Wednesday 25th June – The Inspiration Awards at the heart of the Festival

With apologies – Wednesday was posted but disappeared?? Rest assured it is anything but an empty day!

Our Festival grew out of the very successful Coventry Inspiration Book Awards Imagewhich have been running for 8 years. The idea being that potentially we could have 12 top authors coming to Coventry to collect their awards at a glittering ceremony in St Mary’s Hall. The hall is a magnificent and impressive showcase for our City but can only accommodate a smallish audience and so it was a shame that all their fans did not get to meet them. So doing Festival events while in town seemed like a good idea. The Festival just spread out to include the whole week!

This exciting day kicks off with Dirtie Bertie no less visiting All Souls Primary in the company of author Alan McDonald.After several years acting and directing in a travellinImageg theatre company, he turned full time to writing in 1990 since when he has published over sixty books for children. He is best known for his humorous fiction for the seven to ten age group and Dirtie Bertie celebrated his 10 year anniversary in 2013. About the same time that we began to hear about his arch rival Angela Nicely ( don’t let the name fool you!) Alan will also be talking about his latest book Superhero School.

A fascinating debut author Jamie Buxton is coming to Christ The King.Jamie read English at Cambridge and has been writing all his adult life. He has also travelled extensively in the middle east, which is what inspired Temple Boys as a new way of telling the most famous story ever told. He had to go beyond the sights, sounds and smells of old Jerusalem to try and understand what an orImagedinary boy would do if he came across a man who said he could save the world. This adventure set on the streets of Jerusalem in AD33 is a new and original take on the days leading up to the crucifixion. Given the subject matter of the story, it would lend itself really well to discussion and debate. In hisevent, Jamie will talk about the fascinating historical background to Temple Boys, introduce themes and characters, and talk about using the past as inspiration for making stories. With lively q & a sessions all the way through, quick quizzes and readings from the book this promises to be an inspiring event for older readers.

Great Brtish Bake Off fans have a treat in store at Heart Of England School- our first Warwickshire Festival Friend and very welcome they are too! Love,Lies and Lemon Pies, the new teen novel from Katy Cannon

Very appropriately, the main characters of this book – Lottie and Mac – came to me while eating cake with Imagemy agent, Gemma Cooper, Gemma said: “You love baking. How about a book with baking in it?” And I said, “Maybe a school Bake Club?” and we were away.

For the next few months, as I worked on the story, that was what we called it. I tried out recipes, pitted my characters against each other, and uncovered all their secrets. Until, one day, I knew Bake Club was about a lot more than just a club for wannabe bakers. It was about love and lies – and friends and trusting people and coming clean and being afraid – as well as about baking lemon pies for a national baking competition.

Ps Mac is a boy because – guess what – boys bake too!

For older teens and adults we have a very exciting pre-release showing of the new film The Knife that Killed Me taken from the book of the same name by award winning author Anthony ImageMcGowan at Warwick Arts Centre. The film wil be introduced by the Director Marcus Romer and afterwards Anthony will discuss and answer questions about the terribly topical theme of his book. He visited Coventry when the book was first published and spoke about his own school days and the fact that he based the book upon his own experiences. Astonishingly this was the very same school where the teacher, Anne McGuire, was recently murdered. She was his form teacher in Year 7. He wrote this article in The Telegraph This is a real must see event for film fans as well as anybody concerned with the pressures on teenagers today.

The first Inspiration Award winning author will be the popular Guy Bass talking about his winning book Stitch Head which has spawned a best selling series and won the Raring 2 Read award and also his new book and great new character in the Legend of Frog. 

Prince Frog is convinced he’s destined to rule the world …the trouble is, the world has ended. Undeterred, FrImageog sets out to claim his crown, armed with nothing more than a pair of Catastrophe Pants and his trusty stick, Basil Rathbone. But Frog soon realizes that the world isn’t quite as ended as he thought. He discovers a magical kingdom, filled with wild landscapes, strange creatures …and a princess sitting on his throne.

For adult fans and for anybody who ever wondered if they would enjoy being part of a reading rgoup we have a real treat for you at lunchtime. Iain Broome, the winner of the Word of Mouth Award will be in Central Library. Their reading groupmeets on a wednesday from 12:30 – 2:00 and they have thrown opn their doors to welcome other readinggroups and anybody who wants to give it a try. Iain will be talking about his winning novel A is for Angelica

‘A first novel that confidently moves from dark comedy iain_about1that’s genuinely funny to even darker despair that grows from moving to harrowing… really impressive’ The Daily Mail

Multi award winning author Nigel Hinton will be at Ernesford Grange in the afternoon. He won the Quick Reads Fancy a Quickie Award with Partner in Crime published by Barrington Stoke, who specialise in books for reluctant and struggling readers. Nigel Hinton’s work is used widely in schools, and Buddy has been one of the best selling novels nigel hintonfor teenagers in the last twenty five years. Teachers particularly appreciate his novels because they appeal to a wide range of pupil ability and are even enjoyed by teenage boys who don’t usually like reading. His great style is deceptively simple, disguising the craft which has gone into creating such complex and interesting characters and plots written in seemingly effortless, accessible and direct prose.

Meanwhile,at the other end of the spectrum we have author Abie Longstaff and illustrator Lauren Beard who won the Never Too Young award for our very youngest readers. They will be at KabieLongstafferesley Grange School.Their winning book The Mummy Shop is a laugh-out-loud tale of one boy’s quest to find the perfect mummy.. Does your mummy tell you off for jumping on your bed? Does she make you eat vegetables when you don’t want to? Then call The Mummy Shop, and we will help you find the perfect new mummy. 100% satisfaction guaranteed! When a little boy grows tired of his mummy, he calls The Mummy Shop for help. But after a number of mishaps and misunderstandings, he starts to think he may have made a big mistake…

At St Gregory’s we have critically acclaimed debut author Anne Booth with Girl with a White Dog.’A clear and compassionate plea for tolerance‘  says theanne booth jpg Sunday Times. In this thought provoking and moving novel we meet Jessie who is excited when her gran gets a white Alsatian puppy, but with Snowy’s arrival a mystery starts to unfold. As Jessie learns about Nazi Germany at school, past and present begin to slot together and she uncovers something long-buried, troubling and somehow linked to another girl and another white dog….‘I want Girl with a White Dog to free children from fear, and one of the most pernicious fears there is, is fear of ‘the other’, so prevalent in our media today.

The KS1 choice for the What’s The Story award went to Gemma Meringemma-merino-1007103o for the hilarious and quirky The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water. Everybody knows that crocodiles love water, but this little crocodile is different. He doesn’t like water at all. In fact, he prefers climbing trees! But it can be lonely when you’re the odd one out, so the little crocodile tries his best to change. But being wet isn’t for everyone – and a shiver soon becomes a cold and the cold becomes a sneeze, a very hot sneeze…! Gemma won the prestigious Macmillan Prize for Children’s Illustration in 2011, whilst studying for her MA in Children’s Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Born in Catalonia, Gemma originally studied architecture in Barcelona and has worked in practices in Spain, Dublin, Tel Aviv and now London, where she lives.

The Simply The Book award for 14+ readers is often the most fiercely contested of them all and  the winner Monkey Wars by Richard Kurti was also longlisted for the Carnegie medal -not bad for a debut novel! After graduating,Richard worked at the BBC  on everything from Blue Peter to the Barcelona Olympics. In the meantime, he started directing short films and documentaries, and this led on to scriptwriting… which soon turned into a full time job.He has written screenplays for Hollywood studios, as well as TV shows like Robin Hood, Primeval and Sinbad. He will be appearing at Tile Hill Wood School

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to writ016.richard_kurtie a novel; one day I decided to stop dreaming and start doing something about it. Because I had to fit the novel in around my screenwriting, I started getting up an hour earlier every day… I bought a tiny laptop that stayed with me all the time, so that every spare minute could be used for writing … three years later Monkey Wars was finished.

To find out more about this stunning, uniquely different book see

Other award winners attending the ceremony in St Mary’s Hall are Gillian Cross who won the KS3 Read It Or Else Award with After Tomorrow and the Alternative Realities winner Jonathan Howard with Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and finally Anne Zoroudi who won the Murder Mystery & Mayhem award with Bull of Mithros.

All of the winning books have the backing of thousands of people who voted so well worth checking out form your local library and Waterstones in Smithford Way will have copies of them all  for sale.


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