The best children's book festivals 2015

Our pick of the year's best literary festivals for all the family.




Edinburgh International Book Festival

15-31 August 

A packed programme for families and children of all ages, featuring stories, illustrations, readings, rhymes, workshops and free drop-in events. 2015's line-up is soon to be announced, while last year's brilliant Baillie Gifford Children's Programme included talks by George R R Martin, Malorie Blackman and Lauren Child, as well as special events aimed at children with reading difficulties.


The North


Manchester Children's Book Festival 

26 June – 5 July 

Back this year due to popular demand, the theme for MCBF 2015 is time travel. The event will include a Family Fun Day as well as workshops designed to raise aspirations and confidence in young people. In addition to this, a programme of author events will culminate in the fun-filled Children's Poetry Weekend. 


The Midlands


Shrewsbury Children's Bookfest 

2-3 May

Established in 1999, this festival aims to bring the world of books to life for children in Shropshire, through a series of collaborative projects with both schools and the public. This year's highlights include a day with Dr Seuss and the frenetic Mayhem With Dennis The Menace. 




Write On Kew 

24-28 September

This autumn, Kew Gardens launches its first ever literary festival - with over 80 events across all genres, from fiction to science, children's books to cookery, and authors including Margaret Atwood, Bill Bryson and Michael Morpurgo.  A fabulous family day out, and event tickets also include full access to the gardens for the day. 


South East


Henley Children's Literary Festival 

28 Sept – 4 Oct

Readers young and old will be entertained by a plethora of literary stars such as Paula Hawkins and SJ Watson. This year's line-up will be announced shortly, following on from 2014's sterling programme for ages two and up, including free storytelling events featuring Maisy Mouse, Hugless Douglas and Roald Dahl.


South West


Bath Children's Literature Festival 

25 Sept – 4 Oct

The largest dedicated children's book festival in the UK, with an extensive programme of events in schools, from book readings and craft activities to quizzes and games. Past guests have included Moone Boy author Chris O'Dowd, Shirley Hughes and Benjamin Zephaniah, and the 2015 line-up will be revealed soon.




Hay Literary Festival 

21–31 May

Hay-On-Wye's festival programme has hundreds of family events and activities in 2015. Children and adults alike can enjoy the summer half-term with a host of treasured authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson, Liz Pichon, Chris Riddell, Cressida Cowell, Neil Gaiman.


Northern Ireland


Belfast Book Festival 

9–14 June

This year's festival plays host to international stars and homegrown local talent alike, featuring a range of talks from politics to sci-fi. Family Day at Lower Crescent Park is a festival highlight, with children's writers, storytelling, food and drink as well as loads of books to keep the entire family entertained.


Best of the rest...


Boswell Book Festival, Ayrshire | 8-10 May

Hosted at Ayrshire's Dumfries House, this year's fabulous line-up includes Joanna Lumley and Ian Rankin, alongside talks, events and activities to suit all ages. Catch the brilliant Family Fun Day on Saturday 9 May. 

Brighton Festival, East Sussex | 2–20 May

Brighton's sprawling annual festival includes literary events for all ages – this year Zoe Williams and Carol Ann Duffy will be giving talks, and the free Adopt An Author event is back to promote literacy and encourage children's writing. 

Bradford Literature Festival, West Yorkshire | 15-24 May

From comic-drawing and storyboarding to animation and smartphone movie-making, there's plenty of family fun to be had at this festival. An undoubted highlight is Nick Toczek's Million-Miles-an-Hour show, suitable for ages 3 to 103. 

Curious Arts Festival, Hampshire | 17-19 July

Described as 'one of the UK's top boutique festivals' by the Guardian, this year's line-up boasts a glittering array of literary talent from Lynn Barber to David Nicholls. Children can enjoy writing workshops, bedtime stories, a poetry trail, an early morning cartoon club and dedicated talks with children's authors across the weekend. 

BudLitFest, Devon | 17–20 September

The seaside town of Budleigh Salterton plays host to this small but vibrant festival. 2014's event featured appearances by children's authors Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre as well as former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo. This year's line-up will be announced in June. 


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Last updated: almost 3 years ago