Trevor Wilson, director of Authors Abroad, is launching a children’s literature festival in Yorkshire to “address the north-south gap”.
The Broughton Hall Children's Literature Festival will take place 27-30th September in Skipton, Yorkshire, and feature 65 authors, poets, illustrators, storytellers and animators. Wilson is also arranging more than 200 school visits, which he says will involve around 40,000 children.
“There is very much a south-centric bias when it comes to children’s literature festivals and Authors Abroad is aiming to address this imbalance,” Wilson told The Bookseller. “We feel there is a need for regional diversity in children’s literature festivals. At the moment there is certainly a north-south gap and we aim to fill it.”
Authors who have signed up to take part include Clare Balding, Sir Chris Hoy, Alexander Armstrong, Chris Bradford, Robin Stevens, MG Leonard and Abi Elphinstone along with Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Ross Welford, Holly Smale and Sally Gardner.
All of the 200 schools who are taking part will be invited to join in a short story competition, with one winner from each seeing their story published in a book by Caboodle Books. There will also be a scarecrow trail and schools will be invited to contribute a scarecrow, based on a book character of their own.
Wilson is funding the festival through Authors Abroad, a business that organises author visits to schools, as well as contributions from local businesses and some charity support.
All the writers taking part will be paid and some of the profits will be donated to The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which helps train teachers to recognise, and then address, mental health issues in children, he said.
Tickets for the Broughton Hall Children's Literature Festival are available from 1st May via the event’s website.