Are you ready? Just 72 hours until tickets for our Festival of Children’s Literature go on sale!

winninglogoOn Monday (September 2nd) tickets for our Festival of Children’s Literature go on sale.

We’re thrilled by the huge level of interest there has been in the Festival and we’re really looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Here’s who you could see:

james_headonly80pxJames Mayhew, perhaps best known for his Katie and Ella Bella Ballerina books which explore fine art and ballet, will be running a fascinating workshop aimed at children 10-14 years old, all about illustrating to live music (performed by musicians from the Birmingham Conservatoire), using Benjamin Britten’s music for T. H. White’s King Arthur book, The Sword in the Stone.

This will take place 10-12, and tickets are £11. Tickets are for children only (adults are not allowed to take part or observe, though parents and carers are welcome to enjoy a cup of coffee, browse the stands in the rest of the festival or even listen to David Almond’s event whilst their children take part in the workshop). Please note: There are only 25 tickets available for this workshop. Given the level of interest in this unique event, early booking is strongly advised.

Later in the day there will be a unique and magical concert celebrating Benjamin Britten’s centenary with a performance of his The Sword in the Stone, featuring live illustration and readings by James, musicians from the Birmingham Conservatoire and workshop participants. The concert will take place 1-2pm. Participants from the morning workshop will be required to attend (though the level of their participation will be mutually agreed with James during the workshop), but will not require a ticket for this. Parents/Carers/Friends and Family will require tickets, and these will be on sale from Monday at £5 each.

almondheadDavid Almond, winner of the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Carnegie Medal, and two Whitbread Awards, will be celebrating 15 years of Skellig, including exploring its adaptation for opera, theatre and film. This event takes place 11-12, and all tickets are £5.

claraheadClara Vulliamy, who has over 30 books to her name including the much loved Bear with the Sticky Paws and Lucky Wish Mouse, will be hosting an exciting mini puppet toy theatre workshop based on Bubble and Squeak, a book specially written for her to illustrate, by James Mayhew. Clara’s workshop takes place 11.30-12.30, and tickets cost £5 per child, and are free for accompanying adults (children must be accompanied). As only 25 (child) spaces are available for this exciting workshop, early booking is strongly recommended!

emmamichaeltwoheadsMichael Morpurgo, Children’s Laureate 2003-2005 and author of Private Peaceful and War Horse amongst many others, and Emma Chichester Clark, illustrator of more than 80 books, including Blue Kangaroo, and Melrose and Croc will draw the day to a close with an engaging insight into their new collaboration, a retelling of Pinocchio. This will take place 3-4pm, and all tickets are £5.

During the day you’ll get the chance to meet all the authors and illustrators. There will also be free storytelling, the chance to vote for for your favourite of the Red House Children’s Book Award shortlisted books, and of course the opportunity to buy books by all the authors and illustrators present on the day. You’ll also be able to find out much more about the Federation, if you’re not already a member, and see just how passionate we are about bringing books and children together.

From Monday you will be able to buy tickets in person in Birmingham at The Box, in the new Library of Birmingham. Alternatively you’ll be able to buy tickets securely on online via this link.

If you have any queries about the day please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either by leaving a comment below, or by emailing

We’re really looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!

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