This year’s Swindon Youth Festival of Literature will launch on Monday 7 November and the dedicated librarians from Swindon’s secondary schools are working flat out to ensure a fantastic week of events for students across the town.
As always, a world class field of authors is coming to Swindon, bringing with them exciting and interactive talks and workshops. Each school will host its own events as well as joining together for cross-school talks and activities. The prestigious book quiz trophy is once more up for grabs and there are prizes to be won in the creative writing and illustration competitions.
The week gets underway with a visit from the 2015-2017 Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddel who is famed not just for his children’s books but also for his political cartoons in the Observer.
This years festival will also be welcoming Holly Smale, who pens the popular Geek Girl series, as headline act at the Wyvern Theatre on Thursday 10 November. Holly was spotted by a top London model agency when she was only fifteen years old which led to ‘two years falling over on catwalks, going bright red and breaking things she couldn’t afford to replace.’ Now, with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare behind her, she is more role model than catwalk model as her list of book award nominations and prizes will testify.
This will be the ninth year of the festival, which has grown from modest beginnings to a full-on week of quality events. Last year, the author Phil Earle said; “I genuinely love being part of this festival. It’s my third year being involved and there is no other festival like it. It’s a true one-off and one that should be treasured.’
A spokesperson for the festival said: “At a time when libraries are under threat, we are delighted that we are able to celebrate the true joy of reading and books with our students. Reading for pleasure matters and enriches lives in so many ways. Our festival is an excellent opportunity to light the spark and get young people reading for fun. “