Celebrating 10 Years of Bookfeast Festivals and Author Events


Bookfeast is marking its 10th anniversary and nine years of Bookfeast Festivals and Events!

Specifically targeting Oxfordshire’s primary school pupils, year after year each May, Bookfeast has brought top children’s authors, illustrators and poets to Oxford to inspire, delight and engage young audiences, always packing a punch over a busy 3-4 day programme.

From 2011-2019 the Schools Festival has welcomed over 17,000 4-11 year old children to 177 events involving over 120 authors, illustrators and poets, lots of them returning to perform again another year. Events provide an opportunity for children to buy a book and have it signed by the author, and with the support of Blackwell’s and Waterstones, we have sold around £40,000 of books to proud purchasers.

The Bookfeast Festival is a firm favourite with authors and illustrators, frequently praised for being super-friendly, well organised, in great venues and with guaranteed audiences. Our Festivals and events have featured the following wonderfully entertaining, creative and talented people with the invaluable support of their publishers:

Philip Ardagh, Atinuke, Claire Barker, Suzanne Barton, Simon Bartram, Guy Bass, Emily Bearn, PG Bell, Joe Berger, Tony Bradman, Matt Brown, Cecilia Busby, Steven Butler, Elen Caldecott, Neill Cameron, Matt Carr, James Carter, Simon Cherry, Steve Cole, Paul Cookson, Tracey Corderoy, Veronica Cossantelli, Jo Cotterill, Sarah Courtauld, Dave Cousins, Damian Dibben, Emma Dodd, Elys Dolan, John Dougherty, Abi Elphinstone, Elissa Elwick, the Etherington Brothers, Polly Faber, Claire Fayers, John Foster, Emily Fox, Sally Gardner, Sam Gayton, Jennifer Gray, Julia Golding, Sally Grindley, Adam and Charlotte Guillain, Penelope Harper, MG Harris, AF Harrold, Sue Heap, Teresa Heapy, Laura Hughes, Yasmeen Ismael, Laura James, Pete Johnson, Pip Jones, Tanya Landman, Kieran Larwood, Caroline Lawrence, Michael Lawrence, MG Leonard, Cas Lester, Gill Lewis, Ben Lyttelton, Matt & Dave, Jennifer Killick, Christopher Lloyd, Layn Marlow, Conrad Mason, John Mayhew, David Miller, Alex Millway, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sarah McIntyre, Tom McLaughlin, Kita Mitchell, Tom Moorhouse, Helen Moss, Adam Murphy, Ciaran Murtagh, Linda Newbery, Sally Nicholls, Gary Northfield, David O’Connell, Korky Paul, Helen Peters, Tom Percival, Liz Pichon, Kjartan Poskitt, Philip Pullman, Philip Reeve, Michael Rosen, Katherine Rundell, Angie Sage, Tony de Saulles, Hannah Shaw, Jo Simmons, Ali Sparkes, Kristina Stephenson, Robin Stevens, Lauren St John, Adam Stower, Jeremy Strong, Holly Swain, Sean Taylor, Jamie Thomson, Piers Torday, Kaye Umansky, Clara Vulliamy, Nick Ward, Sam Watkins, Holly Webb, Steve Webb, Marcia Williams, Jeanne Willis, Laura Wood, Katherine Woodfine,    Ellie Woollard, the Word Wizards.

During Festival time Bookfeast has also offered other activities to schools such as creative writing trails in the museums, walking trails in the colleges, writing competitions, Shakespeare sessions creating Playbills and in-school writing workshops with Flash of Splendour Arts. Outside Festival time.We have also run stand-alone events bringing festival partnership schools together to meet an author. The latest was last July at Lady Margaret Hall’s Simpkins Lee Theatre where Kristina Stephenson enthralled 230 Year 1 and 2 children from four schools with a theatrical and musical introduction to her new book, Why are there so many books about bears? An inspiring day in so many ways as it also included a wonderful introduction to university life Professor Sophie Ratcliffe and a trail around the beautiful gardens at Lady Margaret Hall.

Part of Bookfeast’s mission in running the Festival and events programme has also been to encourage schools to bring their pupils into Oxford to explore some of the city’s important and iconic buildings. The inspiring venues for Bookfeast’s events have contributed so much to their success and we are indebted to the following museums, schools and colleges for their support:

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers Museum, Ashmolean, The Story Museum, The Weston Library, The Holywell Music Room, St Hugh’s College, Lady Margaret Hall, St Edward’s School, The North Wall , D’Overbroeck’s

None of this could have happened without the support of a huge number of sponsors and supporters, many of who have repeatedly been there for us. They include:

Oxfordshire County Council, Arts Council England, OUP, Felicity Bryan Agency, Pearson Education, the University of Oxford Community Fund, St Michael’s & All Saints’ Charities, Oxford University Museums, St Edward’s School and the North Wall, St Hugh’s College, Lady Margaret Hall, Blackwell’s, Waterstones, The Story Museum, the Weston Library, D’Overbroeck’s and the Holywell Music Room

Funding for a large annual festival has, however, become harder to secure in recent years. Bookfeast will now review its role in securing high quality, great value, inspirational literary events for Oxfordshire primary pupils.

In the meantime, please do keep in touch with us at contactus@bookfeast.net.