About Barnes

‘London now has a world-class children’s book festival.’ S F Said, BBC Blue Peter Book of the Year award winner

Cheers, SF Said, you legend

We were standing at the school gate when the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival was born, a kind of afternoon epiphany for a few of us Mums and Dads who believe in books: a literature festival for families and their friends, curated entirely by the families.

That was six years ago and we must have done something right because since then we’ve met thousands of families of all shapes and sizes who love books like we do and these days Barnes is London’s largest dedicated children’s literature event.

It’s still something we do alongside our day jobs and school runs but every year we manage to pull it together with the help of our families, friends and 130 volunteers from the Barnes and books communities.You’ll see some of our kids helping out now too!

Because we believe that every child should have the opportunity to experience live literature we’re very proud of the fact that we use the income from every ticket you buy to provide the largest free literature festival schools programme in the UK and next year we’ll provide 6,000 free places for primary pupils.

We’re for love, not profit, all the way.

Barnes is put on by families for families so we’re 100% committed to making sure your tribe has an amazing time.

As well as bringing you all your favourite authors and illustrators, we’re always pushing the boundaries of traditional literature festivals to create loads more space for the family-friendliest fun.

At Barnes we programme books as theatre, music, maths, science, art, craft, cookery, film, football, whatever it takes really to bring the magic of reading and writing to the kids.

You’ll also find a few special treats beside beautiful Barnes Pond that you’re unlikely to see at festivals anywhere else. As our Uncle Bill would say, the only rules are there are no rules!

And every year we discover all these brilliant new books that we just know you’ll adore and this is what keeps us going – and growing!

We’ve started as we mean to go on, so get ready for more books, more fun, more adventure, more everything in 2020!

We can’t wait for you to get here!

Lots of love, the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival XO

  • BCLF 2015 Gallery 1
     
  • BCLF 2015 Gallery 2