A digital Irish children's book festival is launching later this month, in association with Dublin's Pavilion Theatre.
Wonderfest will take place from 20th to 22nd November, featuring 28 events with over 60 artists. The line-up includes Eoin Colfer, Oliver Jeffers, Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn, Derek Landy, Paul Howard and Gordon D’Arcy, Judi Curtin, Chris Judge, Chris Haughton, Mary Murphy and Peter Donnelly. The festival will also feature dual language events in Gaelic and English.
The festival highlights include "draw-along" sessions with Judge, Sheena Dempsey and Nicola Colton, a Q&A with Skulduggery Pleasant author Derek Landy and live webinars with editors and agents, aimed at budding children's writers and illustrators.
All events will be streamed live, with some pre-recorded elements, giving children the opportunity to interact with writers and illustrators, and to engage with new Irish children’s books published during 2020. The event will be Ireland’s first fully digital children’s book festival, and is being run by a team of children’s writers and illustrators, hand in hand with Irish publishers and bookshops, and supported by Children’s Books Ireland.
The books accompanying the events can be purchased through Wonderfest's 12 partner bookshops, which include Half Way Up The Stairs and The Book Centre.
Sarah Webb, spokesperson for the Wonderfest events team, said: “This year many of the major festival were cancelled and both readers and writers miss them terribly. In September during a virtual coffee morning run by Children’s Books Ireland, 12 children’s writers and illustrators made a decision: we’d band together to create and run a completely digital family book festival – that way it would happen come what may. And from that spark of an idea Wonderfest grew. It’s been a real pleasure working with the festival team and we can’t wait to share our events with children and families in November!”