Introducing Literally’s Sian Smith

Meet Sian, Retired Head, mother of an Author & Illustrator and book lover…

Tracey McGeever asked me to join the team as I had recently retired from Headship and she felt I would have time to spare! I loved the idea of Coventry’s own book festival so I agreed – and that’s when I stopped having any ‘time’ and for the next six months life became a frantic round of meetings, funding discussions / issues as well as the fun part of reading lots of books by the authors and illustrators that had been invited- not that I ever need an excuse to read!

So why did I really agree to get involved? Well I love reading, story telling, theatre, and book shops. I come from a family of readers and storytellers.

My Welsh English teacher, writer father introduced me to many and varied stories, authors and poets and my Irish mother could spin a great yarn and tell endless stories from her childhood. If you have ever been at a Irish family gathering, you will know exactly what I mean!

As an only child, many happy hours were spent ‘escaping ‘ to different places with different people and I envied the ability to write .

Teaching was the best job to allow me to indulge a passion for children’s books – I love them! I love the illustrations, the silliness of many of the stories and mostly I love the way books and stories can light up a child’s world and offer opportunities  to escape into another world, to learn about the world, who they are and who they aspire to be. I’m so lucky and proud now to be able to enjoy, understand and experience the process of creating books though a talented family member who writes and illustrates.

Literally…. gave us the opportunity to give many young and not so young in this city the chance to experience the talents of many authors and illustrators (and the committee loved those opportunities too!) I’ve worked with new people, made new friends and laughed!

Last year was hard work, we had sleepless nights and we hardly stopped to breathe during Festival Week but it was an amazing experience and so here we are again  ….. Meeting, worries, no time BUT… It’s exciting, inspiring and actually I can’t wait for June to do it all again!


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