Ahoy Young Readers – Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is Bigger Than Ever Before!

Ahoy Young Readers – Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is Bigger Than Ever Before!

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, this year will see a bigger programme of events for children than ever before, designed to inspire and nurture young readers and writers!

Children are being encouraged to gather their treasure maps ready for a fun-filled trail of exciting literary events from Wednesday 19th to Sunday 23rd September across Budleigh Salterton. At the heart of the fun will be the Mini Marquee on the Green, this year with a pirate theme. Open on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September, the marquee will be packed full of pirate themed activities, thrilling drop-in sessions and storytelling. Come dressed as a pirate and join in the fun!

It will be anchors away on Wednesday 19th September with the Children’s Literary Quiz Final. Teams of young readers from finalist schools – St. Peter’s Church of England Primary School in Budleigh Salterton, Exeter Road Community Primary School in Exmouth, and Marpool Primary School in Exmouth – will go head-to-head demonstrating their knowledge and love of books.

The ever-popular Poetry Slam event is back and will take place on Thursday 20th September, where local secondary schools will showcase their own work in a poetry slam performance. There will also be a Bounce and Rhyme session for children under three, hosted by our swashbuckler friends at the Budleigh Salterton Library on Friday 21st September.

Join our writing captains – including television historian Lucy Worsley; poet and performer Malaika Kegode; author of Shifty McGifty and Fairy Tale Pets, Tracey CorderoyDino Wars author Dan Metcalf; and Katie Cleminson, Sunday Times Book of the Week winner – for a number of interactive workshops on 22nd September. With songs, dressing up, crafts, drawing and top tips for young people to develop their writing skills, this is the perfect opportunity to test children’s writing skills and inspire creativity.

If this wasn’t enough, one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children, Sir Michael Morpurgo, will be sharing some of his most treasured stories including his two most recent, Flamingo Boy and In The Mouth of The Wolf, at St Peter’s Church on Sunday 23rd September.


Sir Michael Morpurgo


Do you dare to write? From 10:30am on Sunday 23rd September, there will also be a free two-hour drop in session hosted by Paper Nations of Bath Spa University encouraging young people to develop their writing skills, as well as explore their love of reading; suitable for all ages.

Annie Ashworth, Festival Artistic Director, said:

“This year’s children’s event line-up is bigger than ever before, with an exciting range of activities for children of all ages to get involved in. Our aim is to encourage children to explore their love and passion for reading and writing. We are sure that the captivating authors at this year’s festival will get the creative juices flowing.”

An important part of the Festival’s work as a charity is being able to offer school visits from authors and illustrators, free of charge, to talk about their work and inspire children to read and enjoy books. The Education Outreach Programme reaches more than 25 primary and secondary schools across Devon, and this year a selection of well-known authors will be visiting schools across Devon for a series of invite-only events.


Tracey Corderoy Author of Fairy Tale Pets


Award-winning author, Tracey Corderoy, will be inspiring children at St Peter’s Primary School on Friday 21st September, bringing storytelling alive and sharing a variety of her hugely successful books including Shifty McGifty, Fairy Tale Pets, and Squish Squash Squeeze. Tracey will be joined by Dan Metcalf, creator of a futuristic world where dinosaurs and humans co-exist in Dino Wars, who will share his exciting writing with children.

Maz Evans, the lively and energic creator of Story Stew, is attending Sidmouth College and Exmouth Community College on Wednesday 19th September to share her skills to help children create stories with simple, effective and fun story writing tips.

Meanwhile, pupils in Exmouth Community College will be inspired by author and motivational speaker, Andy Cope, who will be sharing his hilarious tales in his Spy Dog series with younger children and, for the older age group, his philosophy behind The Art of Being a Brilliant Teenager.

Annie added:

 “We are incredibly grateful to all the authors for continuing to make our school’s events such a success and for taking time out to inspire the next generation of authors, poets and performers.”

Lauren St John, author of Dead Man’s Cove and the new Kat Wolfe Investigates series, and Catherine Johnson author of award-winning Sawbones with her most recent book The Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo, visited local schools throughout June and July.

Lauren, an award-winning children’s writer who grew up in Zimbabwe, shared her inspirational stories of animal conservation and environmental campaigning with pupils at Sidmouth College, The Maynard School and St Peter’s CofE High School in Exeter, and King’s School in Ottery St Mary as part of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival’s Education Outreach work.

Meanwhile Catherine recently visited pupils at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Crediton to share her inspirational ways to start stories. She will also be visiting schools in Colyton and Exmouth in partnership with the Education Outreach programme.

For more information about the children’s festival events, download a copy of the programme on the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival website. All festival tickets are now available to buy online atbudlitfest.org.uk/ or in person at Budleigh Salterton Information Centre, Fore Street, EX9 6NG.

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