Children’s book festivals and events – below is a calendared list of children’s book festivals, events, and wider movements and causes that are ideal for schools to promote to primary and secondary-aged pupils in the context of literature and opportunities for creative writing.
There is a range of single-day, week-long, and themed months to help school leaders and coordinators create whole-school awareness and target particular causes each term.
Enlivening a curriculum throughout the year with gifted and talented opportunities and exit pathways is essential to promoting literacy across a school. If you would like your event or festival added to this list, do let us know.
- National Storytelling Week – with lots of free resources, this high-profile week is a great opportunity to book a visiting storyteller to enthuse primary and secondary-aged children.
- Rotary Young Writers
- Rotary Youth Speaks
- BBC 500 words competition
- Stepping into Stories – The Herne Hill Kid’s Lit Festival. Including live performances and workshops by authors, artists and poets, this is an event not to be missed.
- Harry Potter Book Night – a great opportunity to hold after-school and library events.
- Children’s Mental Health Week –
- International Book Giving Day – an ideal opportunity to organise a whole-school event.
- Imagine Festival of Children’s Literature, South Bank
- Oxford Literary Festival – run in association with FT Weekend. Features lots of big-name children’s and YA authors each year.
- Blue Peter book awards
- World Book Day
- World Storytelling day
- CLILIP Carnegie award shadowing scheme – a great opportunity for school and library book groups to read and review the shortlisted books.
- International Women’s Day.
- British Science Week – “a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths“.
- Shakespeare Week – “an exciting week of projects, challenges and online events and exhibitions.“
- World Poetry Day – established by UNESCO. “Celebrating the linguistic expression of our common humanity“.
- Earth Hour – established to highlight climate change. “An unmissable message to world leaders“.
- Cardiff Kid’s Lit Festival
- Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival
- International Children’s book day
- World Book Night – an “annual celebration of books and reading“.
- Talk Like Shakespeare Day – Great for a whole-school-sponsored event. Talk like it’s 1602 all day long and exchange fruity Jacobean insults! Or not. That is the question.
- Bookfest Shropshire – a children’s book festival that “aims to inspire, enthuse and entertain as many children who attend Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin primary schools as possible.”
- Hay Festival
- National share a story month
- Learning at work day
- Children’s Book Week – a two-week-long celebration of children’s literature.
- Mental Health Awareness Week – hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.
- Essex Book Festival – “Each year the festival hosts 100+events in a range of venues across Essex.”
- Bradford Literature Festival. This 10-day festival ‘celebrates the written and spoken word in all its forms‘ and includes family days out, workshops and an education programme with resources for teachers. There are lots of children’s events featuring top authors and illustrators.
- Barnes Kid’s Lit Festival (London)
- St Austell Festival of Children’s Literature aims “to inspire a community that embraces reading for pleasure“, and includes a variety of events, author readings, book signings and a creative writing competition.
- WhizzFizzFest – inspired by Roald Dahl
- National family week
- World Environment Day – “Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. Join #GenerationRestoration“.
- Empathy Day – established to help show how “important it is that we understand what other people are going through“.
- National Writing Day – established as an “annual celebration of creative writing“, and supported by First Story and the National Literacy Trust.
- Pride Month – Stonewall offers a useful range of free activities for schools.
- School Diversity Week – “a fantastic way to make your school safer, happier and more welcoming for pupils who may be LGBT+“.
- Windrush Day 2022 -“celebrating Great Britain’s DNA“.
- Rochdale Children’s Literature Festival – “Celebrating Reading for Pleasure in Rochdale“.
- BookTastic book festival – based in Bedford, this festival offers programmes for schools, live-streamed events, public meet-the-author sessions, and hosts a stellar line-up of children’s writers.
- Kid’s Lit Quiz world finals
- Summer reading challenge
- UKLA annual conference – a virtual conference that explores “the purpose and function of spoken language; spoken language repertoires as the basis of reading and writing”.
- Teachers’ reading challenge – a great way to discover new children’s literature in the summer holidays.
- Edinburgh International Book Festival – “features over 500 events for adults, children and teens.”
- Book your school team a place in the Kid’s Lit Quiz UK
- Appledore Book Festival – “Our five-day Schools Week offers talks and workshops to young people from preschool to Sixth Form.”
- September is World Kid Lit Month – “an annual celebration of world literature and translation for children and young adults.” There are lots of ideas and resources to help teachers, schools and libraries celebrate children’s literature on the World Kid Lit Month website.
- Bath Kids Literature Festival
- Early Years Book awards
- International literacy day – held worldwide on 8th September.
- Roald Dahl Day | Resources
- European Day of Languages
- Banned Books Week – be diverse, representative, democratic, and depending on where you are in the world, subversive. Have a look at our Banned Books list.
- Henley Literary Festival Children’s Festival – with online and in-person events during the first and second weeks of October. There’s a programme for schools here.
- Wokingham children’s book festival – held over two days at Wokingham Town Hall, this event features story readings with picturebooks, 5-7, 7-9, and middle-grade authors, and an art event with an illustrator. The events have been organised for both in-person and online attendance.
- Children’s book week
- National poetry day
- CSV makes a difference day
- International school library month
- Black History Month – founded in the UK in 1987.
- Libraries Week – celebrating ‘the best libraries have to offer.’
- Cheltenham Literature Festival – includes a variety of children’s literature events.
- London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre
- Ilkley Literature Festival – “the longest-running literature festival in the north and we celebrate all things reading and writing.“
- Britannica Magazine runs an online school’s non-fiction challenge for school children in KS2 and KS3 to celebrate National Non-Fiction Month in November.
- Richmond Literature Festival – ‘A festival of books, conversations and ideas’ that includes children’s events including book events with authors, illustration workshops and interactive sessions.
- National non-fiction day
- National Non-fiction November – run by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups.
- Dyslexia awareness week
- Remembrance Day – see our list of suggested remembrance topic books and resources.
- World Kindness Day – a good opportunity to relate to books with themes of empathy and understanding.
- Anti-Bullying Week – founded by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
- Bananagrams Challenge sign up (for following January-March)
- Royal Mail Letters to Santa – always a favourite in EYFS and KS1 classes.
All year round / undated / not annual
- The Children’s Book Festival (Ireland)
- Kid’s Lit Quiz
- Bananagrams Challenge
- Young Readers, Birmingham
- Discover children’s literature festival, Stratford, London
- National Storytelling Week | Resources
- Manchester Children’s Book Festival
- Exeter Children’s Literature Festival
- Bookfest Shrewsbury
- Hoo Kid’s Book Festival
- Ryedale Book Festival
- Northern Children’s Book Festival
- Children’s Book Week (May and November)
- National Literacy Trust competitions page
For more competitions and events, have a look at our children’s competitions for public speaking and reading aloud, our list of children’s literature awards, our recommended children’s writing competitions and our suggested GCSE revision books for English language and literature exams.
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