Celebrating all things literature at the Newham Word Festival

Juno Dawson Picture: Sophia Spring

Juno Dawson Picture: Sophia Spring - Credit: Sophia Spring

A love of all things literary is set to be celebrated at the Newham Word Festival.

Newham Word Festival has activities for children of all ages Picture: Andrew Baker

Newham Word Festival has activities for children of all ages Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: Andrew Baker

Running from Monday, November 6 to Sunday, November 19, the fortnight-long festival will see poets, authors and illustrators take part in sessions, conversations and shows throughout the borough.

Curated by Discover Children’s Story Centre, the majority of the 155 events will be free of charge.

Among the events is a session by Andy Hamilton, who has written for hit comedy Outnumbered, and a talk with writer and activist Juno Dawson and Night Czar Amy Lame.

There are sessions from aspiring crime authors and scriptwriters, and talks from bestselling authors including Vaseem Khan and Ben Aaronovitch.

Andy Hamilton Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Andy Hamilton Picture: Steve Ullathorne - Credit: Steve Ullathorne

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For those who prefer fact over fiction, there is a session on the history of the Tate and Lyle factory, featuring some of the real life Sugar Girls, while Hammers fans may want to listen to football journalists Pete May and Brian Williams talk about the club.

During the two weeks, there will also be a series of spoken word and poetry performances, including from Nigerian rapper and author Breis and Columbian poet Sonia Quintero.

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Younger participants can enjoy a reading from picture book author Oliver Jeffers, create their own songs as part of a choir and watch interactive performances.

A series of author events designed for schools to bring pupils to will also be taking place.


Breis - Credit: Discover

Karla Barnacle-Best, CEO of Discover, said, “We are delighted that Discover’s invitation to take part in Newham Word Festival has attracted so many fantastic authors, illustrators, poets and artists to Newham to celebrate all things ‘word’.”

Cllr Ken Clark, deputy mayor (statutory) and cabinet member for community neighbourhoods, said: “As well as bringing some of the UK’s best known authors and

poets to our borough, Newham Word Festival also gives our many local artists a platform to showcase their amazing work.

“I hope as many residents as possible take the opportunity to get involved, and discover how an enjoyment of reading and words can enrich their lives.”

A full programme of events, including dates, times and venues for each, is available at discover.org.uk/newhamwordfestival17

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