Children’s Events

doc%20martins_jpgHalf term is rapidly approaching so I thought I would highlight some of the excellent activities and events that are happening in our libraries over the next few weeks.

Breeze International Youth festival
We are very pleased this year to be running the Breeze Bookfest as part of the festival. There are a number of fantastic events happening in our libraries from today until Saturday 1st June. There are far too many events to mention all of them but they include an opportunity to meet previous Leeds Book Award winners, Comic workshops, Tutti Frutti Theatre presenting Hue Boy and author events with Jon Mayhew, Steve Cole and Craig Bradley. There should be something for everyone as part of the festival so if you are a budding writer, illustrator or just love good books then there should be something for you. Look out for our Breezefest leaflets in the library or check out the full Breeze Youth festival programme at

Big Bookend
We are also happy to be supporting the Big Bookend again this year which has some excellent events for children on its programme. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a detective come along to Kate Pankhurst’s activity to solve the case of the ghostly guinea pig. Keen adventurers should enjoy Dan Ingram Brown’s workshop where explorers can create their own scrap map story island and challenge their characters with death defying quests and adventures. These events both take place over the weekend of the 8th and 9th June at Central Library. For further details of these events as well as lots more for children and families visit

Big Bookend

Big BookendOur friends at the Big Bookend have been working really hard to get an excellent programme of events for this year’s festival. We are really pleased that several of the events are taking place at Leeds Central Library over the weekend of the 8th and 9th June.

There are events and activities for adults and children on the programme. Some Big Kid highlights for me are the World Premiere of Wrong ‘Un, a suffragettes story. Presented by Red Ladder Theatre Company, it is the tale of Annie, a Lancashire mill girl. There are also events with Sci-Fi author Guy Haley, who promises to tell us “everything you’ve ever wanted to know about SF publishing, but nobody would ever tell you.” and Frances Brody, author of the Kate Shackleton crime books.

Small Kid events include a super sleuthing event with Kate Pankhurst. Kate did an excellent sold out event for the festival last year, so get your tickets for this event quickly. Other children’s events include a storytelling event for the whole family and a workshop with Dan Ingram Brown where they will make their own scrap-map story island.

Headlining the festival on the Sunday night is Tony Harrison. Tony is one of the UKs favourite poets and and it is very exciting that he is returning to Leeds as part of the festival. The event should be a real treat.

For more information about all the events for the festival, visit their website and to book tickets for any of the events, click here.

Headingley Literature Festival now on

LitFest-logo-2013-webHeadingley Literature Festival is now in full swing. The progamme features some exciting author events. The theme this year is ‘Lives and Loves  with a great array of events.   Roger McGough will come ‘as far as he knows’ on 21 March. Hilarious and surreal, McGough is a poet of many voices. Menace and melancholy there may be, but with plenty of McGough’s characteristic wit and wordplay too.

Alao featuring are Kay Mellor the Leeds born and bred writer, director and actress,  Blake Morrison pondering fiction or life writing and one of Britain’s leading biographical authors, and Hilary Spurling, talking about her acclaimed book (recently on Radio 4) on Nobel Prize winning author Pearl Buck and her life and love of China.

The Woodhouse New Woman drawing on Rebel girls  — –Headingley Library has historian and suffrage detective Jill Liddington on Monday 18th March 6pm at Headingley Library, tickets £4  Jill is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Leeds and will tell the compelling tale of long forgotten women and their struggle for the vote. She tracks suffragettes and suffragists across Edwardian Yorkshire, from the terraced streets of Woodhouse to the leafy suburbs of Adel and Harrogate. Drawing upon brand new evidence, she captures their passionate campaigning, giving long-overdue recognition to their political achievement Her book ‘Rebel Girls’ was shortlisted for the Portico Book Prize in 2008.

The Woodhouse New Woman Scenes from the life of Mary Gawthorpe devised by June Diamond and David Robertson with members of Theatre of the Dales. Growing up among the mills and tanneries of Woodhouse, this witty and diminutive girl became one of the unsung heroines of the Suffragette movement. Based upon on Jill Liddington’s book this short piece deals with key moments in her corageous yet little known career.

In Conversation with Michael Morpurgo

Leeds Libraries are very excited to be bringing you an event with Michael Morpurgo in partnership with the Leeds International Film Festival. Michael is the bestselling author of a great number of children’s books, including The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Kensuke’s Kingdom and his latest novel,  A Medal for Leroy.

Michael will be at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 17th November at 12 noon and will be discussing the different film adaptations of his novels War Horse and Private Peaceful. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the former Children’s Laureate in conversation about his fascinating life and work at this event for the whole family.  Tickets are £5 (£3 concessions) and can be booked by calling the City Centre Box office on 0113 224 3801.

Leeds Love Arts Festival

We are getting excited here about the start of the second Love Arts Festival today. The festival’s aim is to get people thinking and talking about mental health and to reduce the related stigma that so many people experience. This year the festival has drawn it’s inspiration from the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad – the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements. 

The festival kicks off on this afternoon at a launch event at The Light in Leeds. We are told to expect the unexpected and enjoy a feast for our senses. The event is free so go along to find out further details about all the events happening across Leeds as part of the festival. Details can also be found on the festival website.

Wakefield Literature Festival

Our neighbours in Wakefield are holding their first literature festival this year. They have got a great line up including author events with Ian Clayton and Simon Armitage as well as an array of other events. We particularly like the sound of the Literary Pub Quiz (in fact we might be there!) and the Poetry Party.

The Readers Day on Sunday 30th September also sounds really good and features a number of local writers; James Nash, Martyn Bedford, Rachel Connor and Alison Taft. It should be a great opportunity to talk to the writers and immerse yourself in books and reading for the day.

The festival runs between the 22nd and the 30th September and details of how to buy a ticket can be found here.