Tag Archive: Children’s Literature Festival


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    The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival begins on Friday 25th September (through to Sunday 4th October) I’m incredibly excited to be part of it for the first time it this year. It’s something that has been on my bookish bucket list for a while but I’ve been unable to fulfil – UNTIL NOW.

    And when I check things off my bucket list, I do it in style. 😉

    Come the 25th September I’ll be on the train heading straight for the wonderful city of Bath and all the magical literary excitement that awaits. I’ve managed to secure the entire week off work and plan to enjoy my first Children’s Literature Festival to its fullest.

    There are so many things that I can’t wait to see/attend (it’s at these times that you really wish you could make copies of yourself to experience it all). Here are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to:

    Patrick Ness by Helen Giles

    Seeing Patrick Ness again, The Big Cuddle with Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell (which looks too cute for words). Bath Picks 2015 with Sarah Crossan, Sarah Benwell and Virginia Bergin. Then there is Holly Smale who I first met at her very first book launch.

    Michael Rosen hi res

    I’m also really interested to see how The Daily Telegraph’s Diversity Debate goes. Diversity in books is very important to me so I will be paying extra close attention to this one.


    And because I’m fortunate in having the opportunity to review events I get to attend things like Anna Wilson’s Alice in Wonderland Journey or Make Your Own Colouring Book sans child and still have all the fun.

    Countdown begins now…

    Blog written by:

    Luna’s Little Library has been a successful book blog for 3 ½ years. In that time I have read and reviewed over 500 books, from children’s, YA to Adult. There are no plans to stop any time soon.

    This year Luna’s Little Library was shortlisted both for Champion of Diversity in YA and Champion of Content in the 2015 UKYA Blogger Awards.

    Twitter: @lunaslibrary



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    The Bath Kids Lit Festival was the first literature festival I ever attended – who am I kidding, it was the first festival of any kind I’ve ever attended.  I first popped along in 2013, in the festival’s 6th year having arranged to meet up with someone who I’d been trying to meet for well over a year.

    The festival became the first time I’d spoken to an author (in fact several) and the year it clicked that authors are people too, people that just so happen to have similar interests – the only real difference is they have the ability to craft stories that will take you on magical adventures, experience powerful emotions, make you cry and make you jump up and shout yes! And there lies the beauty of the Bath Kids Lit Fest, in it’s 9th year it’s still making it possible to meet your favourite authors and listen to what they have to say, bringing in the well known authors like Jacqueline Wilson, James Dawson and Holly Smale.

    As well as showcasing new and upcoming talent – I’m particularly looking forward to for instance Bath Picks: Sarah Benwell, Sarah Crossan and Virgina Bergin. And that’s not all – for aspiring writers there are panels about writing for young people and panels about Writing Doctor Who and for film.  Not to mention the Shaun the Sheep modelling workshops (had to give those a shout out!), Pugs from Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve, mystery and bun breaks from Elen Caldetcott and Robin Stevens.

    This years programme is so good the only downside is how you’re going to fit it all in!

    Echoing the online UKYA and UKMG communities the Bath Kids Lit Fest brings together a passionate group of people in a celebration of children’s literature.  Readers (both young and not so), writers, illustrators, publishers – in fact anyone with an interest in children’s publishing and books will find something for them. All set in and around the beautiful buildings like the Guildhall which make Bath and the Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival such a special and exciting place to be.

    Jesse Owen

    To follow Jesse’s twitter the visit https://twitter.com/ThatJesseBloke

    or visit his website on http://www.thatjessebloke.co.uk/


  3. A fantastic line-up of YA Authors confirmed for The Telegraph Children’s Bath Literature Festival

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    This year’s festival, running from 25 September to 4 October has pulled out all the stops to ensure there’s plenty over the 10 day festival to involve and interest the Bath teen audiences. Here’s a brief round-up of some of the events:

    Double Carnegie medal winner Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy will talk about his experiences as a writer as well as sharing his latest novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

    Joe Sugg is a YouTube Star with over 4 million subscribers and he’s coming to Bath to discuss his first book, Username: Evie, an original and imaginative graphic novel. Ticket price will include a signed copy of the book and there’ll also be a chance for 50 fans chosen randomly on the night to meet Joe in person.

    Acclaimed YA authors James Dawson and Hayley Long appear in a frank, funny, straight talking event about all things teen.

    Holly Smale is Young Adult Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner and creator of the bestselling Geek Girl books. Come and hear all about All That Glitters, the latest calamity-strewn adventure starring Harriet Manners.

    On an exclusive visit from the US, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly joins us to talk about the third book in the Waterfire Saga, Dark Tide whilst three amazing authors Arabella Weir, Jenny McLachlan and Katy Birchall talk about the amusing and peculiar perils of being a modern day teen as well as confessing some of their own teen misadventures.

    Master storyteller Derek Landy has built a loyal following of devoted Skullduggery Pleasant fans. He’s written a new and epic saga, Demon Road, full of his trademark action, wit and razor sharp dialogue. Come prepared for undead serial killers, vampires and killer cars!

    Sheila Rance has written a stunning fantasy adventure called Sun Catcher and will be running a masterclass in creative writing and world building – this is your chance to turn the ideas in your mind into reality on the page.

    Joe Abercrombie and Philip Reeve, two young adult storytellers at the top of their craft, transport you into two incredible worlds in turns brutal, fantastical and amazing.

    Fancy yourself as a bit of a Hunger Games expert? Join the eccentric host Caesar Flickerman for the ultimate Hunger Games quiz. Test your knowledge of the books and pit yourself against the other in Panem for the chance to win some fantastic prizes. Not to be missed.

    And a whole host of other events including Diversity: The Daily Telegraph Debate with Lorna Bradbury and Liz Kessler and Bali Rai and An Appreciation of Children’s Literature.

    And Gill McLay introduces Sarah Crossan, Sarah Benwell and Virginia Bergin all exciting new young adult authors.

    You can book tickets for all events by telephone 01225 463362, online at www.bathfestivals.org.uk or in person at the Bath Box Office.


  4. 10 Things You Might Not Know About David Almond

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    Six enthusiastic members of Festival sponsors’ BGS Juniors Year 6 Book Committee were lucky enough to get their hands on tickets for the fabulous Robert Muchamore and Sophie McKenzie event at this year’s Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival.

    Even better, thanks to Bristol Grammar School’s long-standing connection with the Festival, they were given the opportunity to interview this year’s Guest Artistic Director, author David Almond, before the event. Their conversation covered a huge range of topics, from his childhood to his inspiration and they found out ten things about David Almond that not everybody knows…

    1. Most of all he wanted to play football for Newcastle United (he may still get his chance if their season doesn’t improve!)
    2. He believes children are more important than politicians because they are the future.
    3. He prefers writing for children to adults.
    4. He was the first boy at his school to do cookery (because he didn’t want to do metalwork).
    5. His favourite artist is Picasso.
    6. He is working on an opera about football.
    7. He used to write in his shed but it got too cold, so he now writes in Newcastle Library.
    8. The house featured in Skellig was the house he was brought up in.
    9. Of all his books, he would most like The Fire Eaters to be turned into a movie.
    10. He doesn’t plan his books, he just starts writing.

    You can read a transcript of the complete conversation with David Almond on the Bristol Grammar School website.

  5. An interview with Sally Green

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    The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival, 28 September, a glorious Sunday afternoon. A posse of Lower Sixth girls at the packed-out, BGS-sponsored event, keen to hear established novelists Marcus Sedgwick and Sally Green who burst on to the scene in March.

    Upbeat music welcomes Sally on stage: presenter Gill McLay explains that Marcus is stuck on a ’plane somewhere. Sighs of disappointment … until Gill delves into the main themes of Green’s debut, Half Bad. Sally wanted to ‘turn good and bad stereotypes on their heads’. Racism and prejudice are rife as her protagonist Nathan is persecuted by white witches because of his black witch father, the evil Marcus (‘Not this Marcus,’ Sally jokes, referring to the absent Sedgwick). Nathan wasn’t easy to write, Sally explains. ‘He’s the good guy who does bad things. He swears a lot for one.’ Laughter from the audience: Nathan’s foul language helps make him lovable.

    Suddenly a remarkably cool, non-evil Marcus Sedgwick runs in, joining in with incredible ease. ‘Do you write characters opposite to yourself, as a deliberate challenge?’ he’s asked. ‘There’s always an element of challenge,’ he replies. ‘That’s the point of being a writer.’ ‘Half Bad and Ghosts of Heaven (Sedgwick’s new title) are both quite violent,’ Gill observes, wondering if novelists feel the need to censor themselves. ‘Not at all,’ says Marcus, and Sally agrees. He refers to a rape scene from his novel Revolver: ‘Young people may not understand what’s going on; adults probably do. Somewhere in the middle, teens realise: then it’s their choice – whether to keep reading or not.’ Murmurs of interested agreement from the audience.

    Smiling, Gill turns to research: ‘Sally, Half Bad takes place in this world, but how did you research the witches and other supernatural things?’ Green cringes. ‘I hate research. I think I did about ten minutes: apart from that I made it all up. With Half Wild now I’m doing a lot more, interviews about soldiers coming home from Afghanistan and what they go through. Nathan’s mind changes a lot through the new book: I wanted to develop that.’ Half Wild is her second novel, out in March. ‘Now I need to start the third one in the series, but I keep putting it off. It’s just that first blank page that stares at you. But after that I can just write, the story just pours out of me. Then I’m fine.’

    By Guest Blogger, Olivia Clements from Bristol Grammar School

    Read a full interview by the pupils of Bristol Grammar School with Sally Green here

  6. YA Author Talks for Ages 12+

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    Adolescence can be difficult to navigate, but YA authors and poets create worlds of fantasy and intrigue that help us cope with problems we face growing up. Poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah will discuss the social and political issues of his new book Terror Kid, and the way the passion of a young man can take a deadly turn.

    We’re also joined by two authors with their fingers on the pulse of current affairs. Robert Muchamore and Sophie McKenzie will talk about both of their latest adventure novels for young adults: Muchamore’s Rock War and McKenzie’s Split Second. These bestselling authors will also talk about writing suspenseful and stimulating plots in YA novels. Bestselling fantasy writers Garth Nix and Joe Abercrombie will also discuss their latest novels: Nix’s prequel to his Old Kingdom series, Clariel, and Abercrombie’s debut into YA fiction with Half a King.

    In the works of Sally Green and Marcus Sedgewick fantasy and magic take a darker turn. Sedgewick’s The Ghosts of Heaven took years of preparation to write and delves into humankind’s past, while Green’s Half Bad relates the story of rival groups of witches in the modern world.

    The darker side of fiction continues with Michael Grant discussing his new series, Messenger of Fear, and he’s joined by Moira Young, author of the best-selling dystopian trilogy Dust Lands. Lucy Mangan from The Guardian will join Grant and Young as they talk about their books.

    To cap off the Festival, join our Guest Artistic Director, David Almond, and fellow authors Melvin Burgess and Mal Peet, as they talk with publisher David Fickling about the YA genre, and whether  authors, publishers, and readers all view this fairly new category with the same fondness.

    by Festival Intern Chelsea Winebrener
  7. History Events with a Twist for Ages 8+

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    If you’ve got a small history-lover in your life, then these events should be all you need to keep their brains fully occupied during the Festival:

    Fan of the Horrible Histories CBBC television series? Well come along and meet the illustrator of the Horrible Histories books, Martin Brown. History doesn’t have to be boring, especially when Martin brings history to life through his artwork, with ‘helpful’ suggestions from the audience of course!

    Though their reign of terror on the high seas is long over, the thought of Viking conquests can still strike fear into our hearts. Join Thomas Williams, Project Curator for the Vikings: Life and Legend exhibition at the British Museum, as he tells the story of King Harald Sigurdsson, last king of the Vikings, and learn more about Viking warriors, their travel, conquests, and beliefs.

    Learn about Borgon the Axeboy from the author who created him, Kjartan Poskitt. He’ll be talking about the first book in his new series, Borgon the Axeboy and the Dangerous Breakfast, where you’ll meet the young barbarian Borgon and his friends and family, and you just might learn that some breakfasts are more dangerous to have than others!

    Come see the cover illustrator of the 2014 Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival brochure, Chris Riddell, talk about the second book in his Goth Girl series, Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death. He’ll also talk about his inspiration for his stories and offer drawing tips for young artists.

    Animals have always played an important role in wartime, acting as mascots, messengers and sometimes even spies. David Long, author of Jet the Rescue Dog, and Damian Kelleher, author of Dog in No Man’s Land, will talk about these brave animals and their importance in the war effort.

    by Festival Intern Chelsea Winebrener
  8. Silly and Fun Events for Ages 7+ and Family

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    If you are trying to find the perfect event to give the whole family a case of the giggles then look no further than these brilliant, hilarious events.

    The Big Bath Book Quiz opens the doors for the rest of the Festival’s fun-packed events. Start off the Festival by testing your book smarts in teams of one, two, or three for the chance to win cool prizes! Special prizes will be awarded to those who come dressed as their favourite book characters. Your quizmaster, children’s author and part-time hazelnut Andy Stanton, is sure to bring the laughter.

    For similar side-splitting fun, come meet poet and author Andy Seed for the interactive hour Seriously Silly Stuff, full of silly jokes, puzzles, games, and challenges. You certainly won’t be bored with activities based on The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff and the Anti-Boredom Book of Brilliant Things To Do.

    Love reading, but don’t really care for maths? Author of the Murderous Maths series Kjartan Poskitt invites you to combine your love of reading with improving your maths skills in a fun and informative session, in which he shares stories, puzzles, jokes and more. You’ll never have realised maths could be so much fun.

    Having a reading disability does not mean you shouldn’t have a love of reading. Henry Winkler, actor and author of the Hank Zipzer books, will make an appearance to discuss the challenges he faced overcoming dyslexia to pursue acting, writing, and directing. He will also talk about his new mission with First News editor Nicky Cox to show children it’s possible to succeed in life no matter the challenges you face.

    Comedian and author of the weird and wacky children’s book series Boyface, James Campbell, will no doubt bring the laughter as he discusses his Boyface books. Someone who can rearrange patterns on animals, like Boyface and his family can, certainly makes for a silly time!

    by Festival Intern Chelsea Winebrener
  9. Could you be our Young Festival Reporter?

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    Do you fancy yourself the next TinTin or Sarah Jane Smith? Have you got a way with words, and think you can ask the questions no-one else will dare?

    The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival is looking for a Young Festival Reporter to go behind the scenes and give an insider’s view on this year’s Festival.

    You’ll attend two Festival events free of charge, and have the chance to meet and interview authors in our Writer’s Room. You’ll then write up your experience, which will appear on our Festival Blog.

    We’re looking for someone aged between 10 and 15 years old. You’ll need to be free on either Saturday 4 or Sunday 5 October, to attend the Festival. If you are aged 12 or under, you’ll need to be accompanied by an adult, but if you’re 13 or over you can bring a friend.

    If you’d like to secure yourself this exciting position you’ll need to submit 100 words on why you think you’d make a perfect Young Festival Reporter, and why you’re looking forward to the Festival. Send your submission to beth.cutter@bathfestivals.org.uk by Monday 22 September to be in with a chance.

    Rita Skeeters need not apply!