It’s almost three weeks since the second Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, after which I dashed off to Verona. Now that I’m back I wanted to share a few photos (of the festival – not Verona!) and a weekend date for your next year’s diary – Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May 2017 when the third festival will take place. Sign up here to be added to their mailing list (scroll down once you land on the page).
A children’s festival with big ambitions
On the evening that marked the end of last year’s inaugural one-day festival I marvelled at the energy of local mum, book publicist and festival organiser, Amanda Brettargh, as she enthused about making the following year’s event twice the size and spread over two days instead of one. Anyone else in her shoes at that time would have been sinking back in a chair with a well-deserved gin and tonic and worrying about next year another time…!
Amanda certainly doesn’t do things by halves and this year those ambitions were well and truly fulfilled. With over 50 author events held across nine venues over the two-day period, and over 5,000 tickets and £15,000 of children’s / YA books sold, the festival is now firmly on the literary map and not to be missed if you live within reach.
Not only are you guaranteed a mix of bestselling authors across all age ranges (this year included Judith Kerr, Alex Scheffler, Michael Morpurgo, Lauren Child, Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Reeve, Cornelia Funke and Frances Hardinge – to name but a very few), but children can also enjoy free storytelling and other creative workshops around the pond throughout the weekend. What better excuse do you need to spend time with your children in one of the prettiest villages in southwest London?
I couldn’t be everywhere by any means. Below I let I’ll let the pictures and captions tell the story that I saw…
As part of my launch of Walter Brown and the Magican’s Hat at the festival I took along props for my reading and a young audience member enacted the scene where Walter opens the battered box and finds the hat left to him by his Great-grandpa. (Sadly I didn’t manage to get a photo of this!)
I also had a free prize draw that children entered over the weekend. Top left shows the top hat the moment before the draw on Sunday night. The lucky winner was nine-year-old Ben Nicholson from Putney whose mother kindly sent me the photo below!
A few shots of Barnes village – not a bad place to spend the weekend!
Screen Your Story event – still to come
In July there will be a screening at the Barnes Olympic Cinema of the winner of the children’s Screen Your Story Competition Find out more about Screen Your Story here
Below is an earlier tweet showing the cinema. You can follow me @kareninglis btw
A few great links
- My life in books: an interview with Judith Kerr at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival
- Jacqueline Wilson in the Bigtop Marquee at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival
- Lauren Child and David Mackintosh – in conversation at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival in the Booktop Marquee
- My in-depth interview with Cornelia Funke ahead of the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival – on creativity and her decision to self-publish her latest book (opens in a new tab on my writers’ blog)
This is just my story – and doesn’t do justice to all the venues and many readings and talks that went on – nor to the wonderful atmosphere of the weekend. Still, I hope it has inspired you to make a note in your diaries to come along next year. Remember – you can sign up for news about next year’s Barnes Children’s Literature Festival here.
Oh, ok – since you insist, here’s one shot from Verona 🙂
Hmm – I see below that my last blog post was a year ago! I really must find a bit more time to post in between my writing and school visits! However, remember you can also find me on twitter and facebook