New Cardiff literature festival to 'fire young imaginations'

Charlie Higson Charlie Higson is one of the authors taking part in the new Cardiff Children's Literature Festival

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Youngsters are being encouraged to hone their writing skills as part of a new event.

The Cardiff Children's Literature Festival features talks from leading authors and illustrators, while writers have also been going into schools.

Well-known names lined up include comedian and Young Bond author Charlie Higson and Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown.

The event, which runs to Sunday, takes place at venues around the city centre.

"This is such an exciting event for the city, and a wonderful addition to our programme," said Cardiff council cabinet member for culture, Huw Thomas.

"We've seen the power that books have to fire youngsters' imaginations, and so we have assembled some of the most popular figures in children's literature in both English and Welsh to bring this to life in March and to enthuse and inspire youngsters to read."

Start Quote

We're trying to broaden literature as much as possible to make it accessible”

End Quote Sarah Edmonds Literature Wales

Those taking part include How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell, Tintin expert Michael Farr, Wales children's poet laureate Eurig Salisbury and young people's laureate for Wales Catherine Fisher.

Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson was due to take part but had to cancel due to illness.

Sarah Edmonds of Literature Wales - one of the partner organisations of the festival along with Cardiff council, Cardiff University and the National Museum of Wales - said the aim was to create a love of reading and writing.

"We're trying to broaden literature as much as possible to make it accessible," she told BBC Radio Wales.

"We've got graphic novels, picture books, we've even got a zombie walk based on Dan Anthony's trilogy The Rugby Zombies."

She said the aim was also to put Cardiff on the "literary festival map because it is such a creative and bookish place".

Writing workshops in schools also form a significant part of the event.

"We've also got an exhibition at the festival which is celebrating and showcasing work produced by the schools over the last couple of months," said Ms Edmonds.

"Throughout the spring term, we've had authors and illustrators going into schools and doing workshops so we're displaying all that work."

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