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Bath Children’s Literature Festival has revealed a varied and vibrant programme for its ten-day celebration of books, which opens on Friday 23 September.

Europe’s largest stand-alone children’s book festival will welcome household names, debut authors and a host of illustrators to Bath for an exciting line-up for all ages.

There is plenty for families to look forward to, from live story telling sessions for preschool children, through a wide mix of events for middle grade readers, to events aimed at teen and Young Adult (YA) audiences.

The festival runs from Friday 23 September until Sunday 2 October. In addition to live events for families, there is a full programme of schools events attended by hundreds of local school children.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival are over-the-moon to announce Alice Oseman, the creator of the #1 bestselling Heartstopper graphic novel series, is the 2022 guest curator for our teen and YA strand of events. As well as appearing at the festival in two events, one about the success of Heartstopper, and another with fellow writer Juno Dawson, Alice has curated a selection of top events for teens and YA audiences across our school and public programme. These include events from YA author Simon James Green, manga creators, Saturday AM Comics, and celebrity reporter and author Benjamin Dean.

Highlights of the 2022 festival include:

  • A return to Bath of much-loved national treasures Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson (the latter will be in conversation with TV and radio personality Katie Thistleton), both former Children’s Laureates with new stories to tell, who continue to enthrall new generations with the power of their words and storytelling.
  • Many writers will be celebrating what makes us different including TV comedian Rosie Jones, award-winning writer Elle McNicoll and former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell.
  • Back by popular demand are among others, the current Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell (hear all about her magical new series), Joseph Coelho, poet, author and word magician, Robin Stevens unveiling her thrilling new mystery series, multi award-winning M. G. Leonard and illustrators popular for their draw-along events, Liz Pichon, Steven Lenton and Rob Biddulph.
  • Sharing LGBTQ+ stories are comedic novel writer Simon James Green, heartwarming writer Jodie Lancet-Grant, award winning authors and screen writer’s Alice Oseman and Juno Dawson.
  • Well-known entertainers turned successful children’s authors, David Baddiel, Julian Clary, Richard Ayoade and Dermot O’ Leary who all know how to please a crowd.
  • A celebration of Black history and popular, contemporary stories starring children of colour with Melody Triumph and Millie Mensah from The Black Curriculum, and Patrice Lawrence and Serena Patel within the schools and public programme.
  • Avid readers who love to snap up the next new absorbing novel, will be pleased to see authors Emma Carroll, Patrice Lawrence, Antony McGowan, Hannah Gold, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Katherine Rundell.
  • The festival will be promoting stories of acceptance, for ourselves and others. Bath-based former Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams will be exploring the challenges of training body and mind to be the very best they can, but also learning how to face adversity.
  • The festival has teamed up with The Egg Theatre to host a weekend Happiness Hub. This will include a brilliant session with mental health ambassador Dr Alex George chatting to TV and radio personality and fellow mental health advocate Katie Thistleton, with his manual A Better Day and creative sessions inspired to bring joy and silliness. There will also be a series of free drop-in activities in The Egg café where young people will be able to find out where to get further support.
  • There is also FREE entrance for all to The American Museum and Gardens in Bath on Sunday 2 October. Visit Hatching the Past: American Dinosaur Explorers and learn all about dinosaurs. The museum will be hosting storytelling sessions featuring dinosaurs, hosting craft activities, there will be a reading corner and fun for the whole family.

Tickets go on general release on 1 July. Members who sign up at www.bathfestivals.org.uk/support-us are able to get priority booking so SIGN UP NOW to make sure you get tickets for the events you most want to take part in. 

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