By this stage the Festival committee will be on their knees, but hopefully thousands of children, young people, families and the whole community will have experienced at least one event that inspires them to love reading and all the benefits that can bring to their lives.
Saturday is the opportunity for families to catch up. We understand that during the working week it is difficult to get out and if your child has not been taken to anything by their school and feels they have missed out this is your opportunity.
Many families will be proudly accompanying their children who have the honour of representing their school at the city Final of the Booked Up Quiz being held at Coventry & Nth Warwickshire Cricket Club.The quiz was the brilliant brainchild of Linda Collingwood, Committee stalwart and librarian at Finham Park School, in year 1 and has continued ever since. As well as being a lot of fun it also helps familiarise pupils in Year 6 with their new secondary school so that it is not such a scary move in September. Each secondary school taking part hosts heats for their feeder primaries to compete for a place in the final. Year 7 pupils at the secondary school are the ones who set the questions to test the teams book knowledge and help run the quiz. It is a great opportunity to show off to their old primary schools! The celebrity host and quizmaster for the day is none other than Kevin Brooks! Once again the quiz is sponsored by the local office of Hays Education to whom we are very grateful
Meanwhile aspiring authors who want to be the next Kevin Brooks or Eoin Colfer have an opportunity to participate in a FREE creative writing tutorial on How to Write for Children from award – winning author Ann Evans in Central Library. Anne had her first novel was published in 1995 and since then there have been another nine. She worked for 13 years at the Coventry Telegraph as a Feature Writer, writing specifically on food and drink, gardens, travel and pets. Her Pet SOS weekly feature won the RSPCA Media Award one year, and the regular animal news helped many homeless cats and dogs find new homes. She regularly runs writing courses and workshops at her Nuneaton studio, and for anyone further afield, has online courses. Budding writers may also find herbook Become A Writer: A Step by Step Guide useful.
Young readers can have an hour of fun with Sam Hay, author of the screamingly funny Undead Pets series, at Waterstones from 11:00 am.Sam Hay began her career in newspapers and worked for BBC Television for ten years before publishing her first book for children in 2005. Since then many titles have followed including novels, non-fiction and educational titles for children of all ages. She’s currently writing two fiction series for children age 8+ – Undead Pets and Screaming Sands. The first book in Sam’s Undead Pets series has been selected as part of the Government’s new ‘Read for My School’ literacy programme. As well as writing for children, Sam continues to freelance for parenting magazines. She also runs several book groups for primary school children, and is passionate about encouraging and improving literacy and creative writing for all.
Running from 12:00 until 2:00 pm there will be Local Voices, Local Lives a drop in session in the Belgrade Theatre Foyer run by Waterstones with some of our very best local authors who have written about Coventry. This is your chance to ask them the things you have always wanted to know about Coventry or just to find out more about them and their books.
Chris Arnot – author of Britain’s Lost Mines, Britain’s Lost Breweries, Fields of Dreams and Britain’s Lost Cricket Festivals
Chris Holland – author of Coventry and Warwickshire 1914-19, The Diary and Scrapbooks of Cordelia Leigh 1914-1919 and Before Gallipoli
David McGrory – author of Coventry Then and Now, Coventry at War, Bloody British History: Coventry and others
Pete Walters – author of Story of Coventry
Meanwhile there is more fun for little ones in Central Library. Mat Head, author of the Warduff picture books about a very distinctive cat will be running a story and craft session from 1:30 until 2:30.
Mat Head has spent the last 15 years working as an art director in advertising. He lives in East Sussex with his partner and two young sons. He has always loved drawing, butalso spent a lot of his childhood outside kicking footballs into flowerbeds. Still a fan of the great outdoors, Mat and his family like to escape in their camper van whenever possible and visit beautiful, mystical places.
Warduff and the Corncob Caper was Mat’s first picture book and in his latest adventure Warduff and the Pelican Pirates , Warduff is down at the harbour one day when he notices something amiss. The penguins have been plundered by a posse of pelican pirates and have returned from their fishing trip empty handed! Warduff must come up with a brilliant plan to outwit the pirates, or they might never eat fish again!
Then there is just time to nip over to the Festival Finale in the Begrade Theatre where we are very proud to present The Wimpy Kid Show at 3:00 p.m.The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a worldwide publishing sensation – in 2012 it was named Blue Peter’s best children’s book of the last 10 years, beating Harry Potter and Horrid Henry to the top spot. The Wimpy Kid Show event has been a sell-out at literature festivals around the country.
This is a new commercial departure for the Festival, but we wanted to bring big events to the city for our young people and families to enjoy together and the Wimpy Kid series of books has enticed more children to read than almost anything else. But it just would not have been possible without the support of the Belgrade Theatre to keep the costs down and it is fantastic to have them on board because they can provide the perfect, convenient city centre venue.
The show is really a must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and great family entertainment. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including a Greg Heffley Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz.
The event also includes exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books, his involvement in the films and showing how he draws the characters.
All those who purchase a book on the day will be eligible for it to be stamped with an exclusive Wimpy Kid Show stamp. Suitable for anybody from 8 to 80. Tickets are selling fast.Remember the cheapest option for booking is online at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/the-wimpy-kid-show
Then it will all be over for another year. Do please tell us what you think of the events. Comment on our blog, or on Facebook and Twitter