Not too late to join in!

Literally Coventry 2014 kicks off tomorrow bright and early at 9:00am. But not all events are completely sold out  and there is still Imagetime to join in! Look at http://www.literallycoventry2014.eventbrite.co.uk. We had some unexpected returns for the  previously sold-out Eoin Colfer event on Friday 27th at 1:30 for example. Eoin is a real superstar of the children’s book world and appeals to a wide  age range. He has sold over 20 million copies of his Artemis Fowl books and we think his new W.A.R.P series is going the same way!Eoin is the newly appointed Children’s Laureate for Ireland so do grab this chance to see him.

There are  great family opportunities on Tuesday afternoon and evening. The very funny Jason Beresford will be at WaterImagestones at 4:00 pm. Jason is a Coventry lad finding great success with his Fabulous Four Fish Fingers- four children with super powers

‘This is undoubtedly the perfect reading material for boys and girls aged 7+. Plenty of humour, kids with superpowers but most of all it has heart,’ says Lovereading4kids.

 

Later on at The Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon from 7:00 the local Coventry Writers group will be reading and performing their work. They are a very friendly and welcoming group of all ages and if anybody in your family has any interest in creative writing this is the group for you.This evening has really become  one of the favourite Festival traditions.( n.b dont forget if you have ambitions to write for children we have a  FREE writing workshop with award winning Ann Evans on Sat 28th from 10:00 to 12:00)

If we are going to make the case for continued funding of our unique FREE festival then it is important that we get good audiences. We  know we have a long way to go before we reach the dizzy heights of the Hay, Edinburgh or Cheltenham Festivals or even long established regional Festivals like Warwick Words or Stratford Festival, but  proud to say our Children’s programme for schools is as good or better than most of those! However If you want us to attract big name adult authors we have to be able to prove a track record of audiences. We have some really interesting sessions lined up for adult readers so do grab these opportunities while they are available.

On Monday at 5:30 in Earlsdon Library we have a young woman who is creating quite a name for herself. Sophia McDougall has recently published her first novel for yImageoung people and is doing an event about the exciting Mars Evacuees adventure at Sacred Heart at 1:30. But in Earlsdon we will hear all about her best-selling Romanitas trilogy- this is a totally enthralling and brilliantly concieved series.WHAT IF THE ROMAN EMPIRE NEVER FELL? Twice shortlisted for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, the bestselling ROMANITAS trilogy continues with ROME BURNING, and concludes with SAVAGE CITY, all out now in paperback. Sophia will compare writing for childrenand writing for adults and discuss how history influences her imaginary worlds as well as exploring the role of women in contemporary fiction.

One of the most  unique and exclusive opportunities of the Festival is available on Wednesday 25th at 10:00 a.m at Warwick Arts Centre. If you know any students on exam leave with time on their hands or any film buffs make sure you tell them about The Knife That Killed Me. We have a very special  pre- release showing of the film, bImageased on the best selling novel by Anthony McGowan. Adapted by Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman this  visually rich and thought-provoking story is beautifully told with striking performances from a talented young cast. The film will be introduced by the director Marcus Romer and afterwards there will be a discussion with author Anthony McGowan. “The Knife That Killed Me” is a compelling journey through the memories of teenager Paul Varderman as he reflects on the events leading to the fatal moment his life is cut short. Paul moves to a new school and becomes involved with ‘The Freaks’, a group on the periphery of school life, those who don’t fit in: scene kids, emo kids, indie kids. Outsiders.
At the same time he attracts the attention of the schools twisted and manipulative bully, Roth. When Paul delivers a message from Roth to the leader of a gang at a rival school, it sparks a dangerous feud. Faced with growing pressures from both groups, Paul must decide where his friendship lies, a decision that may cost him his life.
Anthony based his novel on his own school experiences  and his anxiety about the terrifying rise in knife crime among young people. Very poignantly his school was the very one where teacher Anne McGuire was recently murdered and she had been his Year 7  form teacher too. This is bound to be a fascinating and important discussion.

Also on Wednesday there is a lunchtime opportunity to meet one of the Coventry Inspiration Book Award winning authors. A for Angelica by Iain Broome won the Wod of Mouth category and Iain will be collecting his award at the ceremony in STmary’s Hall but from 12:30 until 2:00 the Central Library Reading Group will be hosting a very special  discussion with Iain So if you have ever wanted to try out a Reading Group or just want to hear more about the critically acclaimed debut novel. “A first novel that confidently moves from dark comedy that’s genuinely funny to even darker despair that grows from moving to harrowing. Really impressive.”Daily Mail. For a taste of what is in store check out this trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5Djl6Dbt-k&feature=youtu.be

On ThursdayImage 26th, again at the very wondeful Criterion Theatre in Earlsdon, who have been our partners since year 1, we have an evening for all the sports fans out there. If you are depressed by the World Cup come and listen to Chris Arnot instead. This celebrated national freelance feature writer is a regular contributor to the Guardian and has also written for the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Observer. His book, Britain’s Lost Cricket Grounds, was long-listed for the MCC’s cricket book of the year in 2011. Following that success the latest book looks at the  declining phenomena of cricket festival – when one of the county cricket clubs takes a week or so of games out of its home ground to a club ground somewhere else in the county, often at the seaside, and attracts a large and festive crowd to a bucolic arena fringed with white marquees, beer tents and deckchairs. Capturing sporting history before it disappears is an Arnot speciality – he has previously looked at Football Grounds- but also at  Lost mines and Lost beers and breweries so a man with many fascinating tales to tell

Saturday 28th is obviously the  day for families to enjoy  some insirational reading experiences together. Earlier on younger children can enjoy the hilarious antics of the Undead Pets and author Sam Hay at Waterstones from 11:00 and at 1:30 there is a lovely Story and Craft session with picture book artist Mat Head in Central Library. While the youngsters are having fun, history fans can meet and mingle, chat and browse the books with some of our most respected local authors. David McGrory, Pete Walters , Chris Holland and Chris Arnot will be at the Belgrade Theatre Local Voices, Local Lives event from 12:00 – 2:00

 Last but certainly not least there are still some tickets left for The Wimpy Kid Show at the Belgrade Theatre at 3:00p.m Remember the cheapest option for booking is online at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/the-wimpy-kid-showImage

 

Day by Day-the stars of Friday 27th

A choice selection of events on Friday! There are two of the biggest names in children’s literature coming to our Sidney Stringer showcase theatre. A local hero, in every sense of the word, demonstrating his in depth knowledge of our city and a fantastic party for young readers to show we have not forgotten them!

So starting with the little ones, we have Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party at Hollyfast Primary school with author Lucy Coats, who has a wonderful event planned with storytelling, sea-shanty-singing and learning to speak like a pirate! Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party is wonderfully  illustrated by  Greenaway Medal shortlisted  illustrator Chris Mould. Lucy wlucy coatsorked as a children’s editor and bookseller before turning to full-time writing, and is the author of more than twenty-five titles for all ages, including Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths which was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. She lives in the countryside with her husband, two children, three lunatic dogs and ten thousand assorted books. She is also a regular blogger and tweets as @lucycoats. Her website is http://www.lucycoats.com. Lucy would (secretly) like to be a pirate captain and sail the seven seas, but her family will only allow her to let out her inner Skull and Crossbones when the moon is blue, or on every seventy-fourth Wednesday. This sometimes makes her grimsome and growly!

One of the things whch makes Literally Coventry Book Festival 2014 so special is that, in the build up to the Festival, we have been enjoying a special project courtesy of Macmillan Children’s Books. Literally Coventry Reads Kevin Brooks has seen every schThe-Ultimate-Truth-A-Travis-ool and public library being given free copies of The Ultimate Truth: a Travis Delaney Mysterykevin-brooks-2, the new book from the critically acclaimed and current Carnegie Medal shortlisted author. (In fact the announcement of the  2014 Carnegie Medal is on Monday June 23 and so Coventry is keeping everything firmly crossed for “our” author!) Unlike the Carnegie shortlisted novel The Bunker Diary, which is very definitely for older readers, The Ultimate Truth is the  perfect book for older primary and secondary students alike. It has great male and female protagonists and the tense and exciting plot will keep adults gripped too. It is one the whole family can enjoy. Kevin is making an extended visit to the city and the first event is at Sidney Stringer. A celebration of the Literally Coventry reads projet and a unique opportunity  for students who have read the book to have a dialogue with the author about the creative process and to ask “What happens next?”

Let’s hope that friday is a lovely sunny June day so we can make the most of Walking Backwards- a local history walking tour of the City centre in the company of Pete Walters, author of the The Story of Coventry. PeteWalters2 This beautifully illustrated  book traces the evolution of the city, from the myths of Godiva, through to the issues, challenges and opportunities facing it in the twenty-first century. Exploring Coventry’s heritage through records, architectural developments and anecdotes, it reveals a fascinating and much misunderstood city, whose history is often overshadowed by its bombing during the Second World War. Peter Walters, well known for his numerous newspaper features and active role in local heritage, shows that there is a great deal more to the history of Coventry than first meets the eye. The walk will conclude at Sovranos Cafe in the precinct where some well earned refreshment can be purchased and you can get signed copies of Pete’s book.

In the afternoon there is great excitement  at Sidney Stringer. We are very fortunate indeed to be a stop on the national tour of  author Eoin Colfer, who has recently been announced as the new Ireland’s laureate for children’s literature. Sales of Eoin Colfer’s bestselling Artemis Fowl series have Eoinsurpassed 20 million copies worldwide. Other best sellers include Half Moon Investigations, The Supernaturalist, Airman and The Legend of ….. books. His brilliant new series WARP is out now. W.A.R.P. The Reluctant Assassin was the first thrilling book in his steam-punk, time-travel, adrenalin-fuelled adventure series. A brilliant combination of action, adventure, Colfer’s trademark wit, and a villain to die for, the W.A.R.P. series is Oliver Twist meets The Matrix. Buckle your seatbelt, sit back and enjoy the ride. Two actors will be accompanying Eoin and they will interject during the session, helping to bring the wold of W.A.R.P to life and will take the parts of various characters from WARP. It will be a highly interactive event and they will really get the children involved in the action, bringing some children up on stage to help perform Victorian magic tricks. For more information on Eoin go to his website at http://www.eoincolfer.com

Kevin Brooks  also has an extra special engagement on Friday evening! The centre of the mystery at the heart of The Ultimate Truth is a boxing club and it is an amazing young (female)boxer who teams up with Travis to solve the mystery.  The young members of Christ the King Boxing Club have also been reading the book. They are laying on a boxing exhibition for Kevin and their families and then they have the chance to  tell Kevin if he has got the boxing club details right! A brave author indeed!

We hope they are gentle with him because he has a busy day on Saturday too!