Love books and writing? A jam-packed new community literary festival is launching this weekend, with the aim of raising cash to help inspire a passion for books in local youngsters.
Dozens of authors, journalists and playwrights are set to gather in Hammersmith for the debut Books Unbound Literary Festival, sharing tips and behind-the-scenes stories of their writing.
Organised by the Godolphin & Latymer School, the new event will raise money for local charity Doorstep Library and help fund a library overhaul at Hammersmith’s Lena Gardens Primary School.
Julia Hodgkins, Godolphin & Latymer’s development director, explained: “We hope this festival will raise awareness of the power of the spoken and written word to bring about change.
“As a school, we recognise the importance of engagement with literature for a child’s development and so are delighted to support two inspiring, local, reading-related causes.”
The event on 25-26 June is being held at the Godolphin & Latymer site in Iffley Road, Hammersmith, and money raised will also give a boost to the school’s bursary programme.
Among writers to feature during the two-day festival is former Blue Peter presenter and Hammersmith resident Janet Ellis, speaking about her debut novel The Butcher’s Hook.
As a long-standing volunteer with the Doorstep Library, Janet is one of an army of people who make regular visits to read to local children in their own homes.
The charity’s interim project manager Annabel James said the team was ‘thrilled to be selected’ to benefit from the festival.
“As a local charity striving to improve literacy levels among the area’s most deprived, we are grateful to Godolphin & Latymer for this opportunity and for providing a wonderful platform from which to celebrate books and the power of words to take you places,” she added.
Also set to benefit from the festival, Lena Gardens Primary School has big plans to refurbish its outdated school library and create a new multimedia area for pupils.
The school’s assistant principal Hima Mistry said “We work hard to instill in our pupils a love of the written word; our new facilities will enable us to do this even more successfully.”
Sessions range from popular fiction to food and military history, as well as delving into Shakespeare, poetry and even tree-climbing.
The diverse catalogue of speakers includes psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, Vogue magazine contributing editor Calgary Avansino, award-winning novelist and playwright Lucy Caldwell, and former Holby City head writer Justin Young.
There will also be a Saturday Night Book Jam of music and comedy featuring singer-songwriter Emma McGrath and comedian Eshaan Akbar.
Meanwhile, a free session on Sunday morning is a chance to meet Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner Jim Smith, writer of the Barry Loser series. Jim will teach attendees how to draw his new character Future Ratboy, as well as Barry Loser.
Full more details of the individual sessions and to book tickets visit www.booksunboundfestival.com.