NEWS

All welcome as Literature Festival celebrates Britain’s rich diversity

Dates: Friday 6 October – Sunday 15 October 2017
Venues: Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, UK
Website: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature

In a year of extraordinary political turmoil, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is asking what it means to be British in 2017 – bringing the best and brightest thinkers to address the problems that divide us, debate the opportunities that lie ahead and ponder Britain’s place on the world stage.

Celebrating a rich cast of eccentrics and national treasures, the Festival’s umbrella theme: Who Do We Think We Are? encompasses food, art, fashion and comedy and examines cultural offerings from Grime to The Archers in a quest to find out what makes us what we are.

Five Guest Curators will bring fresh perspectives and voices to the Festival. They are: Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Sarah Moss, novelist, travel writer and academic; Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House; Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley; and Nikesh Shukla, author, editor and campaigner.

Celebrating and interrogating our remarkable diversity are: Juno Dawson and CN Lester on transgender politics; Nikesh Shukla describes being considered ‘other’ in your home country; June Sarpong calls for the power of diversity to be harnessed as a force for good; and Alan Johnson and Hashi Mohamed discuss social mobility. There’s a rare chance to see two of the country’s best-loved poets Lemn Sissay and Jackie Kay in a powerful discussion about race, identity and what it really means to truly belong and Inua Ellams performs his acclaimed touring show An Evening With An Immigrant.

Looking at diverse British culture are Martin Parr: Britain Through A Lens and Nadiya Hussain on her British food adventure, the Festival charts the emergence of Grime as Britain’s most significant cultural movement since punk and hears from two generation-defining voices in British poetry Kayo Chingonyi and Andrew McMillan; Shelina Janmohamed examines how the fashion industry has embraced modest fashion in the modern world and rising star Lopè Ariyo celebrates the best of Nigerian cuisine in The Scent of Hibiscus: A Nigerian Night.

Muslim culture and arts are explored in a series of five events supported by AMAL: Sabrina Mahfouz brings together British Muslim women’s voices in Things I Would Tell You:; chef Sumayya Usmani serves up a feast of Pakistani cuisine in An Evening Under The Tamarind Tree accompanied by music and poetry; and Ayisha Malik and Shelina Janmohamed talk about popular romantic fiction in Muslims in Love. Two events explore the historical influence of Islamic culture: In El Andaluz: The Golden Age Of Spain? we learn about a golden age of innovation, learning and religious harmony between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Islamic Spain and discuss the events that led to the expulsion of the Moorish population under the reign of Isabella of Castile.. And we explore the historical influence of Islamic culture on the Victorian designer, poet and craftsman in William Morris And Islamic Design.

Free activities at the Festival

Regardless of ability to pay, there is plenty for all ages to discover on site for free: brain teasers and live music, a daily Times crossword and a daily instalment of brainy soapbox-style talks. There’s the opportunity to swap books in the cosy outdoor lounge The Bookstand or see Festival-inspired art at the Gardens Gallery. New this year is the after-dark Festival Club at the centrally-placed Hotel du Vin for music, conversation and late-night literary revelry (weekends only). For one night only (Saturday 7 October) the Lit Crawl takes over the streets of Cheltenham for a fast-paced evening of quirky literary happenings – all for free.

The Den will be filled with free book-related activities for families on Saturdays and Sundays, from helping Maisy Mouse creator Lucy Cousins create a mural to a Harry Potter quiz and learning to draw animals with Abbie Cameron. In The Woodland Trust Wild Wood families can settle down in the picnic area while youngsters build a den, dress up, follow The Famous Five story trail, listen to storytellers and meet their favourite book characters.
Booking

Tickets are available online at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com or by phone on 01242 850270.

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Education Manager (Literature)

Full Time
Salary: £30,000 per annum
5% employer’s pension contribution, childcare vouchers, staff ticket allocation

Cheltenham Festivals is a leading cultural organisation with around 36 days of Festivals of Literature, Jazz, Music and Science as well as year-round schools and outreach projects.

Cheltenham Festivals is entering its next stage of development and growth to: significantly build and extend our reputation and reach; develop and diversify our audiences; and inspire new visitors and supporters. Achieving this requires ambition and new approaches and openness to working collaboratively. Underpinning all the work that we do is our charitable purpose to promote arts and sciences to everybody.

The Education Manager will have a key role in developing, promoting and evaluating this activity, taking a lead on Literacy. The successful candidate will have exceptional project management and people skills, and be a consummate team player. You will have: up-to-date knowledge of the National Curriculum and exam syllabuses, specifically in English; understanding of how digital initiatives can enhance learning; an ability to measure and report impact; and ideally, evidence of successful teaching experience (primary or secondary).

Please find a downloadable Job Description, Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form in the Downloads section of this page.

Closing date: 9am, Wednesday 4th October 2017

Interview date: Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th October 2017, in Cheltenham

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Breaking News: Hillary Rodham Clinton to appear at #cheltlitfest 2017

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival and Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival, together with publishers Simon & Schuster, today announce Hillary Rodham Clinton for their festival line-ups on Sunday 15 October 2017.

In exclusive UK appearances, Hillary Rodham Clinton makes her debut at midday at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, followed by an appearance at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall for an evening event at London Literature Festival.

The one-off events mark Hillary Rodham Clinton’s only UK appearances to discuss her new book, What Happened, an autobiographical account describing her experience as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election.

Published by Simon & Schuster on Tuesday 12 September, What Happened reveals for the first time what Clinton was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history.

In these two events, audiences will experience a unique opportunity to hear Clinton reflect on her personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who didn’t play by the usual political rules. Audience members can expect to hear Clinton speak candidly about how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss – the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life.

Caroline Hutton, Chair of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, said: “These past 18 months have been the most extraordinary time in American politics. We couldn’t be more excited and honoured to have Hillary Rodham Clinton in person at our Literature Festival, giving us her first-hand perspective. From debut novelists and cutting-edge spoken-word artists to some of the world’s most influential thought leaders and agenda-setters our Literature Festival prides itself on bringing the most outstanding voices to Cheltenham every year.”

Ted Hodgkinson, Senior Programmer, Literature and Spoken Word, Southbank Centre, said: “At Southbank Centre we believe stories have the power to connect us across cultural and political divides, and help us make sense of a world increasingly caught between extremes. Whose story is more necessary and timely today than Hillary Rodham Clinton’s? She joins London Literature Festival’s stellar line-up of writers exploring the theme ‘World on the Brink’ and promises to offer rare insights into her personal experience of the twists and turns that led to this year’s historic election result.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Sunday 15 October 2017, 12pm
The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

Tickets:

On sale to Cheltenham Festivals Members on Friday 15 September, from 1pm
On sale to the general public on Saturday 16 September, from 10am

More Information

 
The UK’s oldest literature festival, which runs from Friday 6 to Sunday 15 October, covers a diverse programme of current affairs, history, visual art, sport, food, fashion, lifestyle, psychology, science and business as well as fiction, poetry and a packed family programme. Speakers include Salman Rushdie, Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters, Brendan Cox, David Mach, Nadiya Hussain, Russell Brand, Lauren Child, Andrew O’Hagan, Matt Lucas, Nikesh Shukla, Inua Ellams and Robert Webb.

 

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FameLab Academy Launch 2017

Could a zombie apocalypse happen? Why do we dream? How far can technology take us?

Open their eyes and see what they find! This is the main driver behind the success of Cheltenham Festivals FameLab Academy competition that has run for 3 year in Gloucestershire. By giving pupils the opportunity to research and explore something they are really interested in, the motivation for learning is completely flipped on its head.

Watch the 2017 final highlights

But this isn’t just about quirky subjects, this project is looking to open up the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to pupils and is supporting the drive to tackle the skills gap. The competition aims to develop students’ communications skills as well as their confidence.

Pupils have 3 minutes to present their topic with only a prop/demo they c
an carry onto ‘stage’. They are judged on their content, their clarity and their charisma. Over 3,000 pupils from 15 schools have taken part in Gloucestershire since it started in 2014.

At the start of the project the dialogue goes something like this:

Pupil: What shall I talk about?
Teacher: Whatever you like – find a topic that interests you.
Pupil: What anything, even if we are not learning about it in lessons?
Teacher: Yes, I am looking forward to learning something new too
Pupil: Can I do a PowerPoint?
Teacher: No sorry and you can’t have notes
Pupil: I will never be able to do that…..

Jump forward a couple of months after some resourced workshops and support from STEM Mentors from local businesses and “I can’t do it…” has disappeared. The highlight of the project for me isn’t actually the final, although that is amazing, but the going into the schools and seeing the enthusiasm and passion that has been sparked both in the science department and across the school by pupils and staff. But don’t take my word, here’s some of this year’s teachers feedback:

A fantastic opportunity to let students engage with STEM on a whole new level – just brilliant!

A very enjoyable, exciting and fantastic opportunity. Building relationships and supporting students in something other than science for exams and it has been a lot of fun!

FameLab Academy is fantastic, the pupils were engaged, it really improved the profile of science in school.

So could a zombie apocalypse happen? Well after exploration into this very subject including looking at viruses and parasites as part of her research, one FameLab Academy finalist now wants to studying biomedical science after her ‘A’ levels. Is this competition opening eyes and inspiring students to at least consider STEM careers – I think so!

Sharron Pearson, Education Manager, Cheltenham Festivals

FameLab Academy, is supported by EDF Energy. If you are a Gloucestershire Secondary school and would be interested in joining in the competition in 2017/18 you can find out more click here or contact education@cheltenhamfestivals.com

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Loraine's Family Programme Top Picks

Hi Everyone,

I am Loraine Evans and I am the Programme Manager for the Family events at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017. Here’s my behind the scenes view of creating this year’s programme.

Over three months I met with over 30 leading children’s publishers and practitioners to select books, authors, illustrators and storytellers for the Festival. For toddlers to teenagers and across all genres I then curate events that I hope will entertain and inspire our young audiences to be readers, writers and creators themselves.

It’s rather like doing a massive jig-saw puzzle: sending out invites; plotting events on grids; working out venue sizes, and timings; and managing special requirements from crafting materials to cupcakes. Plus reading shed loads of books.

I am so excited to have lots of free bookish family fun at the Festival Village this year in The Den and The Woodland Trust Wild Wood. I’ve planned these activities so families of all ages can come along and experience the Festival whether they are going to a ticketed event or not. Amongst the activities you can create a mural with Lucy Cousins, listen to pop-up storytellers, celebrate 75 years of The Famous Five with a story trail make crazy pets and even join in a panto workshop (oh, yes you can!)

Around Town you’ll also find our first children’s trail which celebrates 30 years of Where’s Wally?

Here are my Top 10 picks for the 2017 Festival:

(Although it is really hard to choose!)

  1. Oi! Kes Gray and Jim Field – genius books from our Festival illustrator and wonderful writer
  2. The Awesome World of YA – all sorts of chat about YA fiction and a delicious cupcake
  3. Maz Evans – new children’s writer whose high energy events are mythological mayhem.
  4. The Explorer with Katherine Rundell – one of my favourite children’s writers
  5. Stories: Agents of Change – books can be our window on the world offering insight into places and people’s lives we wouldn’t ordinarily see. Loved working with Amnesty International on this event
  6. Emma Yarlett – wonderful author and illustrator – her books are so original and so much fun
  7. Matt Haig – for the first time his new Christmas book is published in time for the Festival
  8. Tongue Fu – brilliant family friendly version of the adult spoken word sensation
  9. Ali-A – a chance for local YouTube and gaming fans to meet one of the biggest and best gaming tubers out there – this will be absolutely huge with fans of Pokémon GO
  10. Unicorn in New York – my favourite animal goes to stage school – everybody loves unicorns!

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Full programme announced The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Dates: Friday 6 October – Sunday 15 October 2017
Venues: Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, UK
Website: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature

Salman Rushdie, Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters, Miranda Hart, Matt Lucas, Robert Webb, Russell Brand, Ian Rankin, Sarah Millican, Nadiya Hussain, Simon Schama, Amit Chaudhuri, Paula Hawkins, Bill Nighy, Roddy Doyle, Michael Morpurgo, Judy Murray, Harry Enfield, Alison Steadman, Michael Parkinson, Lauren Child, Armando Iannucci, Nigella Lawson, Twiggy, Brian May, Jackie Kay, Hollie McNish, Robert McCrum, The Famous Five, Where’s Wally, Philippa Gregory, Nikesh Shukla, Peggy Seeger, Scarlett Moffatt, June Sarpong, Charles Spencer, Ali-A and Al Murray to headline.

Tens of thousands of book-lovers of all ages, including over 7,000 schoolchildren, will head to Cheltenham in October for the UK’s oldest literature festival, for ten days of literary celebration, discussion and debate. Around 1,000 speakers will take part in more than 550 events at the family-friendly Festival Village, in the heart of Regency Cheltenham, under the umbrella theme: Who Do We Think We Are? Sessions will cover key questions about British identity and celebrate Britain’s rich literary and cultural heritage.

The programme, available in full at cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature, brings together some of our brightest minds, most incisive commentators, literary greats, fresh new voices and stars of stage and screen. The diverse programme covers history, current affairs, visual art, sport, food, fashion, lifestyle, psychology, science and business as well as fiction, poetry and a Family programme packed with events and workshops for toddlers to teens.

Five Guest Curators will bring fresh perspectives and voices to the Festival. They are: Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Sarah Moss, novelist, travel writer and academic; Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House; Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley; and Nikesh Shukla, author, editor and campaigner.

As well as the revamped Festival Village, a series of themed events and fine dining takes place in The Daffodil, a sumptuous art deco venue, and free after-hours comedy, spoken word and music at the Festival Club @ Hotel du Vin. On the first Saturday night of the Festival, last year’s highly successful Lit Crawl returns– transforming a bar crawl into a fast-paced night of free literary delights.

PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

Festival theme: Who Do We Think We Are?

In a year of extraordinary political turmoil the Festival asks what it means to be British in 2017 – bringing the best and brightest thinkers to address the problems that divide us, debate the opportunities that lie ahead and ponder Britain’s place on the world stage. Giving voice to diverse communities, and celebrating a rich cast of eccentrics and national treasures, it will encompass food, art, fashion, comedy and examine cultural offerings from Grime to The Archers in a quest to find out what makes us what we are.

Robin Niblett of Chatham House brings together panels of international experts to debate the European political scene and British foreign policy; Rod Liddle muses on the status of the British stiff upper lip while ex-Arts Council boss* Peter Bazalgette* and former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan ask what makes us better humans?

Celebrating and interrogating our remarkable diversity are a raft of speakers: Juno Dawson and CN Lester on transgender politics; Sabrina Mahfouz brings together British Muslim women’s voices in Things I Would Tell You: Nikesh Shukla describes being considered ‘other’ in your home country; June Sarpong calls for the power of diversity to be harnessed as a force for good; and Alan Johnson and Hashi Mohamed discuss social mobility.

British food will be chewed over – from lunch at Claridges, via Nadiya Hussain’s British Food Adventure, to Queen Victoria’s favourite fare; Patrick Barkham explores the islanders of Britain; Simon Jenkins extolls Britain’s best railway stations; Marcus Brigstocke gives a shout-out to the liberal metropolitan elite and Philip Collins advises non-Brexiteers in What Should Remainers Do Now?

Fiction

Literary giant Salman Rushdie talks about his new novel, The Golden House; and there’s an interview with bestselling author Bernard Cornwell as he steps off the plane from the US. Discussing their new books are Paula Hawkins (Into the Water),* Amit Chaudhuri* (Friend of My Youth) and*Roddy Doyle* (Smile), while Alan Hollinghurst talks about his new novel, The Sparsholt Affair as well as celebrating The Line of Beauty.

Sarah Waters is this year’s recipient of The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and the Festival celebrates the 2017 Man Booker Prize with its annual shortlist event. And this year the Festival will launch the Borough Press First Novel Prize.

Children’s author and illustrator Judith Kerr, creator of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and her writer son Matthew Kneale (English Passengers) talk about their highly creative family.

In a lavishly illustrated lecture, Sarah Dunant shows the paintings and places that inspired her latest novel, In The Name of the Family; International bestselling author Philippa Gregory reflects on her 30-year career and Joanne Harris raises a glass to Chocolat, the novel that captured the hearts and imaginations of book, film and chocolate lovers alike.

Alexander McCall Smith discusses three new novels to be published this autumn including The House of Unexpected Sisters, A Time of Love and Tartan and A Distant View of Everything.

Ian Rankin talks to James Naughtie to mark Thirty Years Of Rebus – one of crime fiction’s best-loved characters. Former MI5 Director General Stella Rimington joins author Allan Mallinson and BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera to discuss how true to life spy novels and films really are and Minette Walters talks about ending her decade-long hiatus from writing and shifting genres with The Last Hours.

Classic Literature

Robert Harris and Mike Poulton talk to Mary Beard about their adaptation of Harris’ Cicero trilogy for the Royal Shakespeare Company while Edward St Aubyn discusses his contemporary reimagining of King Lear; John Carey introduces his new version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost; and Jenny Uglow looks at the great nonsensicalist Edward Lear. Michael Rosen tells the little known story of Émile Zola’s year in exile in London; comedian Viv Groskop looks for life lessons in The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons From Russian Literature. The acclaimed biographer of Austen, Dickens and Hardy, Claire Tomalin turns her critical eye to another fascinating literary life: her own and in a specially-commissioned lecture, Harriet Walter (Brutus and Other Heroines) discusses playing Shakespeare’s male and female leading roles.

Poetry

There’s a rare chance to see two of the country’s best-loved poets in conversation when Scottish Laureate Jackie Kay and Lemn Sissay discuss race, identity and what it really means to truly belong and give solo performances of their new work. Leading poets John Burnside, Michael Symmons Roberts, Daljit Nagra and Pascale Petit present new collections while we welcome the stars of the next generation: Kayo Chingonyi, Andrew McMillan, Luke Wright, Hollie McNish, Rob Auton, Inua Ellams, Anthony Anaxagorou and Sabrina Mahfouz. Harry Enfield and Alison Steadman perform war poetry from Shakespeare to the present day selected by Allie Esiri, whilst literary critic Erica Wagner, poet Clare Pollard and Faber Poetry Editor Matthew Hollis discuss the landmark publication of Volume One of The Letters of Sylvia Plath.

Stage and Screen

Russell Brand shares his experiences of fourteen and a half years of recovery from addiction, while comedians Matt Lucas (Little Me: My Life From A–Z…), Sarah Millican (How To Be Champion) and Peep Show star Robert Webb (How Not to be a Boy) talk equally candidly about their lives; Emma Freud interviews actor Bill Nighy and also meets swinging sixties cultural icon Twiggy; Michael Parkinso*n sits on the other side of the interviewer’s chair, this time occupied by his son Mike. The Archers’ *Timothy Bentick reveals all about life on radio’s longest-running soap opera; Armando Iannucci and BBC Radio 3’s Clemency Burton-Hill discuss classical music; legendary folk singer Peggy Seeger discusses a rich life at the forefront of folk and protest, as documented in her memoir, First Time Ever, and Gogglebox’s Scarlett Moffatt reveals her new book, Me Life Story: Sofa, So Good.

There’s a glimpse behind the scenes of Netflix’s lavish royal drama The Crown with key production staff and a well-known actor from the series and a unique opportunity to view guitarist Brian May’s personal snapshots in 3D from over four decades with Queen including moments from backstage, on the road and on stage.

Michael Whitehall, witty agent father of Jack Whitehall presents his memoir, Backing Into the Spotlight joined by his friend and presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown Nick Hewer; Richard Osman invites the audience to play along with The World Cup Of Everything, comedian Andy Hamilton presents his debut novel The Star Witness; music journalist David Hepworth (Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars) fronts a rock and roll brunch and Jeremy Vine divulges what he has learnt from his listeners.

Art & Design

Responding to the Festival’s key theme “Who Do We Think We Are?” is BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, one of this year’s five Guest Curators. In The Story of British Art, Gompertz selects 10 key artists – from Blake to Banksy – through which he charts British art and social history including the Pre-Raphaelites, Gainsborough, Turner, David Hockney, Martin Parr and Tracey Emin and the YBAs.

Architect Richard Rogers discusses the power of buildings in creating a better and fairer society; Peter Brookes talks satire with David Aaronovitch; and Tristram Hunt, former politician and new Director of the V&A, talks about his role. Drawing on his experience of learning to paint again following his stroke in 2013, Andrew Marr tackles the subjects of inspiration, creativity, politics, beauty and form. Sotheby’s director Philip Hook takes the lid off the world of art dealing, and the Bolton Forger, Shaun Greenhalgh, discusses his astonishing story.

History/Historical fiction

Distinguished historian Simon Schama introduces the second instalment of The Story of the Jews; Alison Weir reveals how historical Queens wielded and secured their power; and in the Festival Lates strand, comedian Natalie Haynes delivers a stand-up show exploring what ancient civilisations can offer modern life. Historians Peter Snow and his wife Ann MacMillan (War Stories) share stories of ordinary people caught up in the turmoil of war; Charles Spencer (To Catch A King) and Linda Porter (Royal Renegades) discuss the repercussions following the 1649 execution of Charles I.

Current Affairs

The cast of experts on America, Russia and China convened by Robin Niblett, head of the internationally-renowned think tank Chatham House, are joined by agenda-setters including Justin Webb and Nick Robinson celebrating 60 years of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme; Newsnight’s Evan Davis; Andrew Marr; Peter Hennessy and John Sergeant.
John Witherow, Editor of The Times gives a rare interview talking about his role; MPs Jess Phillips and Jacob Rees Mogg discuss unlikely political friendships; the last British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten talks about his autobiography; debut novelist Vince Cable (Open Arms) and Stanley Johnson (Kompromat) give the inside scoop on two of this year’s hottest political thrillers while political strategist Alastair Campbell gives a candid interview. We hear from Gary Younge, author of Another Day in the Death of America and from Financial Times columnist Tim Harford on modern economics.

Food and Drink

Culinary stars speaking at the Festival include Nadiya Hussain, Nigella Lawson, Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The Daffodil, a beautiful art deco former cinema is the new venue for the Festival’s food events. Gastronomic adventures around the globe include the taste of Japan with former Nobu head chef Scott Hallsworth, Catalonian tapas with Jose Pizarro and African dishes from rising star Lopè Ariy*o from her new cookbook Hibiscus. Festival-goers can enjoy lunch with *Kirstie Allsopp, Miles Jupp and Henry Blofeld, afternoon tea with Princess Michael of Kent and dinner with Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers. Executive Chef Martyn Nail brings the extraordinary experience of dining at Claridge’s to Cheltenham; Victoria Moore shares tips from The Wine Dine Dictionary while Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley give travel advice on where to find the best cocktail joints.

Lifestyle

Exhausted parents have an excuse to fob the kids off on each other: Knackered Mums Night Out takes an hilarious journey through the emotional highs and lows of motherhood with Cherry Healey, Clemmie Hooper, Hurrah for Gin’s Katie Kirby and The Unmumsy Mum Sarah Turner. In the dads’ corner A Night Out For Knackered Dads sees Man vs Baby blogger Matt Coyne, columnists Stuart Heritage and Tim Dowling and comedian Miles Jupp telling it like it is.

In The Lost Words, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morri*s examine how special words describing nature are disappearing from children’s vocabularies while bestselling author *Amanda Owen describes her farming year as the Yorkshire Shepherdess.

In Fashion, Anna Murphy, Fashion Director at The Times, hails the trends that are causing waves on the front rows this season, the Festival explores how the industry is embracing modest fashion and Emma Freud talks to the original supermodel, Twiggy.

YouTube superstar Jim Chapman (147 Things) presents a whistle-stop tour of the best bits of everything; and host of BBC Radio 4’s I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, Marcus Brigstocke holds the hands of several nervous panellists including BBC Radio 4 Today programme’s Nick Robinson as they take a literary leap into the unknown.

Sport

Olympian Tom Daley talks about his career and his new book Tom’s Daily Plan and Judy Murray shares her inspirational story. Cricket fans are spoilt for choice: Yorkshire and England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow discusses his moving memoir, England cricketer Mike Brearley talks to journalist Matthew Syed and there’s the chance to tuck into Sunday Lunch at The Daffodil in the company of Henry Blofeld, the unmistakeable voice of Test Match Special.

Four Mums in a Boat tells the true story of four ordinary working mums from Yorkshire who took on an exceptional challenge, rowing across the North Sea and breaking a world record in the process, while nearer to home, former Director of Cheltenham Racecourse Edward Gillespie spills the beans on 60 Years of Jump Racing.

Travel

Award-winning travel writer, author and Wanderlust Editor, Phoebe Smith guides on how to get started in travel writing and advises how to fit microadventures around the daily 9 to 5. Modern nomads Calum Creasey and Lauren Smith share their experiences of life on the road. Beating the drum for the solo traveller are leading travel publisher and author Hilary Bradt, Jan Leeming and Hannah Stuart-Leach, while an inspiring panel of female adventurers Lois Pryce (Revolutionary Ride) and Antonia Bolingbrooke-Kent, (Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains: A Journey across India’s Forgotten Frontier) discuss the highs and lows of being a solo woman on the road.
Chris Bonington recounts his greatest mountaineering challenges; motorcycle explorer Charley Boorman talks about a life on two wheels and broadcaster Michael Portillo recounts his Great American Railway Journeys.

Psychology

Robert Crampton and Andy McNab delve into masculinity; Marisa Bate unpicks the problem of loneliness; Victoria Derbyshire gives an honest and open account of her experience of breast cancer and presenter and campaigner Katie Piper shares her advice on how we can all become braver and more confident. Robert McCrum and brain surgeon Henry Marsh discuss what it means to approach the ‘end game’ and Maggie O’Farrell recounts a series of near-death experiences. Rowan Williams and Salley Vickers discuss tragedy; Philosopher A.C. Grayling (War: An Enquiry) examines and challenges the concept of war; BBC Foreign Correspondent Fergal Keane *(Wounds) tells the devastating history of murder and betrayal that tore an Irish town apart. And *Brendan Cox (Jo Cox: More in Common) talks to his friend Jess Phillips (Everywoman) about life without his wife, and gives a very human portrait of an extraordinary woman.

Festival Lates and Off the Page

The Festival Lates strand presents the very best of poetry and spoken word, interactive quiz nights, live podcasts and performances galore. Pushing the boundaries of spoken word and poetry are the Out-Spoken and Burning Eye collectives featuring poets Anthony Anaxagorou, Sabrina Mahfouz and Kate Fox; and there are individual performances by leading names of the scene including Luke Wright, Hollie McNish, Rob Auton, Vanessa Kisuule and Inua Ellams
.
Plenty of laughs are in store from comedy favourite Al Murray, The Pub Landlord; HogWhats Quiz Night promises wizarding fun for grown-up Potterheads; John Lloyd presides over a QI Quiz; and competitive cult comedy hit Pundemonium takes over the Town Hall. One of the UK’s leading spoken word shows Tongue Fu featuring saxophonist Soweto Kinch makes its Cheltenham debut and international phenomenon The Moth brings first-person true life storytelling. Live podcasts include No Such Thing As A Fish and Science(ish); and gigs by writer and musician Malachy Tallack, Joanne Harris’ #Storytime Band and Inua Ellam’s specially-curated club night.

Families

Perfect for families who love books, storytelling and days out, the Festival has two new areas for families, buzzing with free activities and pop-up performances.

The Den will be filled with free book-related activities for families on Saturdays and Sundays, from helping Maisy Mouse creator Lucy Cousins create a mural to a Harry Potter quiz and learning to draw animals with Abbie Cameron. In The Woodland Trust Wild Wood families can settle down in the picnic area while youngsters build a den, dress up, follow The Famous Five story trail, listen to storytellers and meet their favourite book characters.

Programme highlights include new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child in conversation with CBBC Controller Cheryl Taylor; award-winning actress and Queen of Comedy Miranda Hart; Great British Bake Off sensation Nadiya Hussain with her new festive family cookbook; Festival favourite Michael Morpurgo; best-selling author of Framed and Millions Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the mistress of mystery Robin Stevens; actor Adrian Edmondson, with his first children’s novel, the launch of YouTube superstar Ali-A’s first graphic novel; comedian Harry Hill with his hilarious new kids’ book; and word play, improvisation, participation and musical wizardry in Tongue Fu for Kids.

Two much-loved children’s classics have major anniversaries this year: marking the 75th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five there’s a special theatre event and free story trail. Celebrating 30 years of Where’s Wally? local primary schools have worked with the Festival to create a Where’s Wally? Trail around Cheltenham’s town centre.
There are workshops in partnership with RSC on A Christmas Carol and from the Royal Academy of Dance inspired by West End sensation Matilda.

For the little ones, Kes Gray and Jim Field (Oi! Cat), Rachel Bright (The Koala Who Could) and Kristina Stephenson (Sir Charlie Stinky Socks) bring their stories to life. Meet Hip and Hop, the characters in the new book by MOBO award-winning rapper and poet Akala and illustrator Sav Akyüz. Big names and rising stars from the YA world at this year’s Festival include* Melinda Salisbury, Patrice Lawrence, Michael Grant, Gemma Cairney and Anna Day.*

Education and Outreach

7,000 children and young people at are the heart of the Festival on weekdays, receiving ideas and inspiration from writers and illustrators including Tanya Landman, Michael Rosen, Piers Torday and Alexis Deacon.

The Festival provides both a launch-pad and showcase for year-round outreach programmes.
2017 Highlight events include:
• Words That Burn National Launch, with Kate Allen, Amnesty UK Director
Developed in partnership with Amnesty International UK and The Poetry Hour, this national poetry project will enable young people to explore human rights and self-expression through poetry.
• Beyond Words Exhibition
The writer-in-residence programme for young people with severe mental or physical illness culminates in a moving exhibition of word, sound and image at the core of the Festival village.
• Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils Launch, with Professor Teresa Cremin
The inspirational event to launch the coming year of the Festivals’ flagship project which enables teachers and their pupils to (re)discover the joy of reading.
• Young Writers Showcase, with Anthony Anaxagorou
The event which celebrates the talent of local young people unlocked through year-round outreach programmes: Cheltenham Festivals First Story and Beyond Words

Through the support of funders and individuals, the Festival offers free tickets to schools with 30% Pupil Premium or which are rurally isolated.

Free activities in the Festival Village and beyond

As well as free entertainment in The Den and The Wild Wood, there’s plenty for all ages to discover on site for free: fun pop-up events, brain teasers and live music, a daily Times crossword and a daily instalment of brainy soapbox-style talks in OUP’s A Very Short Introduction To… There’s the opportunity to swap books in the cosy outdoor lounge The Bookstand or head over to the Gardens Gallery for some Festival-inspired art.

New this year is the after-dark Festival Club at the centrally-placed Hotel du Vin for music, conversation and late-night literary revelry (weekends only). And for one night only (Saturday 7 October) the Lit Crawl once again takes over the streets of Cheltenham for a fast-paced evening of pop-up events and quirky literary happenings.

Booking

To buy tickets on the first day of public booking (1pm on Wednesday September 6), create a Wish List in advance at cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature. Thereafter, book events online or by phone on 01242 850270. Booking for Cheltenham Festivals Members opens at 1pm on Wednesday 30 August.
Further information can be found at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com.

*Ends *

Press contact: Bairbre.lloyd@cheltenhamfestivals.com

Notes to editors:
• Press and speaker images are here – Cheltenham Literature Festival press images
• The link to the Main programme is here – Main brochure
• The link to the Family programme is here – Family brochure
• For press accreditation and press tickets please fill out the Press Accreditation form
• For more information about Cheltenham and the surrounding area, including details of local hotels and restaurants, visit www.visitcheltenham.com

Title Partners – The Times and The Sunday Times
About The Times
The Times is the oldest national daily newspaper in the UK, founded in 1785. It was one of the first newspapers in the world to launch a subscription website in 2010 and now has over 430,000 members. In December 2014, Times Newspapers Limited delivered their first operating profit in 13 years. In 2015, The Times was named Newspaper of the Year for the second time in three years at the British Press Awards and scooped seven other major awards including best supplement for the Saturday magazine, best news journalist, political writer, feature writer and cartoonist of the year.

About The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times, founded in 1822, is Britain’s biggest-selling quality newspaper. It celebrated its 10,000th edition in May 2016 and has won a clutch of awards for its Insight team investigations unit, its foreign reporting and its magazine features and interviews, in particular.

Principal Partners
Baillie Gifford
HSBC
Waterstones

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Family Events at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Revealing its best Family programme yet, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (6-15 October) is welcoming some very special guests in 2017. The line-up includes newcomers as well as well-established children’s authors, stars of Young Adult literature and big names from the realms of culture and entertainment.

Highlights include new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child in conversation with CBBC Controller Cheryl Taylor; award-winning actress and Queen of Comedy Miranda Hart; Great British Bake Off sensation Nadiya Hussain with her new festive family cookbook; Festival favourite Michael Morpurgo; best-selling author of Framed and Millions Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the mistress of mystery Robin Stevens; actor Adrian Edmondson, with his first children’s novel, the launch of YouTube superstar Ali-A’s first graphic novel and TV Burp’s Harry Hill with his hilarious new kids’ book.

Two much-loved children’s classics have major anniversaries this year: marking the 75th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five there’s a special theatre event and free story trail. Celebrating 30 years of Where’s Wally?, take part in the Where’s Wally? Trail around Cheltenham’s town centre featuring scenes created by local primary schools.

Two brand-new free children’s spaces will be unveiled this year:
The Den will be filled with free book-related activities for families on Saturdays and Sundays, from helping Maisy Mouse creator Lucy Cousins create a mural to Harry Potter potions and learning to draw animal surprises.

In The Woodland Trust Wild Wood families can settle down in the picnic area while youngsters build a den, dress up, follow The Famous Five story trail, listen to storytellers and meet their favourite book characters.

For the little ones, Kes Gray and Jim Field (Oi! Cat),Rachel Bright (The Koala Who Could) and Kristina Stephenson (Sir Charlie Stinky Socks) bring their stories to life. Meet Hip and Hop, the characters in the new book by MOBO award-winning rapper and poet Akala and illustrator Sav Akyüz.

Big names and rising stars from the YA world at this year’s Festival are Melinda Salisbury, Patrice Lawrence, Michael Grant and Gemma Cairney.

Where to Eat
A full list of food traders who will be on site in Montpellier Gardens during the Festival will be available on www.cheltenhamfestivals.com from 1 September.
Additionally, there are plenty of family friendly-places to eat in the surrounding areas, http://cheltenhamrocks.co.uk/12-baby-and-toddler-friendly-cafes-in-cheltenham/

Where to Park
There are car parks a short walk away from the Festival site, view full list here. Additionally, the Arle Court Park and Ride facility drops off close to the Festival site (Park and Ride open Mon-Sat 6:30am – 7:30pm).

Facilities at the Festival
The Festival’s Montpellier Gardens site is in the centre of town where everything is to hand including on-site toilets, playground and picnic area and a good selection of shops nearby.

The full Festival line-up is at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com Booking for Cheltenham Literature Festival opens to Members at 1pm on Wednesday 30 August and to the general public at 1pm on Wednesday 6 September.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Press contact: Bairbre.lloyd@cheltenhamfestivals.com

• Press and speaker images are here
• The link to the Main programme is here
• The link to the Family programme is here
• For press accreditation and press tickets please fill out the Press Accreditation form
• For more information about Cheltenham and the surrounding area, including details of local hotels and restaurants, visit www.visitcheltenham.com

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WIN up to £250 in #cheltlitfest tickets

If you haven’t started creating your Wish List for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival yet, here’s a very good reason to start…

Any Wish List created before Members Priority Booking opens – Weds 30 August from 1pm – will be entered into our prize draw to WIN up to £250 of tickets*

Head over to cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature to start your Wish List.

Start Your Wish List


I was excited and surprised to hear that I’d won the Wish List competition. The Festival is a highlight of the year for me and this was the icing on the cake!

Matthew (previous winner)


Not sure what to add to your Wish List? We’ll let you in on a few staff picks from our Business Development Manager, Samantha:

L134 What Should Remainers Do Now?
Because I am a remainer and there’s a sense one year on from the vote that it is not actually what the majority wants now. But is it autocratic to not accept the vote? – Should be interesting!

L152 Kirstie Allsop

Because she’s a hero!

L016 Banksy And The Street Art Revolution  &  L048 Tracey Emin And The YBAs

Because as a teenager they made art feel relevant and exciting, they’re thought provoking. Before this awakening I thought art was just something that had to be beautiful rather than intriguing.

L200 Roam Alone

Because I did, for several years and it’s nice just to go to a talk with other people who understand that impulse and share experiences. The side of me that backpacked around the world solo feels quite far removed in the Festivals’ office!

Not yet a Festivals Member? Don’t miss out on Priority Booking

Become a Cheltenham Festivals Member before 1pm on 30 August and be among the first to book for this year’s Festival.

Being a Member is one of the best ways to enjoy all that the Festivals have to offer. Enjoy Priority Booking for all four Festivals: Jazz, Science, Music & Literature, save on tickets and help support the Festivals.

Join today from £25


*Terms and conditions apply:
Minimum of five events must be added to the Wish list to enter.
Wish List value will be redeemed up to the value of £250.
No cash alternative will be given and only value of tickets on Wish List will be reimbursed.
The judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into.
Prize is valid at the 2017 Cheltenham Literature Festival only.
No purchase necessary.

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Calling all designers, illustrators and artists

Cheltenham Festivals is currently looking for a creative to originate modern, vibrant and distinctive designs for the Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals for 2018.

The designs must reflect the nature of the individual Festivals but also provide consistency of look and feel across all four.

Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 25 August

Read more

Lit Crawl 2017 Submissions Are Now Open!

Submissions to perform in our 2017 Lit Crawl on Saturday 7th October are now OPEN.

Lit Crawl returns! For one night only we take over an area of Cheltenham for a fast-paced evening of pop-up events and quirky literary happenings and YOU can be a part of it.

Created in San Francisco in 2004 and now in Boston, Brooklyn, Portland, Chicago, New Zealand and beyond, Lit Crawl blends a bar crawl with bookish content held in some surprising spots around town. Last year hundreds of Festival-goers joined us in record stores, barbershops, graveyards and all manner of cafés, bookshops and bars to sample everything from flash fiction to ghost stories, music to comedy, pop-up readings to furious spoken word.

Whether you’re a writer, musician, comedian or thespian…or just have a great idea for a session on the Crawl, get in touch! We like the majority of events to have a bookish edge but Lit Crawl is a celebration of the written and spoken word in all its forms so nothing is out of bounds….

You can either apply as an individual performer or pitch us an idea for a full session.

To get a sense of what we featured last year, take a look at the 2016 flyer below or by clicking here.


You can read more about the ethos of Lit Crawl on the Litquake website here. As you can see, the emphasis is on the entertaining, the immersive, the quirky, the surprising!

To apply to take part in Lit Crawl 2017 please fill in our online application form.

APPLY NOW

Submissions close midnight 13th August and all applicants will be notified by end of August.

Any questions? Email lyndsey.fineran@cheltenhamfestivals.com

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Information For Traders - Cheltenham Literature Festival

Are you interested in being a food stall trader at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival?

All trader applications for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival are being managed by Beefcake Events.

If you would like to be considered to become a ‘catering partner’ with Beefcake Events please email traders@beefcakeevents.co.uk with a full description of your company, your offering, as well as visuals of your units.

To visit the Beefcake Events website click here.

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First names revealed: The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Early highlights for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (6 – 15 October 2017) are unveiled today with Salman Rushdie, Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters, Miranda Hart, Matt Lucas, Robert Webb, Nadiya Hussain, Simon Schama, Paula Hawkins, Roddy Doyle, Judy Murray, Harry Enfield, Michael Parkinson, Lauren Child, Armando Iannucci, Nigella Lawson and Twiggy leading the bill.

For ten days in October (6-15), the vibrant spa town of Cheltenham sees over 1000 of the world’s finest writers, performers, politicians, poets and leading opinion-formers gather to celebrate the joy of the written and spoken word.

This year, the Festival’s theme is “Who Do We Think We Are?” and will ask key questions around British identity in 2017 and celebrate Britain’s rich literary and cultural heritage.

Five Guest Curators will bring fresh perspectives and voices to the Festival. The Guest Curators are: Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Sarah Moss, novelist, travel writer and academic; Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House; Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley; and Nikesh Shukla, author, editor and campaigner.


Will Gompertz, Sarah Moss, Robin Niblett, Jess Phillips, Nikesh Shukla

As well as the very latest in Fiction, the Festival offers events covering History, Art, Classic Literature, Music, Entertainment, Current Affairs, Science, Sport, Food and Lifestyle. The Children’s and YA programme is packed with an exciting line-up of author events, shows and workshops for toddlers to teens.

There’s also a return of last year’s hugely successful Lit Crawl. Born from San Francisco’s Litquake Festival it turns a bar crawl into a fast-paced night of literary delights. And there are Festival Lates onsite providing a delicious after-hours offer of comedy, spoken word and music.

The full Festival line-up will be announced on Saturday 12 August at cheltenhamfestivals.com

To be the first to hear Festival announcements, sign up for email alerts.

Booking for Cheltenham Literature Festival
Members: Wednesday 30 August, from 1pm
Public: Wednesday 6 September, from 1pm

Fiction

Literary giant Salman Rushdie talks about his new novel, The Golden House; and there’s an interview with bestselling author Bernard Cornwell as he steps off the plane from the US. Discussing their new books are Paula Hawkins and Roddy Doyle, while Alan Hollinghurst talks about his new novel, The Sparsholt Affair as well as celebrating The Line of Beauty. Sarah Waters is this year’s recipient of The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and we celebrate Booker prizewinners

Poetry

There’s a rare chance to see two of the country’s best-loved poets in conversation when Scottish Laureate Jackie Kay and Lemn Sissay discuss race, identity and what it really means to truly belong, plus solo performances of their new work. Leading poets John Burnside, Michael Symmons Roberts, Daljit Nagra and Pascale Petit present their recent collections while we welcome the top stars of the next generation: Kayo Chingonyi, Andrew McMillan and the most exciting voices of the spoken word scene with Luke Wright, Hollie McNish, Rob Auton, Inua Ellams, Anthony Anaxagorou and Sabrina Mahfouz.

Classic Literature

Robert Harris and Mike Poulton talk to Mary Beard about their adaptation of Harris’ Cicero trilogy for the Royal Shakespeare Company while Edward St Aubyn discusses his contemporary reimagining of King Lear; John Carey introduces his new version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost; and Jenny Uglow looks at the great nonsensicalist Edward Lear.

Arts, Culture, Stage and Screen

Comedians Matt Lucas and Peep Show star Robert Webb talk candidly about their lives; The Archers’ Timothy Bentick reveals all about life on radio’s longest-running soap opera; Emma Freud meets swinging sixties cultural icon Twiggy; and Michael Parkinson sits on the other side of the interviewer’s chair. BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz selects 10 key works – from Blake to Banksy – through which to chart British art and social history; Peter Brookes talks cartoons with David Aaronovitch; Armando Iannucci discusses classical music and Harry Enfield and Alison Steadman perform treasured British poems with Allie Esiri.

History and Historical fiction

Distinguished historian Simon Schama introduces the second instalment of The Story of the Jews; Alison Weir reveals how historical queens wielded and secured their power; and in the Festival Lates strand, comedian Natalie Haynes delivers a stand-up show exploring what ancient civilisations can offer modern life.

Current Affairs

A particularly strong crop of heavyweight agenda-setters include Newsnight’s Evan Davis and Victoria Derbyshire; Andrew Marr, Peter Hennessy and John Sergeant. MPs Jess Phillips and Jacob Rees Mogg discuss unlikely political friendships and last British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten talks about his autobiography. We hear from Gary Younge, author of Another Day in the Death of America and from Financial Times columnist Tim Harford on modern economics. Marcus Brigstocke gives a shout-out to the liberal metropolitan elite and Phillip Collins advises non-Brexiteers in What Should Remainers Do Now?


Tom Daley, Nigella Lawson, Andrew Marr, Clemmie Hooper

Food and Lifestyle

Culinary stars include Nadiya Hussain, Nigella Lawson and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with the chance to hear them speak and taste their recipes. Robert Crampton and Andy McNab delve into masculinity while the Knackered Mums Night Out journeys through the emotional highs and lows of motherhood with Cherry Healey, Clemmie Hooper, Hurrah for Gin’s Katie Kirby and The Unmumsy Mum Sarah Turner.

Robert McCrum and brain surgeon Henry Marsh discuss what it means to approach the ‘end game’ and Maggie O’Farrell recounts a series of near-death experiences. In The Lost Words, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris examine how words representing childhood in the natural world are disappearing while bestselling author Amanda Owen describes her farming year as the Yorkshire Shepherdess. In sport, Olympian Tom Daley talks about his career and his new book; Judy Murray shares her inspirational story and Yorkshire and England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow discusses his moving memoir.

Families

The biggest-ever line-up of newcomers, renowned children’s authors, big stars of Young Adult literature and familiar names from the realms of culture and entertainment include: new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, Festival illustrator Jim Field, Miranda Hart, YouTuber Ali-A, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Kes Gray, Nadiya Hussain, Robin Stevens, The Famous Five, Michael Morpurgo, Gemma Cairney, Harry Hill, Lizzy Stewart, Michael Grant and Adrian Edmondson.

Read more about the Family programme


Ali-A, Nadiya Hussain

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Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils...Minety Primary School

Maria Madeley, Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils participant and teacher at Minety Primary School, tells us how she used #ReadingTeachers book, Cowgirl by G.R. Gemin to launch a book group…

We started off, my book group and I, on our first reading adventure: Cowgirl by G.R. Gemin!

We were unsure this book would be good – why would anyone want a cow in their garden and why would anyone want a friend who hung out with cows? Gradually we were introduced to the characters: Gemma, with her mean best friend, brother and grumpy mum. Then we meet her nan who we didn’t like that much either and the strange cow girl that gran seemed to like.

Some of my book group were hesitant readers but suddenly they wanted to meet not once but twice a week to read and discuss.

Gradually G.R. Gemin showed us – led by the love of a herd of cows and two school girls – people working together and developing friendship along the way. Where there once was despair and sadness, community spirt developed and as we came to know the characters our understanding of them made us like them.

Some of my book group were hesitant readers but suddenly they wanted to meet not once but twice a week to read and discuss. They enjoyed taking it in turns to read to the others and the stronger readers enjoyed answering the questions of the not-so-sure. The book helped us imagine another life and how it might feel to live it – we even felt it might be fun to have our own herd (best not mention this to the Head).

There was a certain sadness when the book was over – we felt like we had lost a friend. Luckily for us and thanks to Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils another book was on its way – inspired by Cowgirl we are now setting off on another reading journey …… thank you.

As a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity we depend on donations to bring the arts and sciences live to audiences, support emerging talent, and deliver inspirational educational programmes.

To find out more about our year-round Education & Outreach work, click here

To find out about how you can support our work, click here

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First names for the #cheltlitfest Family programme announced

Celebrating its best Family programme yet, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (6-15 October) is welcoming a tremendous raft of special guests in 2017.

The line-up includes newcomers as well as well-established children’s authors, rising stars in Young Adult literature and big names from the realms of culture and entertainment.

Bursting with excitement, in this very special preview we are letting you in on a few first names and events that will be part of our Family collection at this year’s Festival. With the rest of the programme yet to come, save the date and keep your eyes peeled for the full Family programme reveal on Saturday 12 August!

We are thrilled to welcome new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child to the Festival alongside a great number of beloved children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers. These include best-selling author of Framed and Millions Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the mistress of mystery Robin Stevens and former Children’s Laureate and audience favourite Michael Morpurgo (Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story).

Hear award-winning actress and Queen of Comedy Miranda Hart introduce her debut children’s book The Girl With The Lost Smile, learn all about the new festive family cookbook and storybook from Great British Bake Off sensation Nadiya Hussain or get lost in time with actor Adrian Edmondson, who presents his first children’s novel Tilly and the Time Machine.

Don’t miss the launch of YouTube superstar Ali-A’s first graphic novel at the Festival (Ali-A Adventures: Game On!). Expect family friendly fun and lots of laughs with star of TV Burp Harry Hill (Matt Millz, The Youngest Stand Up Comedian In The World) and go on an adventure with Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five as they celebrate their 75th Anniversary.

Join radio personalities and debut authors, Greg James and Chris Smith for an action-packed Kid Normal event and meet Blue Peter Book Award winning author Matt Haig (Father Christmas and Me) who will celebrate the launch of his new Christmas book with us.

For the little ones, Kes Gray and Jim Field (Oi! Cat), Rachel Bright (The Koala Who Could) and Kristina Stephenson (Sir Charlie Stinky Socks) bring their lovely stories to life. You can also join Maisy Mouse creator Lucy Cousins and renowned storyteller Liz Fost for an afternoon aviary of feathered fun and frolics filled with live illustration or meet Hip and Hop, the characters in the new book by MOBO award-winning rapper and poet Akala and illustrator Sav Akyüz.

Big names and rising stars from the YA world at this year’s Festival are Melinda Salisbury, Patrice Lawrence, Michael Grant and Gemma Cairney.

As well as a truly amazing group of guests, we have two new exciting spaces for children and their families to enjoy on site this year. What’s more all the activities here are completely FREE.

Dive into The Den on Saturdays and Sundays for all sorts of book related fun. Help Lucy Cousins create a mural, make Harry Potter potions, learn to draw animal surprises, plus much more.

Then go on to explore The Wild Wood – a lovely, green outdoor space. Build a den, dress up, follow The Famous Five story trail, go on a teddy bear’s picnic, listen to storytellers and meet favourite book characters – enjoy the picnic area, too, all completely free!

Around town we are celebrating 30 years of Where’s Wally? Follow our Where’s Wally? Trail featuring scenes created by local primary schools in shop windows throughout Cheltenham. Pick up your trail leaflet in Waterstones on The Promenade. Keep an eye out at the festival site for Wally too – we hear he is a big fan of books and may be coming along to enjoy the festivities!

 

Dates for your calendar

Literature Festival full programme reveal: 12 August
Members Priority Booking: Wednesday 30 August, from 1pm
Public Booking: Wednesday 6 September, from 1pm

Festival dates: 6 – 15 October 2017

Sign up for our enews so you don’t miss out on any further announcements and have a look at Membership for priority booking!

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First names revealed The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Dates: Friday 6 October – Sunday 15 October 2017
Venues: Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, UK
Website: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE FULL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCEMENT

Early highlights for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (6 – 15 October 2017) are unveiled today with Salman Rushdie, Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters, Miranda Hart, Matt Lucas, Robert Webb, Nadiya Hussain, Simon Schama, Paula Hawkins, Roddy Doyle, Judy Murray, Harry Enfield, Michael Parkinson, Lauren Child, Armando Iannucci, Nigella Lawson and Twiggy leading the bill.

For ten days in October (6-15), the vibrant spa town of Cheltenham sees over 1000 of the world’s finest writers, performers, politicians, poets and leading opinion-formers gather to celebrate the joy of the written and spoken word.

This year, the Festival’s theme is “Who Do We Think We Are?” and will ask key questions around British identity in 2017 and celebrate Britain’s rich literary and cultural heritage.
Five Guest Curators will bring fresh perspectives and voices to the Festival. The Guest Curators are: Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Sarah Moss, novelist, travel writer and academic; Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House; Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley; and Nikesh Shukla, author, editor and campaigner.

As well as the very latest in Fiction, the Festival offers events covering History, Art, Classic Literature, Music, Entertainment, Current Affairs, Science, Sport, Food and Lifestyle.
The Children’s and YA programme is packed with an exciting line-up of author events, shows and workshops for toddlers to teens.

There’s a return of last year’s hugely successful Lit Crawl. Born from San Francisco’s Litquake Festival it turns a bar crawl into a fast-paced night of literary delights. And there are Festival Lates onsite providing a delicious after-hours offer of comedy, spoken word and music.

Fiction

Literary giant Salman Rushdie talks about his new novel, The Golden House; and there’s an interview with bestselling author Bernard Cornwell as he steps off the plane from the US. Discussing their new books are Paula Hawkins and Roddy Doyle, while Alan Hollinghurst talks about his new novel, The Sparsholt Affair as well as celebrating The Line of Beauty. Sarah Waters is this year’s recipient of The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and the Festival celebrates the 2017 Man Booker Prize with its annual shortlist event.

Poetry

There’s a rare chance to see two of the country’s best-loved poets in conversation when Scottish Laureate Jackie Kay and Lemn Sissay discuss race, identity and what it really means to truly belong, plus solo performances of their new work. Leading poets John Burnside, Michael Symmons Roberts, Daljit Nagra and Pascale Petit present new collections while we welcome the top stars of the next generation: Kayo Chingonyi, Andrew McMillan, Luke Wright, Hollie McNish, Rob Auton, Inua Ellams, Anthony Anaxagorou and Sabrina Mahfouz.

Classic Literature

Robert Harris and Mike Poulton talk to Mary Beard about their adaptation of Harris’ Cicero trilogy for the Royal Shakespeare Company while Edward St Aubyn discusses his contemporary reimagining of King Lear; John Carey introduces his new version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost; and Jenny Uglow looks at the great nonsensicalist Edward Lear

Arts, Culture, Stage and Screen

Comedians Matt Lucas and Peep Show star Robert Webb talk candidly about their lives; The Archers’ Timothy Bentick reveals all about life on radio’s longest-running soap opera; Emma Freud meets swinging sixties cultural icon Twiggy; and Michael Parkinson sits on the other side of the interviewer’s chair. BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz selects 10 key works – from Blake to Banksy – through which to chart British art and social history; Peter Brookes talks cartoons with David Aaronovitch; Armando Iannucc*i discusses classical music and *Harry Enfield and Alison Steadman perform treasured British poems with Allie Esiri.

History/Historical fiction

Distinguished historian Simon Schama introduces the second instalment of The Story of the Jews; Alison Weir reveals how historical Queens wielded and secured their power; and in the Festival Lates strand, comedian Natalie Haynes delivers a stand-up show exploring what ancient civilisations can offer modern life.

Current Affairs

A particularly strong crop of heavyweight agenda-setters include Newsnight’s Evan Davis and Victoria Derbyshire; Andrew Marr, Peter Hennessy and John Sergeant. MPs Jess Phillips and Jacob Rees Mogg discuss unlikely political friendships and the last British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten talks about his autobiography. We hear from Gary Younge, author of Another Day in the Death of America and from Financial Times columnist Tim Harford on modern economics. Marcus Brigstocke gives a shout-out to the liberal metropolitan elite and Phillip Collins advises non-Brexiteers in What Should Remainers Do Now?

Food and Lifestyle

Culinary stars attending the Festival include Nadiya Hussain, Nigella Lawson and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with the chance to hear them speak and taste their recipes.
Robert Crampton and Andy McNab delve into masculinity while the Knackered Mums Night Out journeys through the emotional highs and lows of motherhood with Cherry Healey, Clemmie Hooper, Hurrah for Gin’s Katie Kirby and The Unmumsy Mum Sarah Turner.
Robert McCrum and brain surgeon Henry Marsh discuss what it means to approach the ‘end game’ and Maggie O’Farrell recounts a series of near-death experiences. In The Lost Words,Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris examine how special words describing nature are disappearing from children’s vocabularies while bestselling author Amanda Owen describes her farming year as the Yorkshire Shepherdess. In sport, Olympian Tom Daley talks about his career and his new book; Judy Murray shares her inspirational story and Yorkshire and England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow discusses his moving memoir.

Families

The biggest-ever line-up of newcomers, renowned children’s authors, big stars of Young Adult literature and familiar names from the realms of culture and entertainment include: new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, Festival illustrator Jim Field, Miranda Hart, YouTuber Ali-A, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Kes Gray, Nadiya Hussain, Robin Stevens, The Famous Five, Michael Morpurgo, Gemma Cairney, Harry Hill, Lizzy Stewart, Michael Grant and Adrian Edmondson.

Around the Site

A vibrant spa town with Regency architecture, broad avenues and a bustling high street, Cheltenham sits in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of the Cotswolds: a vision of English calm with an impressive range of shops, hotels, restaurants, theatres and bars.

Perfect for families who love books, storytelling and days out, the festival is located in a pop up tented village in the centre of town, complete with family spaces like The Hive and The Den.
Around the site are dozens of free activities and pop-up performances to be enjoyed, including a chance to meet favourite writers at Waterstones’ on site book tent, plus top quality, locally sourced food and drink, with outlets across the site and beyond.

The full Festival line-up will be announced on Saturday 12 August at cheltenhamfestivals.com. To be the first to hear Festival announcements, sign up at cheltenhamfestivals.com. Booking for Cheltenham Literature Festival opens to Members at 1pm on Wednesday 30 August and to the general public at 1pm on Wednesday 6 September.
Further information can be found at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com.

Ends

Press contact: Bairbre.lloyd@cheltenhamfestivals.com
Notes to editors:

• The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival runs from 6-15 October 2017
• Tickets will be available to book online at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com or by phone on 01242 850270
• For more information about Cheltenham and the surrounding area, including details of local hotels and restaurants, visit www.visitcheltenham.com

About The Times
The Times is the oldest national daily newspaper in the UK, founded in 1785. It was one of the first newspapers in the world to launch a subscription website in 2010 and now has over 430,000 members. In December 2014, Times Newspapers Limited delivered their first operating profit in 13 years. In 2015, The Times was named Newspaper of the Year for the second time in three years at the British Press Awards and scooped seven other major awards including best supplement for the Saturday magazine, best news journalist, political writer, feature writer and cartoonist of the year.

About The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times, founded in 1822, is Britain’s biggest-selling quality newspaper. It celebrated its 10,000th edition in May 2016 and has won a clutch of awards for its Insight team investigations unit, its foreign reporting and its magazine features and interviews, in particular.

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Volunteering at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017

Application Deadline: 12 noon on Friday 4 August 2017

The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is looking for friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic volunteers.

Volunteers will be needed from Wednesday 4 October – Monday 16 October to help with all aspects of running a successful Festival. This would be a valuable experience especially for those passionate about arts administration, events management and stage production.

In return for volunteers’ hard work, UK travel expenses are paid and accommodation is provided if not local (in shared rooms), as is a small contribution towards living costs. You will also receive a free Cheltenham Festivals t-shirt to wear during the Festival and to keep. And of course, the opportunity to get behind the scenes at a famous Festival with the chance to see great events for free!

The work involved can be demanding, but the long days involve a lot of variety and hugely enjoyable teamwork along the way. This work includes:

Site Preparation
  • Furniture distribution
  • Venue set-up
  • Backstage/Artist Area set-up
  • Site vibing/ dressing the site
Site Support
  • Keeping the site tidy
  • Checking banners and posters are still secure
  • Maintaining levels of security in No-Access areas
  • Waste/Recycling Management
Site Production
  • Erecting banners
  • Securing posters and publicity
  • Maintaining directional signage
  • Maintaining venue signage
Audience Support
  • Directing audience members to locations and venues
  • Advising audience members of site facilities
  • Supporting less-able audience members to their venue
Front of House
  • Welcome audience to the venue
  • Queue management
  • Tearing tickets and directing audience to their seats
  • Leading an evacuation if necessary
  • Preparing venues for the next event
Office Support
  • Answering telephone or radio calls
  • Typing or other word processing
  • Issuing Radios, stationery, venue kit, etc.
  • Responding to call-outs
Writers Room Assistant
  • Supporting the Artist Manager
  • Maintaining the Writers Room
  • Assisting speakers with their preparations or requests
Stage Assistant
  • Sound and lighting assistance
  • Setting up the stage for rehearsal and performance
  • Assisting artists/performers
Driving
  • Drives could include artists/speakers, crew, volunteers, staff or kit
  • Driving our Festival Cars (if applicable)
On Call
  • Responding to any radio calls asking for assistance
Stage Support
  • Preparing the stage for performance – chairs, tables, water, equipment, etc.

Volunteers are asked to commit to full time availability for the duration of the Festival (Wednesday 4 October – Monday 16 October). Working hours during the Festival are long and tiring. Days often start at 8.30am for morning briefing and don’t finish until the last event has finished, sometimes as late as 11pm.

We are looking for highly motivated and reliable volunteers who will be happy to do whatever task is required of them. Volunteers will need to have good teamwork skills, initiative, and the stamina to work long hours. Evidence for a passion for Literature and/or skills in events management would be a plus.

To apply to be a volunteer please fill in our online application form.

APPLY NOW

To be considered in first round interviews, please submit your application by 12 noon on Friday 4 August. Applications submitted after this date may still be considered if we require more volunteers.

First round interviews will take place in the weeks commencing 14 August and 21 August.

If you have not heard from Cheltenham Festivals by 15 September, unfortunately your application has not been successful.

For more information please contact Aylin Ozkan or Helena Bibby by emailing volunteers@cheltenhamfestivals.com.

WORKING TOWARDS EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
Charity No: 251765

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Public Safety at Cheltenham Science Festival

Everyone at Cheltenham Festivals is deeply shocked by the terrible events which recently took place in Manchester, and our thoughts are with all of those affected.

In light of the attack, we are reviewing our security provision to ensure our visitors can enjoy Cheltenham Science Festival as usual.

We ask our visitors to help us with three specifics:

  1. Please allow extra time for arrival at the Festival site and come without large bags or rucksacks.
  2. Please report anything suspicious to a Festival steward or staff member.
  3. Please help us by complying swiftly with any requests from Festival stewards or staff.

Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to welcoming you to Cheltenham Science Festival.

More Info

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Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils...Fairford Church of England Primary School

Sarah Hulbert, Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils participant and teacher at Fairford Church of England Primary School, tells us how she’s using #ReadingTeachers book, Shackleton’s Journey to inspire her class…

‘MEN WANTED for hazardous journey… Constant danger; safe return doubtful.’… What a way to open a new focus in our literacy lessons! As a school, we have been using ‘the novel approach’ to our teaching of English for a long time. However, Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils offers us the chance to explore new books aimed at Y5/6, and Shackleton’s Journey was a prime example of this.

When I read it myself over the Christmas holidays, I have to admit that I wasn’t convinced. The illustrations, whilst undeniably impressive, were a little too ‘Lowry’ for me, and the content had very little description or added detail. In January, we dived into our own book: Treasure Island, and I soon found myself drawing comparisons to Shackleton’s Journey: one to the hot climes of the Caribbean, the other to the coldest place on earth. A link just seemed to make sense.

The Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils book group came just at the right time – through our discussion and sharing of our own interpretations and ideas I started to formulate an overview of a unit of literacy in my head, and soon found myself lost in the book with a pack of post-its firmly clasped in my hand. The lack of detail that had frustrated me initially now inspired me: why did 5000 people apply? What were they like? How did he choose? What else must have happened on their journey to South Georgia (above what is described in five sentences in the book)? I decided that we would use the last four weeks of term to move on from Jim’s journey to find treasure, to Shackleton’s for a far more intrinsic motivation.

We began our first week on Shackleton’s Journey with the advert posted by Shackleton and quoted above. The children were engaged immediately. We began by simply discussing what the advert might be for and who might be interested. We then read the introduction to the book and studied ‘The Crew’, considering what skills and qualities they needed. We looked at an actual letter that Shackleton received from ‘Three Sporty Girls’ and ended up discussing the role of women in society in 1914: an improvised PSHE lesson thrown in for good measure!

Following this, the children selected a member of the crew and wrote the application letter to Shackleton that they thought would have been good enough to secure them a place on the journey. Hot seating was next on the agenda as each group narrowed themselves down until we had just four potential applicants who were then grilled by the whole class to decide who deserved the final place on the ship. Elm Class will admit themselves that they find concentrating hard, and yet I saw some of the most reluctant writers in my class come to life as they read their letter aloud. They became the character: putting on posh voices and accents; readily making up a whole back story (and quite often a ‘sob story’) and exaggerating the truth quite considerably in an attempt to win their place on Shackleton’s crew.

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By the end of that first week, the children were fully on board (if you’ll excuse the pun…) and we were busy writing newspaper articles covering the departure of the Endurance from Plymouth Docks. Again, the lack of detail in the book meant that children had to use their imagination to add their own. We had quotations from Shackleton’s wife about how much she would miss her “Erny, Werny” and detailed explanations how the dogs had got their names.

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Week two brought our Ship’s Log. We read an extract from Kensuke’s Kingdom and used some of their experiences aboard The Peggy-Sue to add to our own log, since their journey also headed to South America first. The children sat with an atlas and annotated the journey and the events they wanted to include: from getting stuck in the Doldrums to losing in the crew’s ongoing poker tournament. Each child wrote a series of short logs across the week, ending when the ship departed South Georgia to head for the South Sandwich Islands.

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Following this, we read the pages describing ‘The Winter Months’. They began by designing the interior of the Endurance to include rooms and activities that they felt would be sufficient to keep them entertained during the months of darkness.

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The children then chose one of the characters to write as, and wrote a first person narrative looking back on those months after many years. They added their own detail – anecdotes of specific events and exciting recounts of the dog races through the moonlit snow.

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Finally, we read the rest of the book and looked at the quote: “I chose life over death for myself and my friends… I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be to not explore at all.” We debated whether or not the journey was a failure and wrote a balanced argument presenting both sides before concluding with our own opinion.

Trying a new book stimulus in the run up to SATs was a risk, but one I am so glad I took. The children loved our study of Shackleton’s Journey. I could easily have made it last a whole term, but perhaps part of its appeal to the children was that it was short and this meant their enthusiasm for the book was maintained throughout. In all of my years of using ‘the novel approach’, I have never used a non-fiction book, but Reading Teachers=Reading Pupils has opened my eyes to this possibility and I am immensely grateful for this. I can’t wait to try another of the books next year!

Sarah Hulbert
Fairford Church of England Primary School

As a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity we depend on donations to bring the arts and sciences live to audiences, support emerging talent, and deliver inspirational educational programmes.

To find out more about our year-round Education & Outreach work, click here

To find out about how you can support our work, click here

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Call for Submissions: Locally Sourced - Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017

Are you a Gloucestershire based author looking to showcase your work at one of the largest and most prestigious literature festivals in the world?

We are committed to continuing our ‘Locally Sourced’ series of events at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017 – celebrating the work of local writers and also the history, culture and landscapes of this beautiful part of England.

We’re therefore inviting writers to submit their writing for possible inclusion in the series.

How to Apply
If your work is already published, please send us a copy of your book. Or if yet to be published, please send some background information alongside a short excerpt from the manuscript. (Please send copies rather than precious originals, as we are unfortunately not able to return materials submitted to us).

Please submit your writing to us by one of the options below:

By post: Nicola Tuxworth, Head of Programming, Cheltenham Festivals, 109-111 Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7LS.

By email: literature@cheltenhamfestivals.com

The deadline for submissions is Friday 2nd June 2017.

If we are interested in pursuing a suggestion, or require further information, we will be in touch as soon as possible after the deadline. If you have not heard from us by the end of June, then please assume that there is regrettably no room in the programme on this occasion. We receive a huge number of submissions each year and inevitably many authors are disappointed, but we do consider every submission.

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Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils...Greatfield Park Primary School

Clare Siddons, Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils participant and teacher at Greatfield Park Primary School, tells us how she’s using #ReadingTeachers book, Shackleton’s Journey to inspire her class…

Engaging boys is a high priority in our School Development Plan; this book definitely did the job. I shared the book with my Year 4 class to provoke discussion; they were really focused and inspired by it, even asking to write diary entries. (Yes children asking to write – a teacher’s dream!) The children’s writing and language improved considerably with one child in Year 4 making my teaching assistant cry with her diary entry.

The Year 5 teacher has a particularly ‘lively’ class so I suggested she introduced Shackleton’s Journey to her children. The result was fantastic. The boys were captivated from the start; it had everything: adventure, peril and survival. The Year 5 teacher has used William Grill’s text alongside others about Shackleton, and the children were so inspired that it became their central focus in their English lessons for the whole half term. Lots of art work was produced to accompany the writing.

It was great to find a text that ignited the boys’ interest but that also had enough for the girls. They interestingly focused on different things to the boys; they were especially interested in the dogs. This book is now in my class library and is always one of the first books chosen during quiet reading.

This book lends itself to so many cross-curricular activities, and to integrating it into other subjects. One of the highlights of the term was when Year 5 spent all afternoon making their own Shackleton shelters from scrap items from our play pod. The conversation and planning that went into them was fantastic and all children were on task.

Clare Siddons
Greatfield Park Primary School

As a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity we depend on donations to bring the arts and sciences live to audiences, support emerging talent, and deliver inspirational educational programmes.

To find out more about our year-round Education & Outreach work, click here

To find out about how you can support our work, click here

Read more