Maidstone LitFest will run from 2-8 October and will have a focus on schools and reading for pleasure, a key objective for teachers and school leaders. The deadline to enter is Friday 14 July and the winning schools will be announced on Monday 17 July. With author visits being limited, schools are encouraged to enter the draw now by emailing: email@example.com
MBC Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Arts, Cllr Claudine Russell said:
The Maidstone Literary Festival is a great opportunity for schools to get involved, and the idea of an author visiting them to read with the children is so exciting.
Research from the Department for Education shows that engaging children with reading from the beginning is one of the most important ways to make a difference to their life chances. A recent survey of young people revealed that 50% would be encouraged to read more after meeting an author.
We know that one of the best ways of encouraging children to pick up a book is to engage with them and this research proves that that they are more likely to get reading after meeting an author, so I would encourage as many of our primary schools in the town to get involved now.
Participating schools could win a visit from top children’s authors such as Jack Meggitt-Phillips (The Beast and the Bethany series), Janelle McCurdy (Mia and the Lightcasters), Eve Wersocki-Morris (The Bird Singers and The Wildstorm Curse), A.M. Howell (The House of One Hundred Clocks and Mystery of the Night Watchers), Tọlá Okogwu (Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun), J.C. Clarke (Spellboda) or Gianna Pollero (Monster Doughnuts series).
MBC is working with a specialist team which includes editors of children’s books, local authors and education specialists to deliver the festival which will include a variety of authors appearing at events for adults and children in and around the town centre.
Festival events and programme manager, Becky Grace, said,
As a former teacher and now as a children’s book editor, I am passionate about children’s reading. In today’s digital age, it is becoming more difficult to reach readers in a world overloaded with information, unless we engage them at a young age.
The Maidstone Literary Festival is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is set to be launched at the prestigious Maidstone Museum on 28 September when guests will have the chance to meet various authors taking part in the events programme. The festival will include a number of workshops for primary schools with author visits with further events taking place within Maidstone Town Centre venues for adult fiction with the programme line-up announced in the coming months.
To enter the draw schools should email: firstname.lastname@example.org (before Friday 14 July) with the details of the school’s main contact for literacy and the preferred year group (KS2 only) to receive a visit from an author.
One of MBC’s priorities is a Thriving Place and the LitFest reflects that.