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29 September - 8 October 2023

Where books and stories come alive

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There’s something for everyone at this year’s jam-packed Bath Children’s Literature Festival. A top line-up of superstar authors and illustrators will be talking about their brilliant books for all ages. Among them will be some of Bath’s festival favourites, including Cressida Cowell, Katherine Rundell, Joseph Coelho, Robin Stevens, Rob Biddulph, Dapo Adeola and many more!

With such an array of amazing events it’s tricky to pick any favourites, but here are some of our top highlights:

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Cressida Cowell’s worldwide sensation, How to Train Your Dragon and we’re throwing a party to celebrate! Come and join the fun – Cressida will teach everyone how to draw Hiccup, Viking hats will be on offer and there will be a chance to hear Cressida’s brand-new story set in the Dragon world. 

 

Bestselling mystery author Robin Stevens is back by popular demand to tell us all about her newest thrilling detective series, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity. Robin will share her tips and tricks on how to write the perfect murder mystery!

 

Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate, performance poet, author and playwright, Joseph Coelho joins two of his much-admired fellow poets, international poetry sensations Joshua Seigal and Nikita Gill as they perform a selection of their favourite poems that explore a whole range of themes – from the hilarious to the heartfelt, the emotional to the empowering – and everything in between in a showstopping poetry event for all the family.

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Get some top tips on writing, drawing and speaking up about the things that matter with award-winning author and illustrator Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola as they bring the adventures of their character, endearingly passionate Rocket, to life! Join in with draw-along fun and hear all about Rocket’s latest adventure organising a peaceful protest to save her local library. 

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Bestselling mystery author Robin Stevens is back by popular demand to tell us all about her newest thrilling detective series, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity. Robin will share her tips and tricks on how to write the perfect murder mystery!

If you like drawing you’ll LOVE the brilliantly entertaining happiness draw-off, with three brilliant children’s book illustrators, Steven Lenton, Sophy Henn and Nadia Shireen, hosted by Steven Butler, as they go head-to-head to draw what makes them happy. Challenge them to draw your idea of happiness – how about a field full of puppies? A never-ending ice-cream machine? Come along and see them bring your ideas to life before your eyes – and then take a just-for-fun vote on who's done it best! 

Expect even more live drawing, plus games to play along with and silly sibling stories with author-illustrator brother-sister duo Stephen Mangan and Anita Mangan, the team behind The Unlikely Rise of Harry Sponge. Guaranteed laughter and fun for all the family.

For history fans, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Tom Holland presents his thrilling, accessible retelling of the Persian Wars mashed together with tales from Greek Mythology, The Wolf Girl, The Greeks and the Gods in an unmissable conversation with bestselling Who Let the Gods Out? author Maz Evans.

 

Prepare to be swept away to a land beyond your wildest imagination with master storyteller Katherine Rundell, who will be introducing her epic new fantasy series, Impossible Creatures. Discover dragons small enough to perch on your thumb, winged horses, gold-horned hares that salute the brave, chaotic green talking squirrels – and uncover the secret at the heart of the islands that threatens the creatures’ survival, and the world itself. 

Find out about the real-life adventures behind the magical stories of bestselling author Abi Elphinstone, including her latest, Finding Neverland, a rip-roaring twist on the story of Peter Pan. From dog-sledding in the Arctic to living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia, Abi has done it all – and she will show children just how easy it is to leap into stories of their own.

 

For teen readers, Queen of YA fiction, Holly Bourne joins us for a special event to introduce her compelling new novel, You Could Be So Pretty. Bring your friends for a lively and important conversation with Holly about looks, love and relationships in our social media world. 

 

Get your tickets for these and dozens of other Bath Children’s Literature Festival events at: bathfestivals.org.uk – and hurry, some events are already sold out!

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