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 Festival features on Tuesday 24th

So Tuesday 24th is the day that Dame Jacqueline Wilson comes to Coventry! But that is in the afternoon- there is a whole morning of fun first!

There is a real treat for KS1 at St Osburg’s with best selling picture book author and illustrator Steve Ssteve smallmanmallman. He has worked as an illustrator for over 30 years specialising in children’s books, licensing work (Postman Pat, Sesame Street, Bill and Ben) and television (Most notably on ‘The Raggy Dolls’ in the 80’s and 90’s) He is the author of over 30 picture books.The first onehe wrote the story for ‘The Lamb Who Came for Dinner’ was shortlisted for 8 awards including the Red House Children’s Book Award, was commended at the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards, has been translated into about 16 foreign editions and was read on TV by Meatloaf!

Keen writers will enjoy the session with Simon Cheshire at St Thomas More. Simon is the award-winning author of the Saxby Smart and Jeremy Brown series. Simon’s ultimate dream is to go the moon, but in the meantime, he lives in Warwick with his wife and children and contents himself with writing in a tiny wardrobe and eating too much chocolate. Not only will they be hearing about his two new titles Airlock and SWARM: Operation Sting he will be sharing secrets from How to Write Stories

For children who cannot get enough of Britain’s Got Talent the  Olivia at Stage School series will fulfil all their dreams.Olivia is a compelling mix of family saga and school lyn gardnerstory… that’s all about performing, whether Olivia’s tapping into her circus performing roots, or on stage as a brilliant new theatre actor. Lyn Gardner , the author,was born in London and is a  theatre critic on The Guardian so she certainly knows what she is writing about.She goes to the theatre five or six nights a week, which should leave no time for writing books at all. But apart from the Olivia books, she has also managed to write two other novels for children: Into the Woods and Out of the Woods. Her ambitions are to learn to tap dance and walk the high wire, but it may have to be the low wire as she is a bit scared of heights.

This time there are two fabulous sessions for secondary schools. At Finham Park we have the acclaimed author Katy Moran. Her brilliant first novel, Bloodline wkaty moran pgas an Amazon New Voices title, and shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2009 . She will be talking about her new series  partly set in an awesome dark faerie world which crosses dangerously with our own. Hidden Among Us and the newly published sequel The Hidden Princess 

For students who prefer laugh out loud humour we have Andy Robb at President Kennedy.Once he realized that he was too short to be taken seriously asandyrobb-765x275 a costumed hero, he decided to spend as much time as he could playing make-believe. After training as an actor, he went on to appear in plays, TV dramas and films. His debut novel Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind was shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize

14 year old  Archie is a Geek to his core.
In the world of role-playing games, he’s a Level 5 Mage, capable of summoning the Undead. In this world, things are rather different. With no rule book to navigate Life’s Big Challenges – warring parents, a crass step-father, orc-like school bullies and crap hair – he’s teetering on the brink…
Then a Beautiful Girl appears in his Geeky world… Despite the fact that the closest he’s come to an encounter with a girl is painting an Elven miniature, Archie embarks on a Daring Quest to win her heart.
Geek meets girl … what could possibly go right?

 Find out what happens next in Geekhood : Mission Improbable

For those  Jacqueline Wilson fans who did not get tickets to see her at the Ricoh Arena. Warwick Arts Centre are having a special FREE showing of Dustbin Baby – the film of the book. Not to be missed.

After all the excitement of the Ricoh Arena event and for families who want to join in the fun they can hurry along to Waterstones in Smithford way for a fun session with Jason Beresford and his slightly surreal comedy super heroes the Fabulous Four Fish Fingers! Jason was born in Coventry and loves coming back to his home town and his hilarious adventure is perfect for young readers of 7-9. Jason is a jason beresfordpgprimary school teacher because he believes in the power of education and it is absolutely not because it gives him a trapped audience of 8 year olds who have to laugh at his jokes or miss playtime. Before teaching, Jason spent 20 years trying to put the tee-hee into TV. As a news reporter he joined a Russian circus, abseiled off Durham Cathedral and interviewed a man who trained worms how to dance. As a TV producer, he reunited the last surviving Oompah Loompas, crossed Britain on a lawn mower with John Sergeant and filmed the party of the year at David Beckham’s house (but spent the whole night stuck in the kitchen).Jason once toured Japan in a comedy show and has directed both Emmerdale and Coronation Street. He speaks Japanese with a Coventry accent and has two daughters. Although they both think he’s quite funny at the moment he knows this won’t last forever.

In the evening we are delighted to present a Convivial Evening with Coventry Writers atthe Criterion Theatre in Earlsdon. This is fast becoming a Festival favourite. If you have any aspirations to write one day come along and have a drink, some  delicious  nibbles and enjoy meeting the group and hearing them perform their incredibly varied  writing.

Tuesday is looking good too! Book at Eventbrite