CBBC is putting on a two-day event in Birmingham this July to celebrate "awesome" authors in partnership with BBC Learning, Birmingham City Council and the Library of Birmingham.
Awesome Authors, which aims to get children excited about reading, creative writing and storytelling, will bring CBBC stars together with "best-loved" authors, such as Dame Jacqueline Wilson, at the Library of Birmingham and Centenary Square between Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July.
In addition to Dame Wilson (right), authors due to appear on the Saturday include Alex T Smith, author behind the Claude series that is to be adapted into a series for Disney; comedian David Baddiel (below left), who wrote The Person Controller (HarperCollins Children's Books); co-authors to Danger is Everywhere (Puffin) David O’Doherty and Chris Judge, children's author Jeremy Strong, and Lucy Hawking, who wrote with her father Stephen Hawking George’s Secret Key To the Universe (Corgi Childrens).
The second day of the "action-packed" line-up features illustrator and children's writer Liz Pichon; young-adult novelist behind The (Un)Arranged Marriage Bali Rai; children's author and writer of the Olympic opening ceremony Frank Cottrell Boyce; cartoonist Andy Riley; children's detective fiction author Robin Stevens and fantasy author Ross MacKenzie.
Children attending will be able to learn more about their favourite CBBC shows and watch as Blue Peter and Newsround broadcast live from the event. They will also have the chance to try "hands-on" activities that encourage reading and literacy in interactive zones created by BBC Learning, including a Wolfblood Zone and a CBBC HQ Zone.
There will also be a Match of the Day Kickabout Zone where children can learn how the Match of the Day magazine is put together. BBC 5 live commentators will explain how to tell a compelling story and author Dan Freedman will speak about his Jamie Johnson books, since made into a CBBC drama. For those aged under six, meanwhile, there is a CBeebies Zone with guest appearances from many CBeebies characters.
Cheryl Taylor, controller of CBBC, said: “We are extremely lucky to work with a host of Awesome Authors on CBBC and we are delighted to give viewers the opportunity to come along to Birmingham and meet their favourite writers and CBBC stars. I hope we can inspire the next generation of avid readers and bestselling authors in the process.”
Helen Foulkes, creative director, BBC Learning, said: “BBC Learning is delighted to be partnering with CBBC on Awesome Authors live. We will be providing hands-on activities themed on children's favourite shows and featuring some of their best-loved presenters, all with the aim of inspiring more young people to pick up books and start reading for pleasure. And for the first time this year, BBC Learning will be linking up the main event with four other events held at libraries in each of the home nations, sharing the excitement and inspiring even more children to enjoy a good book.”
Joe Godwin, director of BBC Birmingham, said: "We're very excited to be welcoming CBBC Live to the city this summer for our audiences in Birmingham to get up close and personal to some of their favourite programmes. Centenary Square, outside the awesome Library of Birmingham, is the perfect backdrop for this Awesome Authors event to take place, and I’m looking forward to showing Hacker and the CBBC gang what this city has to offer!"
CBBC Live in Birmingham follows last year’s successful CBBC Live in Hull, which saw over 25,000 people visit over two days. Awesome Authors is part of Love To Read, a BBC campaign that celebrates great authors and their works and will get the nation reading and sharing the books they love.