2016

Abi Elphinstone takes us on a trip to Mongolia

Faraway places and beautiful landscapes… Malika Kingston joined the Festival audience for a photographic adventure as the author of The Dreamsnatcher and The Shadow Keeper shared her inspirations. Energetic and inspiring, that’s Abi Elphinstone. Before becoming an author of magical adventure books she was a teacher. It took seven years…
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Holly Webb’s return to the Secret Garden

  She’s been named one of the most borrowed authors in the library. Now Holly Webb returns with a sequel to one of the most famous children’s books of all time. And brings another hit event at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, says Sagal Mohammed. Best-selling children’s author and self-proclaimed reading…
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Frances Hardinge: 5 steps to writing an award-winning novel

Calling all budding novelists! Do you have a story to tell, but just don’t know where to start? Acclaimed author Frances Hardinge is here to help, says Sagal Mohammed.  With multiple awards under her belt, including the 2015 Costa Book of the Year award for her epic children’s novel The…
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Willy the Wimp gets a musical makeover

What do you get when you mix one of Britain’s best-loved author/ illustrators with a live orchestra? A sell-out show and one mesmerised room of kids, says Anthony Pius. Anthony Browne, the creator of children’s literature’s most famous chimp, Willy, joined forces with his wife Jane, the violinist and composer…
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Minecraft at a children’s literature festival? Yes!

Video game writer Alex Wiltshire fights the corner for Minecraft’s role as a creative outlet – and wins. Arno Bryant joins the fun. To those who have missed out on the craze, Minecraft is a sandbox video game that invites the player to create worlds through the collection and assemblage…
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Queen of fantasy Cornelia Funke on doing it her way

What’s next for fantasy writer Cornelia Funke and her latest Mirror World series? Malika Kingston joins the excited audience at her Festival talk to find out.  St Mary’s Church in Barnes was packed, almost every seat occupied, even the awkward ones on the side. Who was everyone eagerly waiting to see?…
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Ed Vere reveals the power of a simple circle

There was no time for shyness at Ed Vere’s Festival talk, says Anthony Pius. Children and their parents had an hour full of fun and laughter, with a live drawing session of his famous character Max the brave kitten. When it comes to Ed Vere’s illustrations, it all starts with…
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