The Bath & Wiltshire Parent has been chosen as media partner for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2021, which will take place – with live events! – from Friday 24 September to Sunday 3 October. Look out for our logo on promos for the festival and for the festival what’s on guide, which we’ll be featuring in our next magazine, out in September.

The Bath-based festival is Europe’s largest dedicated children’s book festival and this will be its 14th year of bringing diverse and lively events to young readers. Over the past years visiting authors have included Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Harry Hill, Malorie Blackman, Julia Donaldson and Frank Cottrell Boyce. There have been cosy library storytelling sessions for tiny tots, events for primary school children including live draw-alongs and talks for older readers with visiting YA authors.

During the 2019 festival, more than 1,000 children packed the Forum in Bath where they were inspired by Cressida Cowell, the creator of the How To Train Your Dragon series, talking about her own magical adventures in writing and drawing. Meanwhile, Greg James and Chris Smith, creators of Kid Normal, entertained the audience in the Guildhall and Andy Stanton, creator of Mr Gum, made everyone laugh with his antics.

It’s a great chance for your kids to see their favourite authors and illustrators in the flesh, and to enjoy the buzz of being in a room with other readers who like the same kind of books as they do.

Organisers will release full details of who’s coming to this autumn’s festival on 19 July and you’ll be able to buy tickets from 30 July. Sign up at  receive news as and when it unfolds. 

Look out too for details of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival Junior Journalists competition. This is a fantastic opportunity for children who are mad about writing and meeting authors. The festival will be inviting children over the school holidays to submit book reviews to be in with a chance of winning one of those coveted three Junior Journalists lanyards and back stage passes to festival events. Keep an eye out on The Bath & Wiltshire Parent website for details of how to enter this competition.

The Reading is Magic Festival, the digital books festival born out of necessity during lockdown, makes its return this autumn by popular demand. The five-day online programme will run from Monday 27 September to Friday 1 October. Last year’s festival was enjoyed by thousands of schools and families at home in more than 65 countries. It’s free to view and includes author events, story time and discussions around topics that are so important to young people today.

Reading is Magic Festival is also created by Bath Festivals, producers of Bath Children’s Literature Festival. It takes its name from Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, author-illustrator and campaigner for children’s literacy. Cressida coined the term, ‘reading is magic and magic is for everyone’ as she set out her ten-part manifesto championing young people when she became Children’s Laureate in 2019. She will also take part in this year’s festival and share her latest project Life-changing Libraries, which showcases the impact school libraries can have on children’s opportunities in life.