Tag Archive: bath children’s literature festival

  1. Bath Kids Lit Super Fans! Maddy McGlynn

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    As part of Bath Children’s Literature Festival’s 10th Birthday celebrations we have invited a few of our biggest fans to describe some of their favourite memories from festivals past and what they’re looking forward to this year. This week’s blog is from fantasy fiction enthusiast Maddy McGlynn…

    Literature is discovered by passionate readers of all ages and children are some of the most passionate of them all. As soon as I read my first words and was able to write my first letters, I have loved the worlds we can create from our imaginations.

    I remember going to the huge selection of events offered by the Bath Children’s Literature Festival as there’s nothing (and still isn’t anything quite like) the anticipation and excitement of meeting one of your idols, with the book you have spent the last few days with clutched in your hand. The whole room is alive with other excited children and of course parents, who have devoured the story this author is about to tell. The volunteers step up, announce the literary celebrity and the author arrives on stage.

    It is incredible. Hearing how stories are formed and how they become these incredible tales of adventure was incredibly inspirational. As a young teenager hearing these authors speak about their books at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival confirmed to me one thing; that one day I would become a published author. It is a dream I’m still working on.

    I have met some great authors and one that particularly sticks in my mind is Joanne Harris and her brilliant book Runemarks, a fantasy world where Norse Gods exist. I have always loved fantasy, I have always loved Vikings so I jumped at the chance to get to learn more about her writing processes and inspirations. Plus, the main character was also called Maddy, a fact I made sure to let Joanne Harris know when she was signing my copy.

    That’s another fantastic thing; the chance the festival gives you to interact and meet with all these wonderful authors and I still have memories of meeting a huge number of authors all the years the festival has been on. I am super excited this year to meet some big names including David Walliams and Melinda Salisbury. There’s always so many exciting events going on and so much choice – meaning the red booklet becomes a mess of pen as you circle all the events you want to see.

    The festival has been a huge part of growing up and continues to inspire me as not just a reader, but as a writer. I have seen how an author can enchant audiences with the magic of words and now I want to do the same.

    Thanks again,

    Maddy McGlynn

    Maddy’s recommendation for this year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival:

    Melinda Salisbury

  2. Bath Kids Lit Super Fans! Oscar Speigal

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    As part of Bath Children’s Literature Festival’s 10th Birthday celebrations we have invited a few of our biggest fans to describe some of their favourite memories from festivals past and what they’re looking forward to this year. This week’s blog is from Horrid Henry fan Oscar Speigal…

    Oscar Speigal

    “I think I am lucky, because every year I get the chance to go to the Bath Kids Lit Fest with my mum and dad. And because I live in Bath, I don’t have to get up really early.

    I like reading alot and I also like chocolate but I’m not allowed to eat chocolate that often but I can read everyday which inspiring.  I have started to write my own book which is called ‘Dairy of a Bad Kid’. I have written 5 pages.

    Every year the brochure arrives at my school and I look through it to see who is going to be there.  I really like the Bath Kids Lit Fest because they always chose my favourite authors.

    I also like it because I always see my friends there and we talk in class about who we’re seeing.  My friends have told me about authors they like, and through them I’ve found new books that I had enjoyed.

    I have been going to the festival for four years and my favourite event was meeting Francesca Simon because I got my picture taken with Horrid Henry.

    This year I am going to see David Walliams and an Astronaut which is very exciting.”

    By Oscar Speigal, aged 8.

    Oscar’s recommendation for this year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival:

    Astronaut Chris Hadfield

  3. Bath Kids Lit Super Fans! Lily Stanley

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    As part of Bath Children’s Literature Festival’s 10th Birthday celebrations we have invited a few of our biggest fans to describe some of their favourite memories from festivals past and what they’re looking forward to this year. This week’s blog is from Lily Stanley…

    Lily Stanley

    Hi my name is Lily Stanley and just like the Bath Children’s Literature Festival I am nearly 10 years old.  My mum works for Waterstones who support the Festival by selling lots of books at the events and sometimes I get to help which is really fun.

    The first event that I can remember going to was Zoe and Beans-Pants on the moon.  I love the illustrations in both Chloe and Mick Inkpen books.  I also remember going to a Philip Ardagh event. He kept talking about beards a lot and he was a very funny storyteller.

    My favourite event last year was Sam and Mark because they got some of the audience up on stage for a quiz which was entertaining.  I hope they do that again this year.  I can’t wait to see David Walliams because he always makes me laugh and Chris Riddell because I love the Ottoline and Goth Girl books – I have them all!

    See Lily’s favourite authors this October:

    Chris Riddell

    Sam & Mark

  4. Highlights of YALC come to Bath

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    Over the weekend, the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC for short) celebrated the best books for young people. We are very pleased to be able to bring you the highlights of YALC to Bath this October, from fantasy adventures to coming-of-age stories there is an event for everyone!

    Malorie Blackman and Simon Mayo

    Saturday 8 October

    Malorie Blackman returns to Bath for an exclusive in conversation event with radio presenter Simon Mayo. They talk about their new YA books (Blackman’s Chasing the Stars – ‘…goes boldly where few YA titles have gone before’ The Guardian and Mayo’s Blame – 4* Den of Geek), books they love and what they like to write about.

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    Chris Riddell

    Saturday 8 October

    Children’s Laureate and best-selling author and illustrator of Goth Girl, Chris Riddell answers your questions while illustrating live!

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    Sophie Kinsella

    Sunday 9 October

    Bestselling author of the Shopaholic series Sophie Kinsella joins Cecelia Ahern (P.S I Love You) as they make their debut in the world of Young Adult Fiction with Kinsella’s Finding Audrey (‘It’s fun, it’s quick, it’s cute, but it also focuses on deeper topics with maturity and responsibility’ The Guardian Online) and Ahern’s Flawed (‘A cracking read’ The Times).

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    Frances Hardinge

    Monday 3 October

    Winner of Costa Book of the Year, author Frances Hardinge discusses her extraordinary book The Lie Tree – a Victorian Gothic murder mystery with a lie-eating tree, archaeology, post-mortem photography, feminism and blasting powder!

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    Jenny Downham & Lisa Williamson

    Saturday 8 October

    Authors of Unbecoming and The Art of Being Normal join Alison Rattle and Harriet Reuter Hapgood to discuss their own writing identities and the colourful characters that inhabit their stories.

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    Melinda Salisbury & Alwyn Hamilton

    Saturday 8 October

    Enter far away worlds with the latest books from Melinda Salisbury (The Sin Eater’s Daughter), Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands) and Helen Keen (The Science of Game of Thrones).

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    Sophia Bennett

    Saturday 8 October

    Tune into a great chat between Sophia Bennett (Love Story) and Robert Muchamore (Gone Wild) as they talk music, bands and favourite songs.

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    Chris Vick

    Chris Vick joins Julia Green, Kris Humphrey and Mimi Thebo to discuss the writer’s creative journey from idea to completed manuscript – a must for all aspiring authors.

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    Natasha Farrant

    A must for Jane Austen fans! Natasha Farrant, author of the stunning Austen reimagining Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice will be in conversation with Barry Cunningham, Chicken House publisher and the man who discovered J.K. Rowling.

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    9 days and over 100 events featuring the best children’s and teen authors, incredible illustrators, favourite characters, professional storytellers and the biggest names in children’s literature from across the world.

    Tickets go on sale on the following days:

    • General Booking: Is NOW OPEN 
    • Call Bath Box Office on 01225 463362

    David Walliams Chris Climbing Steps to RocketLiz Pichon - USEMichael MorpurgoMalorie Blackman 2Chris Hoy credit Ben DuffyChris Riddell CREDIT TOM PILSTON BOOKTRUSTClare Balding PR photo use


    David Walliams, Liz Pichon, astronaut Chris Hadfield, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman & Simon Mayo, Chris Riddell, Olympic cyclist Sir 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 Harding and so many more….

    2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival. Over the last decade, the festival has brought to Bath and beyond, over 2,500 incredible author and illustrator events and workshops which have been enjoyed by over a ¼ of a million children, parents and teachers.

    The Bath Children’s Literature Festival, the largest dedicated children’s festival in Europe, has always offered a vibrant array of talks and activities for children and young adults, and this year is no exception.


    • One of the biggest names in children’s books, David Walliams, is coming to the festival for the first time. The event will be a celebration of ‘The World of David Walliams’, with a talk about his career and some of his most popular books.
    • Best selling author and illustrator, Liz Pichon, offers a very special event that will take the audience into the world of Tom Gates.
    • Canadian astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield will launch his new book, The Darkest Dark, at the festival. Chris will talk about how he conquered is fear of the dark as a child and then went on to become Commander of the International Space Station.
    • Former children’s laureate, Michael Morpurgo, will share the inspiration for his books, including his latest novel An Eagle in the Snow which is an extraordinary story of the man who could have stopped World War Two before it began.
    • YA (Young Adult) Day – another former children’s laureate and celebrated YA author, Malorie Blackman, comes to the festival for an exclusive ‘in conversation’ event with radio presenter and author Simon Mayo in which they will discuss their books and all things YA. The programme will also include Robert Muchamore & Sophia Bennett, Sarah J. Mass, Cecilia Ahern & Sophie Kinsella, Kevin Brooks and Frances Harding.
    • Chris Riddell, author of much loved books such as Ottoline and the Goth Girl series, will give a talk about his role as the current children’s laureate and answer questions from his young fans – through live drawing!
    • Team GB’s most successful Olympic athlete and cyclist, Chris Hoy, will introduce his new series of books for young readers entitled Flying Fergus.
    • TV presenter and wildlife champion, Chris Packham, will recall many animal stories as well as talk about his first book, Amazing Animal Journeys.
    • Well-known broadcaster and author, Clare Balding, will entertain and inspire with her talk about her very first book, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop.
    • Comedian, entertainer and writer, Julian Clary, will team up with illustrator, David Roberts, to introduce their brand new book in the series, The Bolds to the Rescue.
    • Historian and author, Lucy Worsley, will bring Tudor times to life with her novel Eliza Rose. The book explores the life of Katherine Howard and Henry VIII’s court through the eyes of the maid of honour, Eliza Rose.
    • Bestselling illustrator, Axel Scheffler, will do live drawing and storytelling based on family favourites such as Stick Man and Superworm.
    • The Dragon’s Dentist by Tom Morris, adapted from the book by artistic director of the festival, John McLay, will be performed at the Mission Theatre by Next Stage production.
    • The Kids Big Bath Read returns this year. The book under review will be Hamish and the Worldstoppers, written by Danny Wallace and illustrated by Jamie Littler.
    • A series of Masterclasses offering pop-up book making, Doctor Who story writing, collage making and tips on how to become a journalist.
    • Look out for events, activities and competitions to celebrate the 10th anniversary including the CBeebies Radio Bus.The artist who created this year’s programme front cover is Nick Sharratt. Nick will give a talk on his new picture book, The Cat and the King.

    Keep up to date with all the Festival announcements by following us on Twitter @BathFestivals #BathKidsLitFest or Like us on Facebook /BathFestivals

  6. Yep being a teenager can be pretty damn hard but with a handbook that good sitting next to you, it’s not half so bad.

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    Being a teenager in 2015 is not exactly a super sleek, bump free ride, as we all know.  So, when I saw that there is a talk which claims that it will help you to “navigate your way through” the testing times, how could I miss it?  On hand to deliver their pearls of wisdom were authors James Dawson and Hayley Long, each bringing their different books and genders to the table, combining their understanding and humour.  The result? A hilarious but helpful and insightful talk.


    Now, as a girl about to turn 16, I feel that I could do with a bit of help on answering some of life’s great mysteries.  Who better to do that than Hayley Long?  BEING A GIRL is her first nonfiction book and it covers everything that we girls have to go through from makeup to hormones; the tricky matter of school hierarchies and lots of other issues which tax the teenage girl’s brain.   Being a teenage boy however isn’t something which I can claim to know much about so I was interested to hear about life for the other 50% of the teenage population. Luckily, James knows a lot about it.  He is a former PHSE teacher, specialising in YA books, both fiction and non-fiction.  BEING A BOY, is his ultimate guide for boys on all things to do with relationships and all puberty stuff…


    Both books cover serious, and at times scary topics in a very witty and light-hearted way and the discussion at the Guildhall did the same.

    Later, the floor was opened up to us as we asked all our teenage niggles and deeper Q’s to the ‘box of secret truths’… and you know one answer that did emerge? Yep being a teenager can be pretty damn hard…. but with a handbook that good sitting next to you, it’s not half so bad.


    Written by Meg Allen

    15 Years

  7. With that, she hands out minute copies of her books, deposits the teeny-weeny model of Saturn back in its box (“my current favourite small object”) and sends her audience out into the autumn afternoon to look at the world through new eyes.

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    Where else would you find a miniature boat, a tiny sheep, a miniscule candy cane, penguin-ing children, poisonous sea snakes, and an entire planetary system paced out around the room by a group of volunteers from the audience than at a talk by Fleur Hitchcock, author of the Shrunk series and The Trouble with Mummies, to name but a few of her books.

    Hitchcock likes things small. From childhood she has had a particular affection for model villages, places where the roofs of houses reach only as high as the knees of children – make a trip to Beckonscot, Babbacombe and Godshill if you too want to feel like a giant.

    When her son decides to build his own model village at home, Hitchcock asks him how he might go about it. “I’m just going to shrink stuff” is the answer. He demonstrates his method: join the thumb and forefinger on one hand to make a circle, look through it, and measure between the thumb and forefinger of your other hand what you can see in the distance. “That’s how!”

    So it is that Tom, the hero of Shrunk, who lives near the Bywater-on-Sea Model Village, wishes on a falling star and develops the ability to minimise objects, one of which just happens to be the planet Saturn. Cue Hitchcock’s presentation to her wondering audience of a teeny-weeny planet, small enough to fit inside the yellow capsule contained within a Kinder chocolate egg.

    Her brain buzzes constantly with “a kaleidoscope of ideas that I have to wrench into order.” So many and various are her thoughts they could never all fit into one single novel, not least because “it would be impossible to read”. Hence a series of deeply imaginative books reflecting her diverse interests.

    There’s a lot of stuff about ballroom dancing in The Yoghurt Problem, while Dear Scarlett grew out of Hitchcock’s vision of a young jewel thief pushing a pram filled with swag, and tackles the conundrum of how to steal a penguin. She is drawn towards the uncomfortable – children who are slow to make friends at school, siblings who squabble – for that is where life gets interesting.

    “What I’ve tried to show you,” says Hitchcock, “is the very random selection of things that go on when I try to write a book.” With that, she hands out minute copies of her books, deposits the teeny-weeny model of Saturn back in its box (“my current favourite small object”) and sends her audience out into the autumn afternoon to look at the world through new eyes.

    Claudia Pugh-Thomas at Fleur Hitchcock on Saturday 26 September as part of The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival continues until Sunday 4 October 2015

    Bath Box Office 01225 463362

  8. Kessler has fulfilled her promise to entertain us to a tee, as the long queue of eager Windsnappers keen to get their books signed justly confirms.

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    Liz Kessler is here to have fun, and her good humour is immediately infectious. A natural entertainer, and the successful author of sixteen books from Meet the Real Poppy to Read Me Like a Book, she promises to entertain her audience, but she fervently hopes “that you will also entertain me.” So follows a madcap mix of excerpts from Kessler’s Emily Windsnap series, a bit of show-and-tell, a hilarious game show, general absurdity, belly laughs, and flying sweets.

    Her latest publication, Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls, is the sixth in the popular series chronicling the adventures of young Emily, who discovers at her first swimming lesson in Book One that she turns into a mermaid once immersed in water. Kessler talks of Emily as of an old friend: “Emily and I have done lots together. She chose me to tell her story.”

    Celebrations ensue. The audience is divided into two teams, children and adults – the Elowens and the Mermaids respectively – and presented with a number of challenges. Hands shoot up into the air, children’s hands, that is. The adults need a little more encouragement to get up onto the stage, don a blonde curly wig and brush their hair enticingly for challenge number one: who can do the best impression of a Siren? Not the weeh-waah noise that emanates from a police car pursuing a suspect, mind you, but the song of the beautiful women of Greek mythology who lure sailors to the rocks.

    Challenge two requires a blindfold for Pin-the-tail-on-the-Mermaid. “You do know it’s meant to go over your eyes?” Kessler chides the volunteer for the Mermaid team. So far, it’s two points for the Elowens, and none for the Mermaids. But that could all be about to change, not least because now it’s the quick fire round for super-fans of the series: the first to buzz in and give the correct answer gets a point. For sure, the Mermaids are going to win as our volunteer – well, actually the adult volunteered for the challenge by Kessler herself – is Kessler’s own publisher. It’s going to be a guaranteed win for the adults, right? Or maybe not. Kessler’s mock horror at her publisher’s failure to answer the first question, and then the second, and then the third has the audience in stitches. And to finish, an impersonation of Neptune, crown and trident fashioned from tin foil to lend authenticity to the performance.

    It’s a close run thing, but the Elowens manage to grab victory by a whisker. There’s just time for a quick Q and A session. “What made you become an author?” “ I think you sort of are, you don’t become it. If I’m not writing, the world doesn’t make any sense to me.” And then, all too soon, our forty-five minutes are up. Kessler has fulfilled her promise to entertain us to a tee, as the long queue of eager Windsnappers keen to get their books signed justly confirms.

    Claudia Pugh – Thomas at Liz Kessler – Emily Windsnap and The Ship Of Lost Souls Sunday 27 September: The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2015

    The Festival continues until Sunday 4 October See the full programme here

    Bath Box Office 01225 463 362