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 stars- Monday 23rd June

Monday kicks off  bright and early with Performance poet and musician James Carter at Earlsdon PriJames carter jpgmary. Ever met an alien? James Carter is probably the closest you’ll get! Come along for an action-packed hour full of wild guitar playing and thoughtful as well as beastly and madcap poems from his two latest books GRRR! and Journey To The Centre Of My Brain  The second half of the session will include a workshop and a poem that teachers can take straight to the classroom to develop further. Please don’t forget to bring along your air guitar!

For KS1, over at Southfields Primary we have our very own Alex.T. Smith. It has been a frantically busy year for the Official World Book day artist and designer of our loveclaude-blog-claude-baublesly Literally logo with its cheeky Lady Godiva! But he still finds time to creat wonderful new books and to support his local Festival! So come along to meet his new hero Hector and to find out what everyone’s favourite little dog, Claude, has been getting up to.

Meanwhile they are having a very exciting time at Mount Nod with Gareth P Jones. An award winning  author most famous for his comic-gothic book, The Considine Curse, which won the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2012, here he will be talking about the small, gareth_p_jones_photo__fullfurry and deadly Ninja Meerkats. Hidden in the remotest reaches of the Red Desert, legend tells of an elite fighting force of meerkats – The Clan of the Scorpion. Under the guidance of their mentor, the wise (and cryptic) Grandmaster One-Eye, and armed with ninja-know-how, these four warriors are sworn to protect the world from the evil plans of their enemy, the Ringmaster… These are perfect for newly confident readers!

For older readers there is a real treat in store at Frederick Bird Primary.Travel through time to explore the Scottish borders in medieval time complete with some seriously evil snakes in this fascinating talk for boys and girls aged 8 – 12 years. The Serpent HouseBea davenport pg is an action-packed adventure story partly set in a grand Victorian house (like Downton Abbey!) and partly in the murky world of a leper hospital in medieval times, where a doctor with sinister designs is ‘treating’ his patients. Ex-journalist and author Bea Davenport will delight young people with talk of her research, her writing method and the personal stories she’s woven in to the book.

Intrepid poet James Carter leaps over to Stoke Library later in the morning for a Hey Little Bug Rhymetime. A gentle, fun and interactive session. Expect action rhymes, music and poems aplenty full of bugs, bubbles, funny faces, pirates and aliens – not to mention riddles – all of which feature in James’ collections ‘Hey, Little Bug!’ poems for little creatures

The afternoon kicks off at St Gregory’s with popular picture book author Tracey Corderoy who shows that she can write pacy young fiction too with her troll characters The Grunt and The Grouch and the madcap Crumb family.

My aim is to bring stories to life, allowing my characters to leap off the page and into the child’s imagination. This, I’m convinced, is the key to making stories truly magical…
tracey corderoyjpgJust as my characters take me on their journey, we invite our audience along too. My sessions are very interactive with each child being given the opportunity to participate fully in the story experience while I seamlessly deliver key learning goals. Yes – the children don’t even know they’re learning – it’s great!

At Sacred Heart they are in for an exciting space adventure with the Mars Evacuees

BecausMars-Evacueese until you have been shot at, pursued by terrifying aliens, taught maths by a laser-shooting robot goldfish and tried to save the galaxy, I don’t think you can say that you’ve really lived. If the same thing happens to you, this is my advice: Always carry duct tape.

Author Sophia McDougall introduces the book and reads from it. She also talks to the children about storytelling. She then plays a game with the children where they write their own story from words given to them by Sophia. sophia

Sophia is also a best selling adult author and later on at Earlsdon Library she will be talking to adults and young adults about Strange histories, weird worlds and wild women. She compares writing for children and writing for adults, discusses how history influences her imaginary worlds and explores the role of women in contemporary fiction.

Tickets for all these  FREE events are available on our Eventbrite booking site

We must not forget that while all this is going on secondary schools will be facing the Hunger Games Challenge, run by Coventry Schools Library Service at Warwick Arts Centre. As well as watching a special showing of Catching Fire they will be competeing for prizes in a test of their knowledge of the Hunger Games trilogy.

And that is just Monday …….