Welcome to the Young People’s programme at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2013, which we hope will bring joy and inspiration.
We are privileged this year to host Children’s Laureate Julia ‘The Gruffalo’ Donaldson, pictured right, acting out, with famous exuberance, her stories and songs, and thrilled to include the warm and wonderful Cornelia Funke, a Hollywood celebrity, who has woven her book-loving magic through the Inkworld series and talks about her latest fantasy for older readers. The dynamic Anthony Horowitz, full of fireworks, will talk about his epic Power of Five sequence. Philip Pullman will discuss the extraordinary His Dark Materials trilogy. And there is a rare and special chance to hear about the family life of Shirley Hughes, creator of Alfie, who will reminisce with her three children: Ed, Tom and Clara Vulliamy.
As always, we like to laugh. So we invited Eoin Colfer, one of the funniest speakers we know, to launch his new WARP series at the festival. Roger McGough, probably the world’s most entertaining performance poet, will delight you with wordplay and drawing. Philip Ardagh (the Festival’s Best Beard Award winner) will talk (and maybe even grunt) about The Grunts. And cartoonist and author Ros Asquith will tickle ribs with her Funny-Prize shortlisted aliens from the planet Faa.
The irresistible Sally Gardner will present her witty new detective series. Oxford’s own Julia Golding, pictured left, will invite you to work out which Knight of the Round Table you would be. Christopher Lloyd will tell the history of the world through objects taken out of his pockets. The Oxford Word Wizards will revel in puns and wordplay. Cathy Cassidy, friendship guru, will be among friends for a cosy tea party with cakes and chat. And Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear are celebrated in performance.
Aspiring writers can hear Meg Rosoff consider how to find your voice, or learn from three authors first published in their teens on our ‘Are You Young Enough to Be Published?’ panel. Also an inspiration are Sally Gardner and Annabel Pitcher, authors of two of the finest novels of the year for young (or not so young) adults: Maggot Moon and Ketchup Clouds.
For our youngest audiences, we have brought back the delightful half-hour Peter Rabbit play, and festival favourite Kristina Stephenson with her new Charlie Stinkysocks show. Storytellers will take you on a Winnie-the-Pooh expotition, and offer dancing and games with Spot the Dog. Axel Scheffler will draw to accompany Pip and Posy stories (with special guest appearances). And Polly Dunbar will introduce with dazzling inventiveness her books about Tilly, Doodle, Hector and Penguin, now the stars of CBeebies’ Tilly and Friends.
Don’t forget World Book Day vouchers will be valid for Blackwells’ purchases. Do book early: we’d hate anyone to miss out.
Young people’s programme director
Young people’s programme manager
For the full line-up click here
To read an interview with Nicolette Jones about her involvement with the festival click here