WORDfest to celebrate five years of loving literature

  • WORDfest will run from Thursday April 23 to Thursday May 7
  • Maidenbower children given a taste of what’s to come
  • Literary festival has been running for five years

Three children’s authors helped inspire the next generation of writers as they promoted Crawley’s annual literary festival.

WORDfest has been nurturing a love of literature in young and old alike since it was launched in 2011.

This year’s festival will run from Thursday April 23 to Thursday May 7 – and some 600 children from Maidenbower Junior School have been given a taste of what to expect.

Authors Jo Simmons, Eve Ainsworth and Siobhan Rowden visited the school, in Harvest Road, on March 27 along with the Do Stuff Bus.

The bus is a regular WORDfest feature, giving children the chance to get creative with arts, crafts.

This year, authors will be running creative workshops for the students on board the bus, as well as staging performances and recitals, most of which will be free.

Reading for pleasure is vital and so is getting children wanting to talk about books and write their own ideas

Elaine Jenkins, deputy head, Maidenbower Junior School

Sam Murray, WORDfest committee member and creative director of the Do Stuff Bus, said: “We have worked with Maidenbower Junior School in the past and they are terrific at supporting our efforts to get children talking about the festival, writing and books.

“The Do Stuff Bus provides a unique environment for them to explore some of the themes raised in the authors’ books as well as their own creativity.

“It’s a great way to get kids’ imaginations fired up.”

Elaine Jenkins, deputy head of Maidenbower Junior School said: “The Do Stuff Bus came into our playground as part of WORDfest two years ago and it was such a huge success that we decided to do it again.

“The children got such a lot from it. Reading for pleasure is vital and so is getting children wanting to talk about books and write their own ideas.

“We really want to promote that. Sam Murray has been working alongside us to get these three authors in and they will have a fantastic time.”

WORDfest will launch its fifth anniversary on April 23 with an evening of stories, books poetry, music and wine at Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, from 7.15pm.

Admission is free. Call 01293 651751 to book a place.

The launch will be followed by The Get Stuck In Day on April 25.

It will offer art activities, visits from children’s authors, spoken word workshops, Minecraft games, the Do Stuff Bus, paper crafts, theatre performance and a games writing workshop. Running from 11am-4pm at Crawley Library, this event is also free.

One of the other highlights will see members of the Crawley Creative Writers club celebrate the launch of their first e-book, Different Voices, with a free event at the library from 6.30pm on April 30.