Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Book Festivals’

Autumn Children’s Book Festival News

Monday, July 25th, 2016

There’s a bumper crop of children’s book festivals to choose from this autumn; win Roald Dahl tickets at Henley Literary Festival (26 Sept-2 Oct), Bath Children’s Literature Festival (1-9 Oct), Wigtown Book Festival (23 Sept-2 Oct), Chiswick Book Festival (15-19 Sept) and Jersey Festival of Words (28 Sept-2 Oct).


HENLEY LITERARY FESTIVAL – 26 September-2 October



On Friday 30 September at 4.30pm

Some of the UK’s favourite children writers will appear at the 10th annual Henley Literary Festival this autumn with over 50 events for children and families include Lucy Worsley, Julian Clary, One Show reporter Mike Dilger and Tiger Who Came To Tea creator Judith Kerr, as well as special Harry Potter and Roald Dahl events.


Don’t be biffsquiggled! Win a family ticket to come and join word wizards Fiona Ross and Sarah-Jane Arbury as they swashboggle their way through the wonderful writing of Roald Dahl. Through games and performance find out how to gobblefunk with words and find out about the amazing new Roald Dahl Dictionary. Suitable for ages 7+ taking place in the Kenton Theatre on Friday 30 September at 4.30pm.


Click here to enter our free prize draw: we have a family ticket (for 2 adults and 2 children) to give away to the Roald Dahl event on Friday 30 September at 4.30pm. 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 29 August 2016. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 2 September 2016.


THE BATH CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL – Saturday 1 October – Sunday 9 October




David Walliams, Liz Pichon, Chris Hadfield, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman & Simon Mayo, Chris Riddell, Chris Hoy, Nick Sharratt, Chris Packham, Clare Balding, Julian Clary, Lucy Worsley, Axel Scheffler, Andy Day, Cerrie Burnell, Sam and Mark, Lucy Cousins & Maisy, Frances Hardinge and so many more….


The Bath Children’s Literature Festival will celebrate their 10th birthday with an outstanding line-up of well known and much loved authors and illustrators.


Over the last 10 years, the festival has seen over 2,500 events, some 600 school events in central Bath and further afield, and a staggering ¼ million kids and families attending from a demographic range of 50,000 miles. That’s the equivalent of flying around the globe – twice!


To mark this special occasion, the festival’s aim is to create a legacy that will inspire children to read, write, draw and develop their creativity. There are many events for children to participate in such as The Big Bath Read, which encourages children to read and discuss the book Hamish and the Worldstoppers written by Danny Wallace and illustrated by Jamie Littler. There will be an array of creative writing masterclasses including a Dr Who adventure with the author of several Dr Who novels and audio dramas, Andrew Lane; a journalism workshop run the by children’s newspaper, First News; a poetry workshop with performance poet, Joseph Coelho from CBeebies Rhyme Rocket; a collage workshop with award-winning illustrator Britta Teckentrup and writing workshops hosted by Skellig author, David Almond and MA Writing for Young People course director, Julia Green.


The festival is for children of all ages, from 18 months up to 18 years. This year’s young adult (YA) programme includes an extensive range of events including a discussion between Malorie Blackman and Simon Mayo about all things YA; best-selling author of the Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas; Cecelia Ahern and Sophie Kinsella who make their debut into the world of YA and acclaimed and prize-winning author of The Book of Dead Days, Marcus Sedgwick, to name but a few.”


2016 is also an important year for many of the festival’s authors. Peter Rabbit will be celebrating 150 years of Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl’s 100th year will be marked with a workshop to decide his most villainous villain, Winnie-the-Pooh will reach the ripe old age of 90 and Maisy the Mouse celebrates her 25th birthday. Many happy returns!


Tickets are now on sale. To purchase tickets call the Bath Box Office on 01225 463362 or book online at


Book tickets and view the full programme.


Twitter: (@Bathfestivals)



WIGTOWN BOOK FESTIVAL 23 September – 2 October

Every autumn thousands of people descend on a small town in Dumfries and Galloway to experience Scotland’s greatest literary party.

WigtownBF-Tree-LogoNow in its 18th year, the award-winning festival has more than 240 events and activities for all ages across its 10 days, including 35 especially for the 0-12 age group and a dedicated young people’s festival for 13-25s. It has featured many of our most loved children’s authors from Scotland and beyond and this year includes Vivian French, Chae Strathie, Theresa Breslin, Debi Gliori, Philip Ardagh and many more. There are storytelling sessions, workshops and play activities for children, as well as panel debates, dinners and arts events to entertain and inspire the adults.

Anne Barclay, Operational Director of Wigtown Festival Company, organises the children’s festival with input from parents, teachers and children. She says, “We’re really excited about all of the fantastic events we have planned for this year. We have a dedicated venue in Wigtown Primary School which will be decorated beyond recognition and has great facilities all in one place. We’re especially looking forward to our James and the Giant Peach reading den which has been made by local artist Julie Houston.”

As Scotland’s National Book Town, Wigtown offers the perfect space to explore fresh ideas for the whole family – just one reason why it has grown to become the biggest Scottish book festival outside the central belt. Come and join us and inspire our next generation of readers and writers.

Full programme launches in August, for information and tickets visit



Top comedy writers and performers will bring a fresh look to the 8th Chiswick Book Festival, alongside many of Britain’s best-loved novelists, non-fiction writers and children’s authors. Andy Hamilton, Shappi Khorsandi and Mark Watson will talk about their new novels, while the creators of the best-selling ‘Ladybirds for Grown-Ups‘ series, Joel Morris and Jason Hazely, will preview their latest ‘How To…’ books due out this autumn.


Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell head the Children’s Book Festival line-up, talking about their bestsellers and introducing their latest books. Children will also be entertained by Jonathan Meres (World of Norm), Rob Biddulph (Odd Dog Out) and the Really Big Pants Theatre Company.


All this and much more will take place at the 8th Chiswick Book Festival from September 15 to 19, 2016, in a variety of venues close to Turnham Green tube station on the District Line. The Festival is a non-profit-making community event, raising money for reading-related charities and St Michael & All Angels Church, which organises the Festival.

The full programme is published at the end of July, when tickets go on sale at You can follow updates and join in the conversation on Twitter @W4BookFest #ChiswickBookFest.


JERSEY FESTIVAL OF WORDS 28 September-2 October

The children’s programme for the second Jersey Festival of Words will feature leading writers including former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Jersey Festival of Words, when thousands of Island children and young adults had the chance to experience top authors at close quarters, there will once again be an extensive schools programme offering free tickets to all schools across Jersey.


Sponsored by the One Foundation, it will feature the entertaining performance poet and writer A.F.Harrold, Jim Smith, author of the Barry Loser series, Chris Bradford’s spectacular Young Samurai and Young Bodyguard shows and for young adults, William Sutcliffe and Eugene Lambert.


For further information and the full line up visit:

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. Privacy Policy Disclaimer