Friday, January 26, 2007

New Children's Book Festival

The Bath Festival of Children's Literature, a new annual, independent, festival has been announced, and claims to be the largest celebration of children's literature in the UK, outside of those operating under the auspices of a parent, 'adult' festival such as Hay, Cheltenham or Edinburgh.

The primary audience for the 80 ticketed public events, set to take place 21-30 September, will be children up to 16 and their families, although there will be some events, such as writing and illustration masterclasses, aimed solely at adults. Running alongside the main, ticketed events will an extensive schools and outreach programme in the Bath area, co-ordinated by Gill McLay, who left her position as head of Trade Sales at Egmont Children's Books at the end of 2006.

The Festival aims to attract upwards of 10,000 people, with a stellar roster that includes Eoin Colfer and Garth Nix - both in their only UK festival appearances of the year - Lauren Child, Philip Reeve and Michelle Paver. It will take place in a number of venues across the city, from the Guildhall and Assembly Rooms, to the Pavillion and Central Library.

"The children's book publishers have been very supportive," says Festival Director, John McLay. "I'm very excited about the lineup we have so far, and there may even be a few more surprise guests still to come. Local businesses in Bath and the South-West have been very receptive to our plans, so much so that we are now in a position to stage this ambitious 10-day festival without support from the traditional arts funding bodies."

Jacqueline Wilson will be the star of one of its largest events, at the Bath Pavillion on the opening weekend, in front of an audience of 1,000. "I'm thrilled to be back in Bath for the inaugural Bath Children's Literature Festival," she says. "It's such a special place and I'm always glad of an excuse to visit."

The festival has its own website, or you can email them for more information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you love Children's literature, you should definately check out a special edition of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, with absolutely gorgeous illustrations by a famous Ukrainian graphic artist. It's one of Andersen's stories that not too many kids nowadays have even heard of.

I stumbled across the website, which isn't too shabby itself :)