Packed programme of children’s events at St Albans LitFest

Julia Golding

Julia Golding - Credit: Archant

An exceptional array of workshops, talks and interactive sessions for children have been scheduled for this year’s St Albans LitFest.

Katherine Woodfine

Katherine Woodfine - Credit: Archant

The majority of these take place on Saturday July 9 at St Peter’s Church and the offices of Debenhams Ottaway, and promise something for book-loving youngsters of all ages.

The event kicks off with a session based on the first full-length Clangers picture book, published by Ladybird Books. Children will gather to hear a live storytelling of Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise, before designing and making their very own Clanger finger puppet to take home! Hosted by professional storyteller Alastair Watson, the event also offers the chance to take photo-booth style pictures with your favourite Clanger, and hear the very special original Clangers whistle!

With nods to the old tales, Robin Jarvis brings the gothic town of Whitby into the 21st century with his new book The Power of Dark, an enthralling mix of magic and horror, the first title in a new series from the fantasy legend, and will be talking about his books and their inspiration and there will be plenty of opportunity for questions.

Everyone wants to be an It Girl, don’t they? Navigate the unknown world of Stardom with Katy Birchall and Anna as your guides. Katy starts the event telling the children about her life as a journalist at Country Life and begins with a funny reading from the book. Katy draws on her character Anna’s love of Marvel Comics and the children get to create their very own superhero.

Lisa Heathfield

Lisa Heathfield - Credit: Archant

Enter a world of bonbons, perfumes and mysteries around every corner. Join Katherine Woodfine on an Edwardian adventure through London’s most prestigious department store, Sinclair’s. Learn all about how Katherine writes, help solve a mystery or two and bring those dastardly villains to justice.

Lisa Heathfield, author of Paper Butterflies will be running a young adult workshop, revealing how she deals with issues such as race, abuse and fear in a very poignant but accessible way.

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A must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and great family entertainment is The Wimpy Kid Show. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz. The event also includes exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books, his involvement in the films and showing how he draws the characters. All those who purchase a book on the day will be eligible for it to be stamped with an exclusive Wimpy Kid Show stamp. This show has been a sell-out in the past, if you want to come book your tickets as soon as possible!

Are there questions too complex for young people to face in literature? What is the value of exploring our complex world through fiction? Sita Brahmachari talks about how she mediates the real world in her fictional stories, including Artichoke Hearts, Jasmine Skies and Kite Spirit.

Meet Mel Foster and his rag-tag bunch of monster misfits as they chase around Victorian London, attempting to save Queen Victoria from the clutches of her Demon Butler! Julia Golding will be taking children through her books, her writing process and even gets them dancing to her character-inspiring playlists.

Phoenix Comics contributor Neill Cameron will show participants how to generate (awesome) ideas for comics, and then how to turn those ideas into a comic story as part of his workshop.

On the Sunday, come along to meet Camilla Chester, author of Jarred Dreams, at The Oxfam Bookshop. Camilla will be playing the writing game, signing books, doing readings from her book and answering questions about writing for children.

For full details on times and locations, and how to book tickets, visit the LitFest website.