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

Introducing Literally Book Festival Day Five

It’s been a fabulous and manic week and tonight I got some fabulous photos from Gren Smith from the week!  So here they are, don’t forget to pop and see us all day at Theatre Absolute from 9.30am.

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Introducing Literally Day Three – The Big One!

Day three of the festival brings the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards to the city along with our award winning authors.

I’m ‘fresh’ home from the awards ceremony, still on a high from giving a speech for Sir Quentin Blake, but I have also met some other amazing people today and so have the children in Coventry!

I stewarded a first for the festival an event at Coffee Tots with Rhonda Armitage and Layn Marlow for their Inspiration Book Award winning A Very Strange Creature.  The children loved acting out the story, singing songs and doing crafts with Layn and Rhonda and I enjoyed hosting them for the day and also ‘doing the sights’ yes, we do have some in Coventry and it’s nice seeing it through someone else’s eyes!

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With thanks to the fabulous Stacey Raven Photography for the pictures.

I met Levi Pinfold at the station with his steward Julia, they had a great day at Parkgate primary and they have shared a few pictures with us…

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Helen Watt enjoyed her event at Tile Hill Wood, and here’s a sneaky peek at the gifts our authors get!

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And the awards…what can we say about those?  Well they are always an inspiration, the readers talking about each book as ever did us proud, what a great city of readers we belong to!  Our very own Alex T Smith live tweeted through the ceremony so you can find pictures of all the winners and some comments from authors in our tweet feed!

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What an amazing day and evening!  And it is still going on!  Keep following us on Twitter: @literallycov #covbkfest

BRING ON DAY FOUR!!

Introducing Literally Book Festival Day Two

Well, there was a Coventry family feel to today with local author’s Alex T Smith, Ann Evans, Cathy Cassidy and Rosie Goodwin arriving in Coventry.

We held out first ladies (and men) who lunch event with Rosie Goodwin at Blue Bistro, it was a lovely informal way to meet an author and we really could have talked all afternoon!

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Alex T Smith went down a storm at with All Saints and Hollyfast primaries with all the children joining in learning how to draw Primrose!

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Various other events across the city were enjoyed by all ages, more event pictures will be added as they arrive!

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Guy Bass Author tweeted: Thanks for everything, – mine was a fun . Good luck for the rest and keep doing what you do.

Linda Collingwood Committee Member tweeted: Brill visit at school by author William Osborne . Used to live in LA + chose to visit Cov!

St Osburg’s school tweeted: A lovely afternoon with at the Warwick Arts Centre! Another successful event thanks to

Tracy Lynch Committee Member tweeted: “Being a writer is a lot of waiting around with sml bits of very exciting stuff” tells us

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Introducing Literally Book Festival Day One

What a start to the festival!

The excitement started when our very own author and illustrator Alex T Smith decorated one of the windows at Waterstone’s Coventry with a handpainted Lady Godiva and the team there added books from many of our authors.  It looks brilliant!

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Events happened today at schools across the city, Warwick Arts Centre and the Central Library –

Kathleen McGuiness said on facebook “I have just hosted an author event at St John Vianney. The lovely talented, Jo Simmons came to town to tell us a whiskery mystery! She now has a whole bunch of new fans! We had a bonus though as the great Alex T Smith paid an unexpected visit too with Sian his lovely mum. It was a great event,A good time was had by all so thank you, all who were involved. What a great start to the week!”

Alison Patchett said on facebook “A big thank you to all at SJV. A group of thirty excited children and adults came back to Mount Nod after a thoroughly entertaining afternoon. What a great start to the event for our children….”

Author Sam Gayton tweeted “Thanks for having me – especially to Dom who drove me round, brought me a cheese and ham sandwich and let me call him an old fart!”

St Osburg’s tweeted “Year 5 has a lovely afternoon with author Sam Gayton.  A big thank you to Literally for organising it”

Author Lou Kuenzler tweeted: “Did lovely event at @LiterallyCov huge fun and fabulous questions from the kids.  Many thanks to all for setting it up.  Fab festival with brill stuff”

Iain Broome tweeted: “Lovely evening reading at @LiterallyCov and thanks for my #saucybookmark gift”

What a great day!  Do add your comments about any events you went to below.

Like Alex T Smith’s artwork?  Want to win it?
If you would like to win Alex T Smith’s signed Lady Godiva window poster for your school all you need to do is draw your favourite book character on an A4 piece of paper and bring it in to Waterstones Coventry by 23rd June 2013
Please write your name, age and school on the back of your drawing, and good luck! The winner will be notified by 26th June 2013

Great opportunity!  Join us tomorrow for more fun!!  If you want to write up an event you attended as a blog, please do, email to charlotte.reed@coventry.gov.uk

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Invite from Cathy Cassidy

Coventry kid Cathy Cassidy invites you all to her talk at Sidney Stringer:

Hello Coventry Kids,

I am so excited to be back in my old home town of Coventry to take part in the Coventry Literally Festival… how cool? I’ll be in the middle of a book tour, talking about my brand new book Coco Caramel, and it’s brilliant to be able to be a part of the book festival too!

 My event will be on Tuesday 11th June at Sidney Stringer Academy, Primrose Hill St, Coventry CV1 5LY, between 10-11.45am, and anyone aged 9-13 is welcome! The event is free but places are limited so PLEASE BOOK via www.literallycoventry2013.eventbrite.co.uk

I’ll be talking about how I got started in writing and how I work now, about where ideas come from and how characters and stories are developed. I’ve even got a quiz so you can see which character in my Chocolate Box series YOU’RE most like… and there’s an amazing competition to tell you about, too! There’ll be time for you to ask questions, and books to buy and have signed and personalised too, of course.

I hope that some of you will be able to come along and make my visit to Coventry special. Will readers from my lovely old schools, Our Lady’s and Bishop Ullathorne, make it along? Or from St John Vianney, Finham Park, Ernesford Grange or Frederick Bird schools where I have done school visits in the past and met the most amazing kids? Or perhaps even Foxford or Henry VIII where I did teaching practice, long ago, when I was training to be an art teacher – or Bablake, my Dad’s much-loved old school? Maybe Cardinal Newman, Cardinal Wiseman, Barr’s Hill, Lyng Hall, Stoke Park, Westwood, Coundon Court or St Joseph’s Convent? If you live in or near Coventry, I’d love to meet you… come and find out how another ‘Coventry kid’ made her writing dreams come true!

Keep smiling, keep reading – and follow your dreams!

Cathy Cassidy

xxx

 www.cathycassidy.com

Cathy Cassidy is the bestselling author of the Chocolate Box Girls series, the Diazy Star books and stand-alone titles such as Gingersnaps, Angel Cake, Indigo Blue, Scarlett and Sundae Girl, a winner of the Coventry Children’s Book Award.

Literally Bookmarks

Last year we had Cash’s silk bookmarks made with Alex T Smith’s fabulous Godiva logo on it to give to each visiting author.  It was a special gift to say thank you.  This year we are offering the community the chance to buy one of these special keepsakes to support the festival.

Read the Coventry Telegraph article via the link below to find out more…

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/bookmarks-sale-launch-literally-coventry-3012715

 

Introducing Author Iain Broome

On the 1st August 2012 Iain’s first novel A is for Angelica hit the virtual bookstores and I downloaded my copy onto my lovely new kindle to take to Alaska.  Iain wrote a blog about his dream and I thought you might be interested in the inner turmoil of being something but wanting something else, maybe there’s a moral there…don’t judge a book by the cover.  Although the cover of A is for Angelica is rather splendid!  So, how did Iain become a writer?

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‘I played my first competitive, 11-a-side football match when I was seven years old. It was on a full-size pitch and my team needed special permission from the league, because the minimum age was eight. The age limit was there for my safety, but I didn’t care because I was big and tall and really good at football.

Many kids have trials with professional clubs and some stay with the team for a couple of years. I played for Notts County until I was 16. I was team captain three out of the seven years I was there. I won trophies. I travelled the country. It was both a pre- and post-pubescent sporting career.

But something happened in that final year. When asked about it, I’ve sometimes said that the problem was that I’d become more interested, like most teenagers, in girls and underage drinking. But that was never the truth.

The real problem was that I was supposed to be a professional footballer, but being a professional footballer was not what I wanted to be.

Then, on one blustery Nottingham evening after training, I was taken to one side, along with my Dad, and told that, unfortunately, I wasn’t going to make it.

It was hard to hear. But also a blessed relief.

By no chance or coincidence, roughly a year before I left Notts County, I wrote my first batch of poetry. It was nothing special, and it was part of my regular schoolwork, but the feedback I received lit something inside me.

A new, entirely different dream began to emerge. I wanted to be a published author.

It’s about creating a world, having something to say, and telling a story. It’s making people laugh. Making people cry.

And that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To move people by creating something that no one else has ever created and by putting words in an order that no one has or ever will again. That’s the crux of all of it.

I was supposed to be a footballer. But I’m not, I’m an author.’

For Iain’s full blog please go to

http://iainbroome.com/professional-footballer

To follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/iainbroome

Or visit his author page on facebook http://www.facebook.com/iainbroomeauthor

And what did I think?  It’s a well written book, with a fast pace and short chapters that keep you turning the pages even when you know you should be doing something else.  Some of you know that Stroke has affected my family last 12 months and I found the portrayal of being a carer to a loved one who has suffered a Stroke both acurate and sensitive and yes, quite emotional at times.  It had a subtle dark humour that I rather enjoyed.  You never do really know what is going on behind those closed doors of your rather nice suburban street…

Read it, you won’t be disappointed.  Iain will be speaking about A is for Angelica at the newly refurbished Central Library as part of Literally Coventry Book Festival.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Angelica-Iain-Broome/dp/190877598X/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346675573&sr=1-1

Charlotte Reed, Literally Committee Member

Coventry Inspires Writing Competition

2013 

In conjunction with the Coventry Telegraph we are once again running our Creative Writing competition linked to our Book Awards. Sarah Crossan won the Read It Or Else Award for her book The Weight of Water and she has donated this intriguing story starter:

Karen thumped the vending machine, but her can of Coke didn’t appear. The machine simply gurgled and asked for more money. Which she didn’t have.

“Stupid,” Karen hissed, and grabbing her bag from the floor, stomped off down the empty hallway. 

“Is this yours?” someone called after her.

Karen started and turned to see a boy next to the vending machine holding out a red can. He had long hair pulled into a ponytail and dark circles beneath his eyes. He smiled and stepped closer.

Karen hadn’t seen him before, but for some reason, she shuddered and wished she hadn’t bothered with the vending machine at all.

New writers have 250 words to complete the story!

There are 5 categories:

Under 10; 11-13; 14-18; adult and 60+

The Winners and Highly Commended in each category will be invited to the Book Awards Ceremony in St Mary’s Hall on June 13th 5.00 p.m. to receive their prizes from Sarah Crossan herself. The Winners will each receive a £20 book token sponsored by Hays Education and both Winners and Highly Commended will receive certificates.

Entries should be submitted by email to catherine.vonledebur@trinitymirror.com or by post to Catherine Vonledebur, Features. Coventry Telegraph House, Canal Basin, Leicester Row Canal Basin Coventry CV1 4LY

Closing date: 24th May

Nb electronic entries do make circulating entries to judges much easier and ensures entries are legible!

 

A successful strategy from last year, where the whole class was involved, is for the class to hear all the stories and judge for themselves the best 10 to submit from their class!

Introducing Literally’s teacher supporter Suzanne Hughes

Let me start by saying how excited I was to be involved with the start of Coventry’s literally festival and how delighted I am to be involved again this year. I am passionate about reading and always have been. As a child I remember loving my sister reading “The Tiger That came to Tea” and enjoying it every night! My taste has changed slightly, although as a y6 teacher, I still love children’s literature – particularly Anthony Horowitz and Michael Morpurgo, I now have become more interested in the classics, especially Jane Austen. 

As said earlier, I am a year 6 teacher, and an assistant head at a lovely Coventry school. I am extremely lucky to be in a position that I love my job, and never wake up dreading the challenges that lie ahead. The fact that I can combine my love for children’s literature with my work is truly an added bonus. In addition to reading, I love outdoor pursuits and unashamedly, will plug Dol Y Moch – for giving children (and teachers) in Coventry such a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and take measured risks. I am also very lucky to have a beautiful 16 yr old son, and an inspiring sister with 3 beautiful sons in Coventry – which in my spare time, I love to spend time with!   

Suzanne Hughes

Assistant Head St Thomas More

Introducing Literally’s Coffee Tots

Coffee Tots is a drop-in cafe located in the City Arcade. Our vision is for Coffee Tots to provide a place of safety where parents/carers can come and relax with young children, meet others and receive additional support. It is our priority to encourage parents to play, read and engage with their children, helping to improve the parent/child relationship as well as the child’s development. We run craft and cooking activities, story and rhyme times, puppet shows and have out lots of toys to play with. We are keen to encourage children’s learning whilst they make friends and play. This is why here at Coffee Tots we are delighted to be taking part in Literally Coventry Book Festival. We hope that by having a visiting author to the cafe the families who visit might be inspired to explore reading. It will be nice for the children to hear a visitor read new stories with new characters and illustrations. This promises to be an exciting opportunity for them to enjoy using their imaginations and get a flair for books and reading. Hopefully the festival will also help to encourage parents to read for their own enjoyment and promote storytimes at home. 

We look forward to taking part.

Amy Corbould

Children and Family Worker

Introducing Literally’s Ian Collins

Introducing Ian Collins, English teacher at Sidney Stringer, Coventry

I have had in the past the pleasure to accompany students from Sidney Stringer to several Book Award ceremonies. As a keen reader and long-serving English teacher, the combination of the chance to hear established writers speak, and be with students enthuse about books and reading, meant the events were always something to look forward to.

In 2010 Sidney Stringer moved into beautiful new buildings. The Principal was (and is) determined the school should be a hub for community activitie,s so when we heard the Coventry Literally Festival was looking for venues, we were delighted to offer our facilities.

Last year’s events were very successful and I hope the quality and location of Stringer as a venue played its part.

We look forward to being involved in delivering a dynamic and popular reading festival to the people of Coventry and surrounding district again this year – and into the future.