Children’s book festivals in September and October 2023

Children's Book Festivals September 2023 and October 2023

Children’s book festivals in September and October 2023

You’re spoilt for choice over the next few months as several fabulous literary events for young people are taking place. These sessions are either part of general book festivals or are children’s literary festivals in their own right. Here’s our round-up of what’s coming up.

Venturing first to Devon, Appledore Book Festival runs from 15 to 24 September. Authors participating in the festival’s Schools Week for local schools include Patrice Lawrence, Joseph Coelho, Tom Palmer, Manjeet Mann and Lisa Williamson. Plus, Manjeet and Joseph are running events open to the public.

Staying in the South West and Bath Children’s Literature Festival is taking place from 29 September to 8 October. A large festival, this year’s lineup of authors and illustrators includes Robin Stevens, Cressida Cowell, Rob Biddulph, Holly Jackson, Dapo Adeola and Nathan Bryon, Nikita Gill, Katherine Rundell, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Holly Bourne, Chris Riddell and Tom Holland.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival also brings you the Reading is Magic Festival. It’s online from 2 to 6 October. Cressida Cowell plays a key role as ever, and this year is joined by Joseph Coelho, Harry Woodgate, David Almond and Benjamin Zephaniah.

It’s off to Henley-on-Thames for the Henley Literary Festival from 30 September to 8 October. The children’s events include talks from authors Louie Stowell, Jacqueline Wilson and Derek Landy. 

Don’t miss the Cheltenham Literature Festival from 6 to 15 October, with sessions for primary and secondary schools and for home educators, featuring Rob Biddulph, Benji Davies, Anna James, Jamie Littler, Michael Rosen, Varsha Shah, Thomas Taylor and Kate Wakeling. Plus, there’s a dedicated YA programme themed around topics including queer romance, social media and creating positive change in the world. Sign up for sessions with Holly Bourne, Amara Sage, William Hussey, Tanya Byrne, Daniel Tawse, Benjamin Dean, Holly Jackson, Kathryn Foxfield, Michelle Elman, Natasha Devon and Alan Bissett. Phew!

Celebrating 50 years this year, Ilkley Literature Festival welcomes Jacqueline Wilson, Robin Stevens and Katie Kirby. It’s on from 6 to 22 October. 

The Southbank Centre hosts the London Literature Festival spanning 18 to 29 October. It encompasses the Black British Book Festival on the 27 and 28 October, celebrating Black British authors and offering talks from writers and illustrators, and workshops on breaking into publishing. The children’s authors speaking across the festivals include Jeffrey Boakye, Jacqueline Wilson, Annemarie Anang, Marvyn Harrison and Tọlá Okogwu. 

There’s also still time to catch the Black British Book Festival tour, bringing Black British authors to towns across the UK and increasing access to books with pop-up events in non-traditional spaces such as chicken shops, hairdressers, sportswear shops and shopping centres. 

Finally to Somerset for the Wells Festival of Literature from 27 October to 4 November, which supports local schools. There are also popular writing competitions for adults. 

There’s so much going on –  have we missed any? What children’s book festivals are you looking forward to? Let us know.

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