Happy 10th Birthday, Bath Children's Literature Festival!

Several members of JAB have been attending the Bath Children's Literature Festival since the very beginning and have gone back each year. I can't believe that it started 10 years ago!

The atmosphere at Bath is unique. The events are spread over a range of venues which you might think would spoil the 'Festival feel'. Instead, each location has an individual atmosphere with friendly helpers and a real book buzz! Whether at Bath Central Library, at the Guildhall or the Mission Theatre, the excitement and joy of being at the festival is evident to all! The selection of events is always excellent with something for the youngest as well as the YA audience.

The following is information about the festival from those who know it best!

The Bath Children’s Literature Festival will celebrate its 10th birthday with an outstanding line-up of well-known and much-loved authors and illustrators. In this important year, the founders and artistic directors, John & Gill McLay, reflect of the festival’s many achievements.

Gill says, “Over the last 10 years, the festival has seen over 2,500 events, some 600 school events in central Bath and further afield and a staggering quarter of amillion kids and families attending from a demographic range of 50,000 miles. That’s the equivalent of flying around the globe - twice!"

As well as thanking all of the authors, illustrators, friends, patrons, organisers and volunteers involved since its inception, John & Gill would like to express their appreciation of the festival’s many fans - the parents and children who regularly attend, making it all possible.

John McLay says “To mark this special occasion, we want to create a legacy that will inspire children to read, write, draw and develop their creativity. We have so many events for children to participate in such as The Big Bath Read which encourages children to read and discuss the book, 'Hamish and the Worldstoppers' written by Danny Wallace and illustrated by Jamie Littler. We have an array of creative writing masterclasses, including a Dr Who adventure with the author of several Dr Who novels and audio dramas, Andrew Lane; a journalism workshop run the by children’s newspaper, First News; a poetry workshop with performance poet, Joseph Coelho from CBeebies Rhyme Rocket; a collage workshop with award-winning illustrator, Britta Teckentrup and writing workshops hosted by Skellig author, David Almond and MA Writing for Young People course director, Julia Green.”

John continues “The festival is for children of all ages, from 18 months up to 18 years. This year’s young adult (YA) programme includes an extensive range of events including a discussion between Malorie Blackman and Simon Mayo about all things YA; best-selling author of the Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas; Cecelia Ahern and Sophie Kinsella who make their debut into the world of YA and acclaimed and prize-winning author of The Book of Dead Days, Marcus Sedgwick, to name but a few.”

2016 is also an important year for many of the festival’s authors. Peter Rabbit will be celebrating 150 years of Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl’s 100th year will be marked with a workshop to decide his most villainous villain, Winnie-the-Pooh will reach the ripe old age of 90 and Maisy the Mouse celebrates her 25th birthday. Many happy returns!

Tickets are now on sale. To purchase tickets call the Bath Box Office on 01225 463362 or book online at www.bathfestivals.org.uk.

This year, most members of JAB will attending events. Anyone who is thinking about going and is dithering- dither no longer! We would love to see you there!