Posted in blog, events

Brentwood Lit Fest Update

Hello dear reader. How are you? I don’t know about you, but the fact that it is already July has come as quite a shock. For a start, the summer weather has only been with us for a few days and I’m sure that there are still remnants of Easter eggs at the back of the cupboard. However, like it or not, July did indeed arrive 11 days ago, which means that the school holidays will be here very soon. In fact, for some, they are already upon us.

As a parent, I love the school holidays; especially the long summer, with endless days of family fun ahead. My bank balance isn’t quite so keen though, but that’s a whole other blog! This summer there’s a plethora of brilliant activities to take part in, including the Family Fun Days around Brentwood. The focus of this blog is the new Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival ,which launches on 20th July with closed events for Brentwood County High School and Shenfield High School, before opening to the public on Friday 22nd Ju;y, with the darkly funny Christopher William Hill.

BCLF Logo

Here’s a run down of the line up:

THE AGE SUGGESTIONS BELOW ARE FOR GUIDANCE ONLY – ALL ARE WELCOME!

Abi Elphinstone: Prepare for catapulting hedgehogs and magical runes. (Sunday 24th July, 5:30p.m. Hogarth Primary, Age 8+).

Andy Robb: An hilarious treatment of teenage angst for all you geeks out there. (Tuesday 26th July, 11:00a.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 11+).

A.F.Harrold: Riotous performance poetry, escaping the circus and a magnificent beard. (Monday 25th July, 3:00p.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 7+).

Bizzy Bear: Join this lovable story book character for a free story session – SOLD OUT!

Caighlan Smith: YA author all the way from Canada. This is an exclusive UK launch of Caighlan’s new novel.Caighlan will be on hand to read your writing, as well as talk about her life as an author. (Saturday 30th July, 6:00p.m., Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Age 12+).

Christopher William Hill: Christopher’s tales are darkly funny – perfect for fans of Roald Dahl. (Friday 22nd July, 5:30p.m., Hogarth Primary School, Age 7+).

Dave Cousins: Football, friendship and guaranteed laughs. Also, learn what to do if confronted with an angry bear. (Thursday 28th July, 3:00p.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 7+).

David O’Connell: David’s artwork was displayed in Chicken and Frog for the Art Trail. David is the comic genius behind Monster and Chips. Join him for a writing and illustration workshop. (Friday 29th July, 11:00a.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 7+).

Elli Woollard: Fight dragons and design your own knight’s shield. Elli is double-billing with Michelle Robinson. (Saturday 23rd July, 3:00p.m., Hogarth Primary School, Age 4+).

Giles Paley-Philips: Design your own dinosaurs with Giles. (Saturday 23rd July, 11:00a.m., Hogarth Primary School, Age 4+).

Hazel Williams: Sorry, Hazel’s illustration workshop – SOLD OUT!

Ian Whybrow: Join the legend behind Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs. Roar!! (Friday 29th July, 3:00p.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 4+).

Julie Irwin: Join Julie for a writing workshop packed full of energy. Bring your best ideas! (Thursday 28th July, 11:00a.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 7-12).

Karen McCombie: What can we say?! Karen is the undeniable Queen of Tween. (Monday 25th July, 11:00a.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 7+).

Michelle Robinson: Eat astronaut ice-cream and get involved with plenty of shenanigans. Michelle is double billing with Elli Woollard. (Saturday 23rd July, 3:00p.m., Hogarth Primary School, Age 4+).

Nikki Sheehan: Magical realism at its greatest. Discover your inner animal. (Wednesday 27th July, 3:00p.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 9+).

Pete Johnson: The king of both horror and comedy for children. Learn how to control your parents! (Tuesday 26th July, 3:00p.m., Brentwood Theatre, Age 8+).

Sara Grant: Sara is running two writing workshops, but the afternoon session is already full. (Sunday 24th July, 11:00a.m., Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Age 11+).

In addition to all of the events, we have some treats for you. Thanks to the Breakfast Brentwood Rotary we have dictionaries to give away; a selection of books generously donated by Bloomsbury; as well as signed copies of our authors’ books, due to the kind work of Gerry Bender, who has been persuading people to ‘donate a book’ to the festival. All you need to do to be in with a chance of receiving one of these free books, is purchase a ticket and attend an event.

Ward Councillors have funded free tickets have been made available for some lucky children who attend Hogarth Primary School, St Thomas’ Infants, St Thomas’ Infants, St Helen’s Juniors and St Helen’s Infants, but you must still get online to book your places!

Tickets (at just £3 per event) are available via the website www.brentwoodlitfest.com

Tickets must be purchased for babes in arms if you are booking for an event at the Brentwood Theatre.

THE AGE SUGGESTIONS ARE FOR GUIDANCE ONLY – ALL ARE WELCOME!

Posted in blog, events

A Spring in Our Step

Good morning dear reader. The sun is here and with it, a spring like feel has crept into the air. There is no doubt that sunshine can do wonders for your mood and whilst nothing much else has changed, the turn in weather has been enough to re-energise us for the coming months.

So, what do we have planned? Well, quite a lot actually! Within the next few weeks, we are welcoming two local authors to Chicken and Frog, for reading and book signing sessions. First up is Karen Chilvers, who is a well known local Councillor, but did you know that she is also a children’s author? Karen’s gorgeous dog, Bailey is the star of the show, in this sweet tale of friendship.

Meet local authorKaren Chilvers

Following on from Karen, in May, is Emma McNally. The Cloudosaurus Rex is for children aged 3 to 6 years and perfect for those who love to join in with actions and rhyming verse – you can even bring along your pet dinosaurs, as long as they are house-trained.

MEET LOCAL AUTHOR (1)

As well as these planned author bookshop events, we have our regular Creative Writing, Book and Handwriting & Fine Motor Skills Clubs on offer.

And we have been busily working away, organising author events in schools, with Nikki Sheehan, James Nicol, Gary Nott and Sara Grant.

Not enough? Ok, well, we’ve also been putting the finishing touches to the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival, which kicks off with an exclusive visit for students of Shenfield High School and Brentwood County High School, with the one and only Laura Dockrill.

Phew! Now I need to find a lovely sunny spot, curl up with a cuppa and a good book, or two.