It is an exciting weekend for children, parents, authors, bloggers and the publishing industry! That's because this weekend, the 9th and 10th July, An Awfully Big Blog Adventure are hosting the first ever online literary festival.
To coincide with the blog's third birthday, they have created this incredible idea. The online festival has been organised by a range of wonderful children's authors, and will be the first of its kind. Every half an hour will see a contribution from an author, and the line-up includes a range of subjects, from blogging, to tips on writing, and insights into some of the inspiration and origins for their own incredible work.
In addition, there are some awesome competitions, including book giveaways and, for you aspiring writers, the chance to win a critique!
The line up includes some of my favourite people, such as Nicola Morgan, Susan Price, Anne Cassidy, Salvita Kalhan... the list goes on and on.
This event is not just crucial to those who love children's literature, but to all interested in books and publishing, and it is even further evidence of the opportunities that have opened up to the industry through digital developments and social media. This is a big booster for social media enthusiasts like myself, and it will be interesting, for fans and skeptics alike, to see how this all comes together.
Most importantly though, it is great to have such an event online so that more and more children can access it. Literary events are amazing, but until now travel and financial limitations have restricted many parents/ guardians and their children from taking part. With more and more people waking up to the well-established fact of a need to push children's literacy, I am so glad to see a festival being made available online.
So, please come along, take part, and let's make this festival a success. The first 'event' has already begun, with Anne Cassidy posting about blogging. I do not want to miss out, so I'll see you all over there. http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.com/
Oh, and don't forget you can follow An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AwfullyBigBlog and you can follow the festival on Twitter too, under the #ABBALitFest hashtag.
Below is the line-up as it stands now:
Saturday 9th July
9.30am Anne Cassidy Post: To Blog or Not To Blog?
10.00am Jo Cotterill
10.30am Anne Rooney & Mary Hoffman Video: Italian Inspiration
11.00am Celia Rees Post: Scattered Authors, the Beginning
11.30am Elen Caldecott Competition: Win 'Operation Eiffel
12.00pm Sally Nicholls Post: History
12.30pm Gillian Philip Competition: Win 'Bloodstone' and 'Firebrand'
1.00pm Liz Kessler Competition: Win 'A Year Without Autumn'
1.30pm Sam Mills Video: Interview with Tyger Drew-Honey
2.00pm Adele Geras
2.30pm Jane Eagland Post: The Ups and Downs of Research
3.00pm Enid Richemont
3.30pm Malcolm Rose Post: Reader Gregor Kelly questions Malcolm Rose over Forbidden Island
4.00pm Lucy Coats Video and Competition: Going to the Dogs--Tackling a Tricky Audience
4.30pm Susan Price & Katherine Roberts Post: Kindles and Kids Books
5.00pm Wendy Meddour Post: On Not Being a Famous Actress
5.30pm Miriam Halahmy & Savita Kalhan Video drama and discussion about Edgy Fiction
6.00pm Catherine Johnson Post: Rastamouse, the Moomins and Me
6.30pm Penny Dolan
7.00pm Linda Newbery & Julia Jarman
Sunday 10th July
10.30am Emma Barnes
11.00 am Dianne Hofmeyr & Miriam Moss On Picture Books
11.30am Kath Langrish Post: Secret Rooms in Children's Fiction
12 NOON Nicola Morgan Competition: Win 'Write to be Published' and a crabbit bag.
12.30pm Julie Sykes Post and Competition: My Favourite Bears
1.00pm Leila Rasheed Competition: Win a critique
1.30pm Joan Lennon Post: The Flamingo and the Writer
2.00pm Hilary McKay Competition: Win 'Caddy's World'
2.30pm Fiona Dunbar & Keren David Video: In Conversation
3.00pm Josh Lacey Competition: Win 'Island of Thieves'
3.30pm Marie-Louise Jensen & David Calcutt
4.00pm Candy Gourlay Video: Creating a Legend
4.30pm Karen Ball Competition: An Inspiring Giveaway
5.00pm Linda Strachan & Cathy MacPhail Video: In Conversation
5.30pm Malachy Doyle Post: The Happy Book
6.00pm Michelle Lovric Competition: Win 'The Undrowned Child'
6.30pm Sue Purkiss Post: What the Dickens?
7.00pm John Dougherty Competition and Composition
7.30pm Lynne Garner
8.00pm Nicky Browne Video: Finding history and herstory