Festival in Schools

Posted on 15th May 2023

We take authors into schools to inspire children to get reading!

Events with Authors

Martin Brown’s Schools Visit February 2023


We were thrilled to take the author and Horrible Histories’ illustrator Martin Brown into Mill Water School and The Deaf Academy in Exmouth.

Martin entertained the students with drawings and funny anecdotes about periods in history he’s had to illustrate – the series is 30 years old this year.

The Festival donated a series of HH books to each school library.

He then went on to Exmouth Community College to talk to year 11,12 and 13 art students about being an illustrator.

He’s pictured here with Joanna Fison at the Deaf Academy exchanging books!

Schools Week October 2022

As a charity, the Festival is committed to encouraging children to read and enjoy books. Good literacy and a love of books brings enormous benefits for life outcomes and well-being. Young people have lost so much of their education because of the pandemic and it has never been more important to help them bridge that literacy gap by introducing them to real live authors!

This year we took the following authors into schools reaching over 2600 young people:

Patrice Lawrence
The author of the Waterstones’ Award-winning Orangeboy brought us her latest book, The Elemental Detectives.

Matt Oldfield
The author of Unbelievable Football (winner of the 2020 Children’s Sports Book of the Year Award) and the Johnny Ball: Football Genius series.

Sophy Henn
The award-winningauthor/illustrator of the Bad Nana, Pom Pom, Ted board book and Pizazz middlegrade series, and the nonfiction titles Lifesize and Lifesize Dinosaurs, among others

Nikita Gill
The British-Indian poet, playwright, writer and illustrator who has written and curated seven volumes of poetry including Your Soul Is A River, Your Heart is the Sea, Wild Embers Fierce Fairytales and Great Goddesses and These Are The Words exploring all the things Nikita wished someone had told her when she was younger. She uses social media to engage her audience and she has over 650,000 followers on Instagram. She has been described as one of the most successful Instapoets. She inspired students from Sidmouth Community College and St Peter’s Exeter including Protest Poetry Winners.

Alex Wharton
The writer and poet, author of the poetry collection Daydreams and Jellybeans. Alex won the inaugural Rising Stars Wales Award in 2020.

Feedback from Schools

An enormous thank you to you all on behalf of both the students and the English Department for coming to visit the school and gifting us the copies of Patrice’s new book. Patrice was such an engaging storyteller, and the children were mesmerised by her. The books you gifted to the children were incredibly well received – for some of those children that will probably be the first book they have ever owned and having it signed by the author will make it a treasured possession. The students were so enthusiastic the next day when I asked them what they thought about the opportunity. The whole event will be one they will remember for years to come and here’s hoping it may trigger a newfound love of reading in some of our most deprived pupils, something I’m sure Patrice would be very pleased to see.
St Peter’s School, Exeter

Thank you so much for coming to our library on Monday. We have had some brilliant feedback from children and their parents. It was so lovely to see a room full of (mostly) boys who had voluntarily come along to listen to a talk about books! We know from talking to parents that they often struggle to get their sons interested in reading.
Budleigh Library

We all found Emma Smith’s talk highly engaging and thought provoking. The students were both challenged and enthused in equal measure, and we had a very interesting conversation on our return to school. Many thanks for inviting us to be part of the event. It would be great to be included in future outreach events.
The Woodroffe School

Emma Smith is a brilliant speaker and it was the perfect way to launch studying the Shakespeare plays for the students. I thought Patrice Lawrence was a brilliant speaker – a great person to have in for our Year 7s. We’re hugely lucky to have been offered such brilliant speakers.
Colyton Grammar School

All the staff were very impressed with Alex Wharton and said he did an interesting and engaging talk. Thank you to you for all your hard work in organising the event.
Newton Poppleford Primary School

If you would like more information about our work with schools, please email us here.

Books for Kids

The Festival is raising money to give as many children as possible a book of their own to have at home. One in 11 children in low income areas don’t own a single book and we aim to put this right in our region. If you felt you could make a donation, however small, to help provide Books for Kids, please donate here.

Thank you.

Posted by Festival Team on 15th May 2023

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