Winchester Children’s Book Festival


Winchester Children’s Book Festival Preview: Winchester Discovery Centre

Winchester Discovery Centre is delighted to announce the Winchester Children’s Book Festival 2015, which returns to the venue 24 October – 1 November.

Previously known as The Wessex Children’s Book Festival, the festival is a week long celebration of books and reading with authors, illustrators, poets, theatre, shows, storytelling and workshops.


John Townsend Titles

The author events begin with John Townsend – Scary or What? John Townsend’s stories (truth and fiction) have been known to make toes curl like never before (and even drop off!) Brace yourself… Featuring:- Terror of the Swamp (Ransom) Peril of the Snow Dead in the Water Operation Code-Cracker (Bloomsbury) Deep Sea Danger (QED) Night of the Werewolf (Barrington Stoke). Scary stuff, just in time for Halloween!

Then on 27 October, we are joined by Dan Metcalfe, author of The Lottie Lipton Adventures, who will be discussing his books, teaching some codebreaking skills and giving some great tips for budding young writers!

Stitch Head by Guy Bass
We welcome Hampshire favourite Guy Bass on 29 October, award winning author of Stitch Head, The Legend of Frog, Dinkin Dings, Atomic! and Gormy Ruckles. Guy won a Blue Peter Book Award in 2010 for Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things. Expect a high-octane performance exploring his childhood aspirations and inspirations and including animated readings from his books.

Then later that day, Jane Lawes, author of the very popular Gym Stars, and new series Ballet Stars will be talking about the inspiration behind her stories, why she will always love ballet and how dancing made her dreams come true! Jane might even demonstrate some of the ballet she loves so much!

On 30 October we welcome Elen Caldecott, author of The Great Ice-Cream Heist and Diamonds and Daggers. Elen’s characters investigate jewel thefts, make off with ice cream vans and uncover secrets in country houses! And she will be teaching some simple tricks of writing in this interactive workshop. Then later that day, Rachel Sambrooks performance poet and writer of The Strangest sandwich in the World and Other Silly Stuff joins us with silly, fun and interactive poems and more.

Finally, on 31 October we are delighted to announce the winner of the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph. This will be a really lovely interactive event, with a reading and drawing exercises followed by a craft activity.

 Family Shows

Blunderbus Theatre join us on 28 October with  The Duck in the Truck. Based on the best-selling book by acclaimed children’s author Jez Alborough, this funny, silly, yucky, mucky show will have you giggling away, singing along and laughing out loud. All ducklings aged 3 – 7 years will love this – don’t forget to wear your wellies!

On 31 October we have a must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid show fans with The Wimpy Kid Show. Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimpy Wars! Quiz.


Join the guys from Little Funky Art on 24 October to help create a huge artwork with Little Funky Art Club – The Big One. Then in the afternoon learn some fabulous circus skills with Creative Palaver in the Circus Skills Workshop.

The 26 October is perfect for all budding film makers with a Green Screen Workshop and Stop Motion Animation workshop.  On 27 October Castles, Knights and Princesses are free drama workshops where children are taken on a fantastical journey through some of the most fun and accessible Arthurian myths and legends – come dressed for adventure.   Or if poetry is more your thing, then there is a fabulous Poetry Workshop where you can be anything you choose to be!

On 28 October, get active and exercise your grey matter in a variety of games celebrating the greats from history in History Heroes.

If you are creative, on 29 October you can Print your own book bag, try Book Making or Willow Weaving, we’ll be making halloween wands and brooms!  Future Book festival authors can hone their skills at a Creative Writing Workshop on 30 October, and then later that day learn some skills and have fun in an interactive out loud workshop with Rachel Sambrooks.

The festival as always brings to you the film tent, loads of crafts and our special storytelling sessions as well as the entertainments throughout the week and around the building!

Don’t miss a thing. Keep up to date with the Festival’s Facebook Page:

All events are available to book in person, by phone on 01962 873603 or online at

3 thoughts on “Winchester Children’s Book Festival”

  1. Just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in the half term events – we happily spent hours in the library today having only intended to go to Rhyme Time! My children are small but they had such fun spinning plates, getting their faces painted, making kites and talking to the dancers on stilts. Oh – and the film tent was such a great touch. We had our lunch watching Wallace and Gromit. Thank you!


    1. Hi,

      Thank you for your kind comments, we are really glad that you enjoyed your day at the Festival and look forward to welcoming you in again. We have shared your comments with our staff.
      Gilbert Yates, Events Manager, Winchester Discovery Centre


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