Award-winning Reading is Magic Festival gains recognition from Bath Life Awards 🏆

Winning a prize can make you feel special and everyone in the Bath Festivals team are feeling very special right now, after winning a Bath Life award for the Reading Is Magic Festival 2020!

At a glamorous ceremony attended by several hundred people from all sectors of Bath, from business to charity, Reading is Magic Festival won the Bath Life award for the best event of 2021. The audience applauded as they heard that our first digital children’s book festival – launched during lockdown when we couldn’t put on the live Bath Children’s Literature Festival – went global, reaching more than 150,000 children in 65 countries all over the world. It was a great achievement for the festival organisers and their festival partners and to be recognised in our home city really put the icing on the cake.

The Bath Life award was a tremendous boost to the Bath Festivals team who have been busy preparing for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival, which opens today, Friday 24 September. At the same time as organising a host of live author events for that festival we have also put together the digital programme for Reading is Magic Festival 2021, which goes live on Monday 27 September.

Hazel Plowman, Head of Creative Learning at Bath Festivals, who works with children and young people all-year round, said: “We could just have reverted to live events, which are fantastic of course. But we realised that with Reading is Magic Festival we could reach a much wider audience, including those children who might not ever be able to attend a book festival in person. So we have taken this ambitious step of organising not one, but two festivals for children and young adults. We are grateful to Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell for championing Reading is Magic and for all the authors and illustrators taking part.”

Authors and illustrators taking part in Reading is Magic Festival this month include Michael Rosen, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Laura Ellen Anderson, Rob Biddulph, Holly Bourne, BB Alston and Rebecca Tantony. Blue Peter star Mwaksy Mudenda is the presenter who introduces each event to audiences watching from their classrooms and homes.

Viewers can choose to tune in live (with the opportunity to submit questions for their favourite authors) or to watch on demand FREE until the end of the year. Sign up for free at

Tell all your friends now is the chance to get involved with this fast-growing, award-winning children’s book festival. Don’t forget – reading is magic! – whether you’re doing it live in a room with loads of other people, or just quietly at home on your own.

Pictured above from left to right: Stephanie Massie (Head of Development), Kate Abbey (Senior Literature Programmer), Kate Hall ( Programme Director) and Jasmine Barker (Head of Marketing and Communications)

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