LITFEST 2019: children's programme revealed - with wizards, naughtiness, magic, bears...Cressida Cowell, David Baddiel, Chris Riddell an' allMarlborough LitFest aims to promote a love of books and reading in its younger audience and this year’s children’s line-up is more packed than ever, with a host of headlining children’s authors including Cressida Cowell, David Baddiel and illustrator, Chris Riddell, as well as events and new outreach programmes to cater for all ages at this year’s10th anniversary Festival.
The children's programme looks as though it will be a really big draw. As Louise Tinker, who is a member of the Marlborough LitFest committee, says: “It' s going to be a particularly exciting children's programme this year. A chance for young readers to meet the authors whose books they have so enjoyed.”
Bestselling children’s author Cressida Cowell of How To Train Your Dragon, is no stranger to Marlborough. A former student at the college, she entranced audiences at the inaugural LitFest in 2010.
Since that appearance, her Dragon series has sold more than eight million copies and become a major DreamWorks movie franchise – the third film came out earlier this year.
Cowell has also written a new bestselling series, The Wizards of Once and will be talking about the latest instalment, Knock Three Times, as well as her Dragon books, and offering tips on how to become a children’s author.
Cressida will be appearing at Marlborough Town Hall on Saturday, 28 September at 4.30pm. (Suitable for 9+ year olds.)
Following in the footsteps of 2018's sell-out events with David Walliams, 2019 brings another comedian, TV presenter and writer to Marlborough: David Baddiel - photo above. His debut children’s novel, The Parent Agency, was a bestseller in 2014 and since then, he’s written four more bestselling books aimed at 9-12 year olds.
His latest, Head Kid, is about the naughtiest boy in the school swapping bodies with his ultra-strict headmaster. Baddiel has also written four novels for adults and continues to tour as a stand-up comedian. He will appear at the Memorial Hall, Marlborough College on Sunday, 29 September at 3pm. (Suitable for 9-12 year olds.)
Former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell OBE is renowned for his illustrations in his own and other children’s books including the Goth Girl series, The Edge Chronicles, Ottoline, Muddle Earth, The Emperor of Absurdia and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
His own latest book is Guardians of Magic, the first in a new series, The Cloud Horse Chronicles, in which three ordinary children, with extraordinary gifts, come together to defeat the enemies who threaten the mysterious cloud horses.
Chris Riddell will be appearing at Marlborough Town Hall on Sunday, 29 September at 12 noon. (Suitable for 9-12 year olds.)
The bestselling author of Sir Charlie Stinky Socks, Kristina Stephenson will be leading a lively interactive event with music and theatrics for her young fans at this year’s LitFest. She will be talking about her picture book, Why Are There So Many Books About Bears?
Stephenson’s career as a producer and writer for the BBC led to the zany world of Sir Charlie and she will be appearing at St Mary’s Church Hall on Saturday, 28 September at 10.30am. (Suitable for 4+ years.)
Free Events for Schools...
Every year, LitFest is pleased to able to offer free events with popular authors for invited local schools. Since its launch in 2010 the Festival has reached more than 3,500 children with these author talks.
This year John Dougherty, poet and author of Stinkbomb and Ketchup Face, will be entertaining children from local primary schools and the prolific local author Geraldine McCaughrean will be this year’s Big School Read at St John’s Academy for local secondary schools. She will be talking about her most recent book Where the World Ends.
...and reaching further
The LitFest has always been about encouraging reading and writing for everyone in the Marlborough area - and beyond - whether or not they are regular festival goers.
All local primary schools are invited to enter our annual competition with prizes donated by Haine & Smith Opticians. A few lucky schools will have the added bonus of being able to choose books up to £200 in value for their school library.
In addition to free events for schools in and around the town, LitFest is supporting a visit by Maz Evans, author of Who Let the Gods Out, to St Margaret’s in Calne for their local primary schools.
LitFest is also working with the Friends of Erlestoke and the HMP Erlestoke library to support the provision of book bags for children visiting family members and to arrange an author event.
Marlborough Dyslexic Association will be at St Mary’s School on Friday, 27 September when Tom McLaughlin - award-winning dyslexic author and illustrator - will be explaining how he uses his skills to inspire young readers.
LitFest's Free Under 5s Storytelling returns at Marlborough Library – join in for 30 minutes of stories and laughter on Friday, 27 September at 10.30am. Older brothers and sisters are welcome too.
Marlborough LitFest’s children’s events are sponsored by St Francis School, marlborough.news, Hamilton Trust and The Arts Society.
The full Festival programme will be available in late June and tickets go on sale in early July.
For more information, visit www.marlboroughlitfest.org