Axel Scheffler, Sally Gardner, Piers Torday and Roger McGough Lead the Line-Up


LONDON, 23 February 2015 – Barnes is set to become the new centre of children’s literature in London with the announcement of the first Barnes Children’s Literature Festival on Saturday 25 April.

The co-creator of The Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler, Carnegie Medallist Sally Gardner and Horrible Histories Martin Brown are a few of the big names that will be part of a programme of very special events around Barnes Pond for young book fans and their families, including live interviews, readings and book signings, workshops and discussions.

A highlight for both children and adults alike will be a special family performance by Britain’s best loved poet and Barnes resident, Roger McGough.

Also appearing in Barnes will be the winner of the 2014 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Piers Torday, and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2013, Jim Smith, as well as Karen McCombie, Marcia Williams, Chris Haughton, Emer Stamp, Abie Longstaff and Alexander Gordon Smith among others.

The Festival is supported by the Barnes Community Association and is being presented in partnership with Barnes Bookshop. A percentage of all books sold on the day, as well as any profit from ticket sales, will be donated to local children’s charities.

Organiser Amanda Brettargh said: ‘This is London’s first dedicated children’s literature festival and Barnes is the perfect place for it.’

‘Barnes is a place that loves its books. There’s a rich literary legacy here, one of London’s best independent bookshops too, and our unique setting around beautiful Barnes Pond will provide a literary experience like no other,’ she said.

Ms Brettargh said she believed ‘Barnes would grow to become a leading literature festival of national and international standing.’

On hearing the news, Roger McGough, who has lived in Barnes for over twenty years, was moved to put pen to paper:

This year in Barnes
Imagine the scene:
Words cascading
Around the Green

Sound the trumpets
Thump the drums
In Spring, a Children’s
Book Fest comes

The full programme for the day can be found at

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