2019

Beyond the page

Have you ever wondered what a cross between a witch and a mermaid would be like? Author Sibéal Pounder invited her festival audience to find out.
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The true story behind Cloud Boy

Master storyteller Marcia Williams, author and illustrator of Mr William Shakespeare’s Plays, Greek Myths for Young Children and Three Cheers for Woman and many many more, has written her first novel!
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How to write a great story

Bestselling author of The Roman Mysteries and P K Pinkerton series, Caroline has mastered Greek mythology, Roman quests and more recently time travel; and now she's sharing her secrets for writing great stories!
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It’s a full house with Emma Carroll

Emma Carroll signing books. A talk that opens with ‘Duran Duran’ and embarrassing childhood pictures of a bad 70’s haircut, is only going to go one way – absolutely hilariously. ‘The Letters from the Lighthouse’ author kicked things off at Barnes Methodist Church, discussing all things old and new in the life…
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Top marks for Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens, author of the wildly popular Murder Most Unladylike series, told Barnes Children’s Literature Festival how her unique childhood – moving from America aged five to live on-campus at an Oxford college with her parents – has heavily influenced her writing.
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Magic and myth with Ross Welford

Ross Welford developed an interest in magic and mythology as a child although his first foray into the world of writing was not in children’s literature. It was after having children of his own he decided to write children’s books, he told his audience at Barnes Children’s Literary Festival 2019.
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Lisa Thompson’s top writing tips

It isn’t just about writing. I was creating ideas, stories and inventing fictional worlds long before I became a novelist. Stories are all around us if you use your eyes and ears.
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Francesca Simon presents the final Horrid Henry book

Appearing at the festival to promote her latest work and discuss how she developed the bestselling Horrid Henry Series, she said she will now be moving into focus on new characters for the publishers Faber and Faber. After completing the 25th Horrid Henry book, she said it was a good number at which to stop.
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Runaway Success

With his natural wit and easy story telling ability, Frank Cottrell-Boyce had the audience in the Barnes Marquee in stitches from the get-go as he introduced his new book, ‘Runaway Robot’.
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Lauren Child and the art of wasting time

Looking particularly fabulous in her tailored black suit and red, glittering gloves, Lauren Child poses the question: “Do we ever think about nothing?” While today’s social pressures can make us feel like we must always be doing something productive, Lauren asks us to stop and consider allowing ourselves time to do nothing at all.
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Roald Dahl and the Wurble Gobblers

From learning a special Tale Tenders salute (make an opening book and then a 'T' with your hands) to encouraging a lot of laughter through making silly faces and roaring like a monster, children were learning the importance of books from Terry and Brenda.
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Straight up fun with Jim Smith

What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read? Probably Adrian Mole, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much while reading a book as I did while reading that book, which I read while laughing a lot - more than any other book I’ve ever read, in fact.
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There’s more than meets the eye with Steven Butler

Steven Butler, author of 'The Nothing to See Here Hotel' series, weirdly and wonderfully illustrated by Steven Lenton, is coming to Barnes this year with his ragtag band of monsters in tow. Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Steven is treating us to an afternoon of monstrously good fun that is not to be missed. Here he tells us about his love of all things deep sea, his fantasy pet monster and the fourth book in the series -- result!
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Kicking things off with Tom Palmer…

When it comes to all things football, one name comes to mind… Tom Palmer. From the Football Academy series to The Squad Series to Armistice Runner, Tom brings his love of football and reading back to Barnes Festival 2019 and we couldn’t be more excited!
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Inside Jeremy Strong’s naturally funny mind

From the The-Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog to the My Brother’s Famous Bottom series, funny man Jeremy Strong has written over a hundred books! He will be bringing some of his first class hilarity to Barnes Festival 2019 and introducing his latest book Armadillo & Hare. And this is no ordinary hare of course. For starters, this one plays the tuba... We can’t wait to hear more!
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Sophy Henn on her love of animals

There might not be anyone else on the planet who loves animals as much as Sophy Henn. Sophy is a friend to all things furry and she’s bringing some of that love to this year’s festival: thank you Sophy! A first class picture book maker; she’s the heart behind the highly acclaimed ‘Where Bear?’ and the ‘Pom Pom’ series. If there’s anything more she enjoys than being around animals, it’s illustrating them… unless it’s horses and unicorns. Join us in welcoming Sophy at the festival for non-stop animal fun and her latest books ‘Lifesize’ and ‘Lifesize Dinosaurs’. You’re guaranteed to have a dino-mite time.
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A quick catch up with Candy Gourlay…

Candy Gourlay, the author of Bone Talk and Is it a Mermaid?, joins us for this year’s festival, hoorah! Candy, originally from the Philippines, is a dab hand at writing for different cultures and inviting the reader on a fascinating journey that grips and delights you. Candy is the BookTrust’s writer in residence and she’s coming to Barnes to share her experiences and reveal all about the mysterious dugong, a creature who might just be a mermaid – so it’s definitely not to be missed.
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Travel back in time with Caroline Lawrence

Who wouldn’t want to discover the untold story of how the remains of a 14-year-old girl ended up buried with an ivory knife in Roman London? Caroline Lawrence, an author who needs little introduction after her widely successful award winning The Roman Mysteries, is here to catapult you back in time with her latest book The Time Travel Diaries. With the help of her new protagonist, Alex Papas—a schoolboy who has been roped into travelling back to 260 AD by an eccentric millionaire — Lawrence is doing what she does best, taking you on an exciting journey through Roman London, leaving just enough time for us to meet her marvelously talented self at the festival. Result!
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Christopher Lloyd on Elton John, R2D2 and the difference between man and machine…

From dinosaurs to robots to your standard 30 cm ruler, the man behind the best-selling Absolutely Everything Christopher Lloyd is one of many who will be delighting us at this year’s festival. Three cheers for Chris! Christopher Lloyd is the resident expert on, well, everything. His books include The What on Earth Series and The Story of the World in 100 Species. Lloyd is coming to Barnes to delight and fascinate you about the worlds 13 billion year history, in just 50 minutes. Wow! Bring nothing but your enthusiasm and quizzical questions because if anyone can give you the answers, it’s Chris!
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