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Children’s Literature Festival

12 April 2016

Child reading book

University academics will join star storytellers to celebrate the magic of literature for all ages, at the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival.

Experts from the School of Welsh and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy will play a leading role in the Festival, which runs from 16 to 24 April 2016, sharing their diverse and dynamic research in the field of children’s literature.

They feature in a programme that includes best-selling children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, Barry Cunningham - who discovered JK Rowling - and a host of English- and Welsh-language authors and illustrators.

The events the University will lead during the Festival are:

  • 18 April – Dr Catherine Butler (School of English, Communication and Philosophy)
    Taking children’s literature seriously
  • 20 April – Dr Siwan Rosser (School of Welsh)
    In discussion with Gareth F. Williams (celebrated Welsh-language children's author)
  • 21 April – Professor Damian Walford Davies (School of English, Communication and Philosophy), Dr Siwan Rosser and guests
    A Welsh Dahl? – Discussion based on the forthcoming University of Wales Press publication Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected

Professor Damian Walford Davies, Head of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy said: “Our Schools’ involvement with this established festival plugs into both the radical playfulness and the high seriousness of children’s literature (which is literature for adults, too). On show is Cardiff University’s engagement with the capacity of literature to stimulate young readers’ imaginations.”

“The study of children's literature can shine a light on cultural and linguistic issues in contemporary society and the festival, which continues to grow every year, provides an opportunity to share the University’s extensive research and expertise in this area. It also celebrates the joy of reading and provides young people with a gateway to the magical world of words and imagination,” adds Dr Siwan Rosser from the School of Welsh, who has been involved with the festival since its inception in 2013.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Cardiff University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, said: “The Children’s Literature Festival provides us with an exciting platform to share our first-rate literary research and engage a wide audience, from children through to adults. As co-organisers of the Festival we are proud to be help bring this diverse and entertaining programme of events to the local community.”

All of the festival events, whether for young people or grown-ups, aim to inspire, nurture and encourage a life-long love of reading and books. This year, the festival will also celebrate the birth of one of Cardiff’s best known authors – Roald Dahl - as it hosts themed events marking the centenary of his birth.

The festival has continued to grow over the years, expanding to run across two weekends this year.

The Children’s Literature Festival is funded by Cardiff Council.