Sparking a Lifeflong Love of Books

My First Literary Festival – Sparking a Lifelong Love of Books

Inspired by her experiences homeschooling in the pandemic, author and broadcaster Dr Emma Byrne has launched a brand new literary festival aimed at sparking a lifelong love of reading and writing.

Wild Words Festival (wildwordsfest.com) takes place on the Jubilee Weekend, ideally scheduled for half-term holidays and a family getaway. The programme is designed around families, with a dedicated Fives-to-15s tent, featuring authors like Anabelle Sami (Llama out Loud and Agent Zaiba Investigates) Mitch Johnson (Pop, Kick, and Spark) and Nicola Penfold (Between Sea and Sky, and Where the World Turns Wild.)

“During homeschooling, I saw first hand-the importance of sharing stories. As the world seemed to close around us, books opened horizons and gave us a chance to explore ideas. They made us laugh together, they helped us broach difficult subjects, and they brought us together,” says Emma Byrne, festival founder, and author of How to Build a Human and Swearing is Good for You. “I wanted to create a festival where adults can enjoy authors like Sophie Hannah, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, Vaseem Khan, and David Robson while under-15s have their own programme of storytelling, comic-book making, and poetry writing.” 

Emma Byrne, Author, Broadcaster, Academic, photographed at Ravenscroft Park, Hammersmith
Emma Byrne

The festival also features an interactive theatre show (Red Planet Revolution) by Upstart Theatre, in which families can work together to found a colony on Mars. Everyone can enjoy an intergenerational silent disco with playlists suitable for every age, and ecology writer Nicola Penfold will be leading family nature walks.The festival is celebrating the Platinum Jubilee with a Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday the 5th of June in aid of the festival’s chosen charity, BookTrust.

By Emma Byrne

Emma Byrne (The Sweary Scientist) is a PhD scientist with a background in artificial intelligence and neuroscience (and a foul mouth!) She's fascinated by brains, language, and swearing.

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