Home Book Award Amelia launches festival program aimed specifically at young readers

Amelia launches festival program aimed specifically at young readers


Tunbridge Wells’ first Literary Festival takes place at the end of April to coincide with the opening of the town’s new Amelia Scott Cultural Centre. The event takes place over four days from April 29 to May 2 and, in addition to hosting a host of well-known writers, it will also offer a program for young book fans. Richard Williams learns more…

The Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival held at the end of April features high-profile authors including TV comedian David Baddiel and former Tunbridge Wells high school student Jo Brand, but the Amelia Scott team have also come from announce an engaging program for young readers.

Aimed at early years to young adults, the festival will feature beloved authors, award-winning new writers and illustrators from across the country.

The young readers program will include readings, performances, questions and answers, activities and a chance to put on pajamas for a daytime sleepover.

Venues will include the Amelia Scott, Assembly Hall Theater and Trinity Theatre, all centrally located in Tunbridge Wells with plenty of nearby parking and a buggy park in the Amelia’s lobby.

Here is a very brief overview of the program for children…

Saturday April 30

Cate Douglas, author and illustrator, will introduce new readers poppy tail, a picture book with a fun, rhyming story about imagination and creativity. Everyone will be encouraged to join in with people who can carry and wag a tail like Poppy’s.

Simon James Green, a young adult LGBTQ+ author, offers the option of wearing pajamas in a fully immersive daytime sleepover experience. He will talk about his book, the wonderfully funny Slumber Party Takeoverwho has friendship and inclusion at heart.

Simon James Green will return later today to talk about his historical comedy novel about a group of gay teenagers, gay clubs!

Horror and fantasy author Darren Shan will bring his “reverse career retrospective” to readers old and new. His gruesome stories have turned many readers into horror fans, and he’ll begin with a discussion of his most recent Archibald Lox fantastic book and going back to the series that started it all, Darren Shan Saga.

Sunday May 1

New author Manjeet Mann will talk about her first picture book, Small’s Big Dream, which encourages children of all ages to dream big. Amanda Quartey, the original illustrator of Small’s Big Dream, whose spectacular art style brings Small and her beautiful journey to life, will discuss the book with Manjeet.

In a second event, Manjeet will talk about his young adult novel winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2021 The passageabout two teenagers from opposite worlds and the very real tragedies of the refugee crisis.

Skye McKenna will be there to chat Witchthe first in her five-book fantasy series introducing readers to the hidden village of Hedgely and the story of Cassie Morgan and her search for her missing mother which brings her face to face with Hedgewitch.

Monday, May 2

Playwright, poet and award-winning children’s author Kiran Millwood Hargrave will discuss Julia and the sharkwinner of the 2021 Waterstones Children’s Gift of the Year award. Kiran will be accompanied by her husband, artist and author Tom De Freston, whose beautiful illustrations accompany her story.

Author Sita Brahmachari and acclaimed multimedia artist Natalie Sirett will make their debuts Raven’s Treasure Chest experience. This is an interactive event based on the plot of When the shadows fallwritten by Sita and illustrated by Natalie – a novel that sees Kai’s friends desperate to keep him from falling into the wrong crowd.

Places are limited, so it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

Learn more about the party…

New authors and events are announced regularly. More recently Kate Humbleone of television’s most recognizable faces (On Our Farm; Springwatch) will offer a glimpse into his life through the lens of his new cookbook Home cooking. Kate will be joined by a renowned freelance writer and journalist Felicity’s Cloakwho has just published his book Eating from A to Z.

Kate joins the Sunday Times bestseller Pat Nevinwhose memoirs The Accidental Footballer was hailed as “an absolute pleasure to read”. He’ll sit down with Chelsea supporter Andy Hamilton and wow us with tales of his life in football, his love of culture and his passion for indie music – earning him the title of ‘the first post- punk”.

Much more information is available at:

See also:

TV presenter Kate Humble and footballer Pat Nevin join literary festival headliners

& David Baddiel and Jo Brand among stars set to headline new Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival