Sunday, 27 November 2016

Manchester Children's Book Festival November/December 2016

The latest information from Manchester Children's Book Festival details events coming up in November and December:

The Manchester Children’s Book Festival team are working with partner organisations to put together a year-long round programme of activities for readers of all ages.  October was a busy month: North Korean writer and activist Sungju Lee appeared at Manchester Literature Festival (MLF) and also visited schools to inspire young people with his story of survival; George Kirk joined us in our MCBF Story Tent at the MLF Family Reading Day and we joined Mcr Central Library for the Reading Hack #LoveReading #ReadManchester event, featuring Samantha Shannon.


November and December are looking even busier.  Last week, we took Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell out to talk to pupils from 4 local schools as part of the BookTrust Laureate tour and we are now planning ahead for 3 Saturday events in November and December. 



Details about a few things happening over the next two months for families are listed below. 


For younger readers/families:


·         Our MCBF Storytelling tent will be out again at the Whitworth Art Gallery’s ‘Frost Fair’ on Saturday 3rd December.  Come and join us in our cosy tent for stories between 11.30 and 5pm.  The Frost Fair is free and runs all weekend, check for info. 

·         The Z-Arts ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things’ interactive exhibition runs through until 17th December but book early if you want to go along

·         Our last MCBF outing before Christmas will take place on December 17th at Longsight Library and the Islamic Centre on Stockport Road.  Join families from Stanley Grove and 5 other local schools between 1-5.30pm for an afternoon of all things poetry, storytelling, art, crafting and the stars. Visit the Star Lab, Man Met Uni’s inflatable planetarium in the Islamic Centre and visit our friends from the Manchester Museum and Jodrell bank.  There will be poetry from Dom Conlon and, from 4.30pm, a lantern parade around the streets from 4.30pm, finishing with free hot chocolate for everyone.  Free.  Everyone welcome.   


For teachers / home educators / pupils:

·         Royal Society of Chemistry John Leach Memorial Lecture.  The Poetry of Science.  In this interactive lecture, Dr Sam Illingworth explores the often fractious relationship between science and poetry through the ages.  As well as highlighting the many similarities between the two fields, and outlining how the two can work together in tandem to solve the interdisciplinary problems of our age, there will also be the opportunity for you to write your own poetry and to discover for yourself just how much these two apparently different disciplines actually have in common.  Pupils are invited for a free lunch before the lecture, and following this will be an awards ceremony for the university John Leach and Edward Howell prize to two of our current students.  We hope that pupils will be inspired by the lecture and award ceremony to pursue interest in the sciences.  We have 80 places available for schools, with up to 40 places per school available.  Please contact if you are interested.  Date 7th December 2016 12-3pm.  Free. 


·         TV presenter Katie Thistleton is inviting young readers (aged 10-16) to help contribute to a new book that will be published by Orion Children's Books, part of the Hachette Children's Group in the summer of 2017.

Katie is an ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind. Her book, 'Dear Katie' will aim to explore the challenges children and teens face as they grow up. Young readers are invited to submit their problems to Katie in a letter format. Details for this project can be found at

If you are a teacher or librarian working in a school in the Manchester area, Katie is keen to talk to pupils aged between 10 and 13 about the project and to encourage them to contribute letters. If you would like to host a talk between now and Christmas please contact for further information.


·         Looking forward to next year but one to save in your diaries for next year.  On Wednesday 5th July from 4.30-7pm, MCBF will be hosting a Creative Learning teacher networking event. Featuring stalls and presentations which will showcase the educational offers of most of our cultural partners and also offering some CPD taster sessions in a range of subject areas for primary teachers through to post-16, this event will be a great opportunity to network and comes just in time for summer planning.  All that and wine … Save the date in your diaries for now and let colleagues know. 


MCBF are often approached by publishers looking to put authors into schools.  These visits are usually free, though the publishers request that, in return for the visit, schools promote the opportunity to buy books to pupils and/or purchase copies for the school library.  Feedback from teachers and librarians who have hosted author events shows that, when a school has an author visit, books by the author featured are always in high demand and use of the library is boosted.  These offers are always advertised via our Facebook and Twitter platforms, so follow or sign up to make sure you’re kept up to date. 


That is it from us until after the Christmas break now.  Follow MCBF on Facebook and Twitter @MCBFestival to make sure you get the news as it develops.  Or sign up to our mailing list via the website. 


With very best wishes for a restful and peaceful Christmas break.


Kaye Tew

Manchester Children’s Book Festival Director,



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