Janet Smyth and Fritha Lindqvist have joined Bath Festivals to undertake the programming of Bath Children’s Literature Festival.
Smyth, former children and education programme director at Edinburgh International Book Festival, will take on the role of children's programme consultant following eight years at Edinburgh. Lindqvist, former head of publicity at Hachette Children’s Group and now children’s books consultant, will become children’s festival programmer, working in a freelance capacity. They will report to Madeline Toy, head of literature programming.
Toy said: “I am completely delighted to welcome Janet and Fritha to the Bath Festivals team and the Children’s Literature Festival. The combination of Janet’s festival experience and Fritha’s communications and industry knowledge will be a great asset to Bath Children’s Literature Festival and I can’t wait to get going on the 2020 programme. I’m so looking forward to them bringing new ideas and influence to the already fantastic festival and seeing it grow and evolve in the coming years.”
The duo will take over all programming and artistic direction from John and Gill McLay who are leaving at the end of the 2019 festival on 6th October. They will also work alongside Hazel Plowman, head of creative learning and Kate Abbey, festival programmer and the rest of the in-house Bath Festivals team.
Smyth said: “Bath has an excellent reputation across the world of book festivals and amongst children's publishers and writers and I'm pleased and flattered to be asked to support the festival as it transitions under the new stewardship and programming of Fritha Lindqvist. I've worked with Fritha for a number of years and I know that her ideas, vision and insight will bring fresh energy to the Festival, while building on the wonderful legacy of the last 13 years."
Lindqvist added: “I am immensely proud to be joining the Bath Festivals team to work alongside the brilliant Janet Smyth on programming an exciting line-up for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2020 and beyond. With both my parent and publicist hat on, I can safely say there is no greater buzz around the wonder of children’s books and reading for pleasure than at a literature festival. The Bath Children’s Literature Festival, established with incredible passion over 10 years ago, is one of the very best, serving up brilliant book-centred events for the local community and for out-of-town visitors. I can’t wait to get started.”