Engaging children and young people in the written and illustrated word has to be a key goal of any literary festival – after all, young people are the festival attendees of the future. Of course, it’s not always easy to lure youngsters along to events. That’s why the Berwick Literary Festival aims to meet children and young people where they are. This year’s schools programmes will do this in three key ways:
1. Primary Schools.
Workshops on Friday 21st October will be led by celebrated local author/illustrator/sketchbooker, Helen Stephens. Four local primary schools will attend morning and afternoon sessions with Helen in the town’s historic Guildhall. Helen will be aiming to enthuse, delight and inspire the children with reference to her latest book: How to find a Lion at School. *
2. Middle Schools & the Academy
The popular ‘illustrate a poem’ competition is also returning in 2016. Readings of Edward Lear’s The Jumblies will take place in the Academy and all local middle schools. Young people will be invited to submit their illustrations inspired by the poem and the winners will be displayed at the Guildhall. For the third year, the Rotary Club of Berwick-upon-Tweed will also be running its successful short story competition in schools around the area.
3. The Grove School
Newcastle-based Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books – will be leading a multi-sensory literary experience at Grove School, tailored specifically to the pupils at the school.
The overall aim of all three events is to ensure that all local young people, including those unlikely or unable to attend Festival events, will have the opportunity to get hands-on with words in ways that intrigue, inspire and entertain them.
*Helen Stephens will also be running a session open to all children on the morning of Saturday 22nd at 10am – tickets and more information are available for this event from the Maltings Theatre.