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Days Out

Children's Book Festivals

With television, computers and video games picking up a book is not an easy sell. These literary festivals around the UK are a great way to encourage young readers by introducing them to authors and illustrators and showing them that nothing compares to an old fashion literary adventure.

The Big Write @ Discover

1-9 Mar, 2012

Authors, illustrators, artists and storytellers take over the Discover story centre and transform every corner into a treasure trove of words, pictures and stories. With over 50 events, there is something for all ages: tumbling toddlers, emerging readers, aspiring writers and confident book-lovers.

Children’s Book Festival Surrey

24 Mar-7 Apr, 2012

The third book festival held by Surrey libraries' for children takes place in libraries and other venues throughout Woking, Guildford, Surrey Heath and Waverley boroughs. Children can join best-selling authors and illustrators in creative workshops or create their own newspapers and pick up some writing tips from award winning author, Pete Johnson.

Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival

24 Mar-1 Apr, 2012

From pre-schoolers to young adults the Oxford Literary Festival promisses exciting events full of laughter, fun, ideas, information and inspiration. This year, help celebrate some significant anniversaries: the bicentenary of Dickens’s birth, the 110th birthday of Peter Rabbit, the centenary of the Tarzan stories and 25 magical years of Winnie the Witch.

The London Book Fair

16-18 April, 2012

Every spring, at the London Book Fair,  is the capital, visitors have a chance to hear from authors and explore the what is new in the publishing and cultural circles. This year, the F is promoting a Children's Publishing seminar packed full with an speakers, authors, debate, stats, innovative ideas and fun! Look out for Michael Rosen; Celia Rees; Julia Donaldson; Bali Rai; Patrick Ness; Mal Peet; Moira Young and many others.The Children's Innovation Zone is dedicated to promoting exciting new ideas specific to Children's publishing.


Hay Fever Festival

31 May-10 Jun, 2012

During summer half-term the gates of Dairy Meadows in Hay welcome thousands of families to Hay Fever. This year look out for literary heroes including: Lauren Child, Eoin Colfer, Cressida Cowell, Polly Dunbar, Charlie Higson, Axel Scheffler, Marcus Sedgwick, Darren Shan, Francesca Simon, Andy Stanton, Jeremy Strong, Patrick Ness, Jacqueline Wilson and so many more.


Manchester Children’s Book Festival

28 June-8 Jul, 2012

Every two year Manchester Children's Book Festival celebrates reading with eleven days of fun, events and activities to inspire children to get involved with the world of books.

Port Eliot Literary Festival

19-22 July, 2012

Port Eliot is one of the most beautiful places in the country for both adults and children. Whether you explore the vast lawns, relax in the spring woodland gardens, seek an adventure in the House or get lost in the maze, there is an endless list of activities to look forward to when attending the Festival. Check the festival's website for more information on this year's events and special guests.


Bath Festival of Children's Literature

28 Sept.-7 Oct, 2012

The Daily Telegraph Bath Festival of Children's Literature aims to offer something for children of all ages, from babies to teenagers, and for parents and adults interested in reading. The Festival has some of the best authors, illustrators and storytellers around. Past line ups included Robert Muchamore, Jacqueline Wilson, Andy Stanton, Darren Shan, Jeremy Strong and others. Check the festival's website for news and events regarding this year's festival. 

Appledore Book Festival

28 Sept.-7 Oct, 2012


Located on the coast of a world biosphere site, the Appledore Book Festival will included talks from a number of authors, as well as readings. Former children's laureate, Anthony Browne will be on-hand to discuss his latest effort, 'How Do You Feel?' Other talks will be given by Victoria Eveleigh, Ali Sparkes, and Paul Stickland, author of hugely successful children's book, Dinosaur Roar.


Ilkley Literature Festival

28 Sept.-14 Oct, 2012


The highlight of this year's Ilkley Literature Festival will be the appearance of Michael Morpurgo, former children's laureate and author of the acclaimed book, 'War Horse,' supporting his latest book 'The Best Christmas Present in the World.' Other noteable appearances include Fiona Dunbar and Curtis Jobling, designer of Bob the Builder.

Book It! Cheltenham Festival

5-14 Oct, 2012


At the Book It Cheltenham Festival, children can meet some of their favourite characters from literature, participate in games, and attend story times with authors. Saturdays are free family fun days at the Cheltenham Festival with poem workshops, drawing, and theatre performances.

Wimbledon BookFest

6-14 Oct, 2012

In 2006 Tony Kane and Fiona Razvi created Bookfest to raise cultural activity and awareness in Wimbledon. Today, it continues as a nine day festival held in October. Featuring author events in venues in and around the local area. Storytelling, motivational author events, scriptwriting workshops, journalist and writer panels, play readings are just a few of the activities available for children. Past authors include: Tracey Chevalier, Daisy Goodwin, Oona King, and The Wombles.


Guildford Book Festival

18-27 Oct, 2012


This year's Guildford Book Festival in Surrey will host a number of authors and illustrators, in addition to hosting the 45th birthday celebration of Puffin. Children's activities will take place on both Saturdays that are covered by festival dates at a number of locations around Guildford. Families will be able to meet Andy Stanton, author of Mr. Gum the series and hear the latest goings on of Mr. Gum. Emma Fisher will be on hand to read Peter Bentley's book 'King Jack and the Dragon,' while using movement, instruments, and rhyme to bring the book to life in a new way.

GobbleDEEbook Festival

20-27 Oct, 2012


Just in time for half-term fun, the GobbleDEEbook Festival will include books about ninja meerkats, magical mice, and the 100th anniversary of the Tarzan story. There will also be workshops, poetry, and music presented in a child friendly format.


Wessex Children's Book Festival

30 Oct-2 Nov, 2012


The Wessex Children's Book Festival includes loads of books and author talks, as would be expected, but also features t-shirt screen printing, drawing workshops using block printing and stenciling techniques, and a paper engineering workshop which will see children leave with their own pop-up.


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