week on special days dedicated to different year groups. Aimed at Years 6, 10 and 12, a wide range of curriculum based subjects will be discussed by eminent historians on subjects as varied as The Vietnam War, The History of Medicine, Radio Women: History through the BBC, 17th Century Witchcraft, and Stalin’s Great Terror. Experts will be on hand to show and explain the secrets of the past, encouraging students to learn and to get involved. Guest speakers for 2016 include Ben Kane, Professor Hew Strachan, Dr Kate Murphy, Peter Caddick-Adams and local adventurer Charlie Walker. On the evening of 2nd July and as part of Dress Up Saturday, with a Spitfire and Hurricane flying over, it will be time to get your dancing shoes on for The Chalke Valley History Festival Blitz Party. There will be live music all night, from beautiful Bombshell Belles, the legendary London Swing Orchestra, and the delicious D-Day Darlings, with a scrumptious wartime-inspired supper served up by Victoria Blashford-Snell and a barrage of drinks at the bar.

New at the Festival this year is the Children’s Creative History Tent, which will provide art and craft activities for children aged 6 – 12 throughout the weekend and will be where children can create their own exciting historical object to take home. The History Tellers will also be giving free talks – primarily aimed at children – using props and costumes, and recounting tales from our rich historical past. There will be plenty of stalls for some well-earned retail therapy, plus both glamping and camping for those wishing to stay near the site. Book signings will be arranged by Festival partner Waterstones.

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will take place in Ebbesbourne Wake, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5JH. For more details about the Festival, please visit the website Tickets can be purchased from here or by calling 01722 781133.


Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2016 24 June – 3 July

We love books in Hebden Bridge! Even though our beautiful independent bookshop and library were flooded on Boxing Day we still kept on reading. The Bookcase is up and running and half of the library is back again and this summer’s festival features lots of fine words:

Read it!

A stilted ringmaster invites young readers from 3+ to the Town Hall for a day of adventure!

First up, Curtis Jobling, an award-winning children’s author and illustrator, responsible for the best-selling Wereworld fantasy series, and acclaimed picture books such as Old MacDonald Had A Zoo and The Sheep Won’t Sleep. He’s also the creator and designer of numerous much loved animated series, including Bob the BuilderFrankenstein’s Cat and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion. Join him for a talk that covers all of his work as a cartoon creator and word wrangler. Expect thrilling storytelling, live illustration, ridiculous facial hair and lashings of silliness.


Then it’s….

Adventure Time!

Ever kicked your football into the garden of doom, or made a wish on a magic biscuit tin?

No? Then come along and find out what happens when you do…

All you need to bring with you is your imagination, and let award-winning author Phil Earle do the rest. An adventure packed hour.

MOVE OVER Wimpy Kid!

Join award-winning author Anthony McGowan and meet his hapless hero, Dermot Milligan.

Expect laughter, tall tales and gross-out moments a plenty. It’s an hour you won’t want to miss…*donuts not included*

for young adults….

Junk 20 years on & the YA explosion

Never has Young Adult fiction been more popular or wide reaching. Join Carnegie medal winning author and godfather of YA fiction Melvin Burgess, Liz Flanagan whose debut YA novel Eden Summer is out now and Tony McGowan, (Henry Tumour, The Knife that Killed Me’)

Teenage Kicks

Join three of the UK’s finest YA writers and discover why this is the most exciting audience to write for. Our panel includes Melvin Burgess, whose novel ‘Junk’, practically invented the genre, multi award-winning Anthony McGowan, and Liz Flanagan, whose YA debut, Eden Summer, set in Hebden Bridge,is garnering rave reviews.


To celebrate Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday, contemporary bestseller Tracy Chevalier talks about a collection of short stories she’s edited which are inspired by the immortal words from Jane Eyre ‘Reader I Married Him’. She is joined by Salley Vickers, who talks about her short story contribution.

Simon Armitage is coming to town to read his poems about rain on Monday 27 June in the Ted Hughes Theatre at Calder High School. We’re also launching an anthology of flood writing entitled Watermarks at the Bookcase on 29 June and again at the Portico library in Manchester on 5 July.

For more information and to book tickets visit:

Manchester Children’s Book Festival, Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival, Wealden Literary Festival

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Manchester Children’s Book Festival June 16 – 25 2016 


THIS year’s Manchester Children’s Book Festival will feature none other than reggae-loving children’s TV favourite Rastamouse. Rastamouse and his creator, Michael De Souza, will be appearing at the Festival Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 25.

Also appearing at the free event will be author Philip Reeve and illustrator Sarah McIntyre, who will be sharing their latest book, Pugs of the Frozen North. They will be hosting all sorts of wintery fun, and the “Winter Wonderland” theme will continue with a “Snow Labyrinth” experience, an Ice Corner and a snow room!

Festival Director Kaye Tew said: “Over the years, the Manchester Children’s Book Festival has brought some of the best children’s writers to the city while at the same time providing an invaluable opportunity for children from all backgrounds to meet and be inspired by their literary heroes, fuelling their creativity and unlocking their potential.

“Authors and events are being confirmed by the day now and the full programme will be ready to announce soon.”

Manchester Children’s Book Festival runs from June 16 to June 25. For more information, visit

The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival 16-19 June

The Borders Book Festival, sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, has over 100 events in its programme for all ages, and on a wide variety of topics, all taking place over the weekend of 16th-19th June 2016.

Primary schools from across the Scottish Borders will attend the Schools Gala Day on Thursday 16th, and there will be an exciting new strand of events on Friday 17th, thefuture@bbf, with an afternoon of live music, creative writing, theatre, poetry and film/TV recording workshops, entirely programmed by local youth organisations.

There will be even more opportunities to take part as well as spectate this year, with a variety of live music and theatre performances and workshops, a street market, tented food village, gin and wine tastings, performances by Scottish Opera, and kids craft and activity workshops.

The ever-popular Family Day pass will be available, where for £35, four family members can enjoy a number of events on either the Saturday or Sunday.  It’s the ideal way to make the most of the SBHA Family Book Festival supported by Arts & Business Scotland.

The newly-opened Borders Railway offers a new way of getting to the festival for visitors from outside the area, with festival signage showing the way for walkers from Tweedbank Station 1.5 miles away, and a shuttle for those who prefer not to walk.

Box Office (opens 27 April 2016): 0844 357 1060

Wealden Literary Festival 18-19 June

The first Wealden Literary Festival – a two-day event celebrating landscape, nature and place is being held on June 18-19 in the heart of the Garden of England. The festival, which has won the backing of award-winning landscape and travel writer Robert Macfarlane, is being held in the renowned gardens and woodland at Boldshaves, Woodchurch, near Tenterden.

Wealden Literary Festival is the brainchild of outdoor and nature enthusiasts Laura and Andrew Willan, of Tenterden. It will be an inspiring and fun festival for all ages with talks by nationally-acclaimed writers and speakers alongside hands-on outdoor activities exploring the natural world including wildlife safaris and nature trails. There will also be art installations and specialist craft stalls alongside a wide range of artisanal food stalls taking advantage of the best of local produce.

Admission to the festival site is free for younger visitors, under 14 years. There will be free Children’s Activities including a workshop with Matthew Appleby, author of The Children’s Garden, and a chance to learn bushcraft skills with the Meek Family, plus art classes with Naomi Howarth whose book, The Crows Tale, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

Early booking is recommended for the talks and programmed activities, including free Children’s Activities, as places are limited.

On Sunday, 19 June, festival goers will be able to join author, broadcaster, naturalist and environmentalist Mark Cocker on a Wildlife Safari. From 9am, Mark will lead a small group through a tour of the surroundings of Boldshaves Gardens to reveal the wildlife at out fingertips.

Boswell Book Festival. Dumfries House, Ayrshire 6-8 May

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

We’ve a bumper programme of exciting children’s events and activities taking place at this year’s Boswell Book Festival. Not just children but families will find something to enjoy – both in and around Dumfries House.  Some kick off in schools before the Festival and then pop up in all shapes and sizes in several unique locations, all the way through the Festival weekend.

Over the years, the Festival has widened and deepened its offering for children both in and out of the Ayrshire schools. We are very excited this year to be pairing up with the Engineering School at Dumfries House to launch our first full Festival weekend for children, Bozzy’s Book Bang – a journey of exploration in words and activities through Earth, Water, Air and Fire: from Nick Sharratt’s Laughter Laboratory and Kjartan Poskitt’s Murderous Maths to Adam Murphy’s interviews with the reanimated zombie corpses of Science Superheroes Marie Curie and Charles Darwin.

A set of illustrated panels of the Four Elements with accompanying text, the work of P2 and P3 at Auchinleck, St. Patrick’s and Ochiltree Primary Schools mentored by exciting new illustrator Eilidh Muldoon and best-selling writer Vivian French will be on show for the first time.

See for full details of all children’s and family events.

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival 14 – 15 May

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

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.

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival for schools and kids

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Lovereading4kids is proud to be sponsoring ask the Children’s Laureate with Chris Riddell at Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival 1-3 May 2016 plus 10% discount for Lovereading4kids members on tickets. Read on for more information.


Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival is a NEW festival for story-lovers of all ages; set to take place in the glorious house and grounds of Chiddingstone Castle during and after the Bank Holiday weekend 1 – 3 May 2016.

The programme offers author events for adults and teenagers on Sunday 1 May; events for families and children on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May and a whole day of events for schools on Tuesday 3 May. In addition to author talks, there will be children’s theatre, story-telling, drama, music, illustrations and performance poetry; not to mention sparkling wit and wisdom, a splendid array of vintage food vans serving delicious pizzas, crepes, sausages and venison burgers, coffee, tea and cakes.



On Bank Holiday Monday there are events for all the family including a musical performance of The Tailor of Gloucester by the Pericles Theatre Company, and poetry and percussion with Brian Moses who uses a variety of instruments to underpin the rhythm of his words. Children will love Roald Dahl storytelling with Rachel Sellers. There will be musical Stories in Song by Edgelanders who are a five strong folk band; charismatic interpreters of Scottish, Irish and English story-songs from medieval times to the present day. One of our highlights is an opportunity to meet Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell – children are invited to come along with a question and Chris will pick his favourites to illustrate – the lucky questioners he picks can take their doodle-answers home with them! Take an epic voyage through the history of Britain with Christopher Lloyd’s amazing new giant 8m long What on Earth? Wallbook and his coat of many pockets. There will be literary walks around the grounds with local historians Penny Harris and Chris McCooey and an ‘espresso’ theatre stall brewing freshly made individual plays from London’s Royal Court Theatre. Adults can enjoy appearances by acclaimed historian Antonia Fraser, and Ed Caesar and Mihir Bose.


Tuesday’s programme is for schools, featuring children’s authors Philip Womack (The Broken King trilogy) and Sally Gardner (Tinder and I, Coriander) looking at myths and fairy tales in their own writing, Caroline Lawrence talking about How to Write a Great Story and her own Roman Mysteries and PK Pinkerton Mysteries series. Sally Gardner will also entertain young readers with stories from her Operation Bunny. Finally, Nicky Singer (Blue Peter award-winning author of Feather Boy) will discuss her new novel Island.


During the build up to the event, children are invited to enter a Short Story Competition for Schools (two categories: age 7-9 and 10-13). Deadline for entries is Friday 18 March (details can be found on the festival website). The winning entries will be read out on Bank Holiday Monday by actor Geoffrey Streatfeild (Royal Shakespeare Company/National Theatre) and winners will receive signed copies of Chris Riddell’s latest book.


Chiddingstone Castle is an impressive Historic House in an idyllic country setting, which houses the unique and remarkable collections of the late antiquarian, Denys Eyre Bower. Today it is a fascinating museum, a visitor attraction and an award-winning wedding venue. Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD.


Lovereading4kids members can claim a 10% discount on all tickets (except Early Birds) using the code: Lovereading10.Tickets are available online: or ring 0800 033 7564.Tickets include entry into the Castle and its exquisite Japanese and Egyptian collections.


Click here to enter our prize draw: We have 3 pairs of tickets (1 adult/ 1 child) to give away for Christopher Lloyd’s What on Earth? Wallbook Timeline of British History (Monday 2 May 6.00pm). 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.

Chipping Norton Literary Festival 21-24 April

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Chipping Norton Literary Festival has announced the line-up of highly acclaimed children’s authors for its 2016 programme. This is the fifth ChipLitFest and the most diverse programme yet, all to be enjoyed in a beautiful Cotswold setting.


Alongside the big names, there are debut novelists with very bright futures and much-loved writers from many genres including a host of children’s writers and creative writing workshops.


Children’s authors appearing include: Joanna Nadin, John Dougherty, Jo Cotterill, Cathy Brett, Tanya Landman, Atinuke, Paul and Helen Stickland, Steve Cole, Sarwat Chadda, Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap. The festival is also organising a series of schools workshops with authors including Adam and Charlotte Guillain, SF Said, Bali Rai, Tamsyn Murray, MM Vaughan, Candy Gourlay and Cas Lester.


Acclaimed novelist, Tessa Hadley, will be presenting one of our creative writing workshops as well as judging a short story competition that has already seen entries from across the world. We are joined by two young people, a 10 year old and a teenager, on our blogging team who are interviewing many of our children’s authors.


Tickets are now on sale via the website

David Walliams and Joanna Lumley to appear in special event to support Trust creating an enchanted land of children’s stories

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Award-winning and internationally successful children’s author David Walliams has teamed up with Joanna Lumley to support her charity – The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust – in a special event for families at Cadogan Hall, London on Saturday 19th March, 10.30am.

The two stars in conversation promise a hilarious, interactive morning of tall tales and quirky questions, they will share their comic chemistry and love of stories with a theatre full of young fans and avid readers of David’s incredibly popular books.  Every ticket-holder will also receive a copy of Grandpa’s Great Escape and can have it signed by author David Walliams himself!

The lucky audience will be treated to a marvellous morning giving a peek into the world of one of the biggest selling children’s authors who has captured the imaginations of a whole new generation and is getting more and more children reading. His books, including Awful Auntie, Gangsta Granny and The Boy in the Dress, which are all published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, have been translated into over 46 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

Often referred to as the new ‘Roald Dahl’, David Walliams is the perfect partner to help highlight the work of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, of which Joanna Lumley is Patron.

The event at Cadogan Hall is suitable for all children and adults aged 4 and over. Tickets priced £25 (including a copy of Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams) are on sale from Cadogan Hall Box Office: 020 7730 4500

test festival

Monday, February 15th, 2016


Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival 16-24 April 2016

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Star Storytellers Set for Next Chapter of Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival

A programme of over 50 exciting events featuring a literary line-up including multi-best-selling children’s favourite Jacqueline Wilson will be welcomed at this year’s fourth Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival.

The popular family event will return to the capital from 16-24 April 2016 featuring local and national, English and Welsh speaking authors and illustrators. Events will take place at iconic venues across the city centre including City Hall, Cardiff Central Library, Cardiff Castle and Reardon Smith Theatre, National Museum Cardiff.

As this year’s festival coincides with the Centenary of Roald Dahl, one of the most famous children’s writers of all time, celebrations will include a host of themed events such as ‘Word Wizards Guide to Roald Dahl,’ craft sessions, and a free, jump-squifflingly fun treasure hunt across the city centre.

More free activities include Storytime sessions held in the Children’s Department of John Lewis, where throughout the festival weekends children can enjoy listening to stories and even meet some very special guests including Maisy Mouse, Kipper and Walker Bear.

Cerrie Bernell

The festival’s biggest line-up yet also includes Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Children’s Poet Laureate) Anni Llŷn, CBBC’s Sam and Mark and CBeebies’ Jess French and Cerrie Burnell, Kristina Stephenson and Kes Gray. Once again the festival hosts a week of free sessions for school children, which includes Tony Bradman on Shakespeare, Simon James, Jon Mayhew, and the Welsh Poets from Stomp Fach.

There are also events for adults, which include Writing for Children with Barry Cunningham the man who discovered J.K . Rowling and author Jon Mayhew, literary discussions with Catherine Butler and the chance to hear from the publisher and contributors to the forthcoming University of Wales Press publication Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected.

All of these events, aimed at young people and grown-ups, aim to inspire, nurture and encourage a life-long love of reading and books.

The festival has continued to grow over the years and will now run across two weekends with the free school sessions, supported by the John Lewis; Bringing Skills to Life project, being held during that week.

Cabinet Member for Community Development, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “Since the first Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival in 2013, over 5000 school children have attended free sessions with a further 5000 book lovers – from toddlers to teens – attending public sessions across the festival. The 2016 festival will be even more special as we celebrate the centenary of Roald Dahl, the world’s number one storyteller.”

Leading up to the Festival, primary school children from across Cardiff and the surrounding areas will take part in Roald Dahl Themed workshops in storyboarding, scriptwriting, poetry and prose. Workshops are supported by Literature Wales and will be led by six writers and illustrators from Wales: Dan Anthony, Francesca Kay, Mike Church, Mab Jones, Huw Aaron and Casia Wiliam.

The work produced will be celebrated in a free exhibition supported by John Lewis and Genesis Marketing at Cardiff Central Library and The Place to Eat Restaurant on the third floor of John Lewis from 1 April – 24 April 2016.

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “Literature Wales is delighted to support the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival’s outreach programme for the fourth consecutive year. At these workshops high-profile Welsh writers will share their skills and their passion for words with children all over the capital, enabling them to engage with literature in all its forms and develop the skills they need to create their own stories.”

The festival aims to create lifelong readers with tickets currently on sale via Ticketline UK (02920 230 130 or ) and

See (English) or or follow @CDFKidsLitFest or @GwylLlenPlant on Twitter for more information.

South Ken Kids Festival 16 – 22 November 2015

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

From Monday 16 to Sunday 22 November 2015, the Institut français in London will be hosting the 18th South Ken Kids Festival. This year’s edition features more than 40 public events including workshops, talks, films, live music, theatre, and book signings with no less than 25 writers and illustrators.


Londoners will have the chance to meet favourites such as Quentin Blake, the festival’s patron, Axel Scheffler and Tony Ross, as well as French stars Claude Ponti, Marie-Aude Murail, and Barroux. We are also teaming up with the Children’s Bookshow’s guests Michael Rosen and Bernardo Atxaga. The line-up also includes poets Joseph Coelho and Gabby Dawnay and illustrators Sam Usher, Magali Le Huche, Emily Hughes, Alex Barrow and Delphine Perret. The Festival is happy to work closely with 20 French and British publishers, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of them: l’École des loisirs. Some of its best authors, including Claude Ponti, Stephanie Blake, Michel Van Zeveren and Marie-Aude Murail, will make the trip to fete this French trend-setter in children’s publishing. Key events of the Festival, the Drawing Duos will be returning with dream pair Tony Ross and Claude Ponti joining forces to celebrate Alice in Wonderland, in partnership with the British Library. Axel Scheffler will be sparring with Beatrice Alemagna, artist Bridget Marzo will be matching her paintbrushes with Belgian Michel Van Zeveren’s pens, and Quentin Blake will face his special guest Bruno Heitz.

Other highlights include a special event around literary hero Charles Dickens with acclaimed writer Marie-Aude Murail, organised in collaboration with the Dickens Museum. Impro!, our live drawing and jazz improvisation event will see festival illustrators appearing on stage to the sound of Airelle Besson’s trumpet. This year’s festival places a particular emphasis on multilingualism and translation. Award-winning translator Sarah Ardizzone will be running workshops for schools with authors Barroux and Marjolaine Leray, as will the wonderful Koalako bilingual theatre company. The Spectacular Translation Machine will be moving to the Institute following its stint in Edinburgh. The Secret Fire written both in French and in English by C.J. Daughtery and Carina Rozenfeld will offer young adult readers a chance to discover more about writing in two languages.

There will also be film screenings at Ciné Lumière and free activities taking place in the new Bibliothèque Quentin Blake, the renovated Children’s Library of the Institut français, and exhibits on show from artist in residence Delphine Perret and photographer Jake Green. In addition to the public events, the Institute also offers a wide range of activities for pupils. Over 30 schools will attend events at the Institute or host workshops with festival guests in their classrooms. Children can also participate in our nationwide drawing competition by creating a book that starts with the line “If I were an animal”.

For more information and to book tickets visit: Privacy Policy Disclaimer