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Looking Ahead To September: Monster Book Events By The Seaside

bksThe DLR Mountains to Sea Book Festival is one of my favourite literary events on the calendar as it usually has a good range of events for both children and adults. I spotted a flyer for the schools’ events part of the festival, for which booking opens this week. Event organisers Tom Donegan and Sarah Webb have been hard at work since as far back as last year putting together the Family and Schools’ Events Programme. The cost per pupil for the theatre events has been held at €3 which is remarkably good value for an entertaining and educational hour with a favourite writer.

 Several fantastic kids’ authors and illustrators feature in the schools line-up for both the primary and secondary age groups. The festival has built up a good track record for school events and this year the flag is kept flying by appearances from Laureate na nÓg Niamh Sharkey, Patrick Ness and Liz Pichon to name but three. The Patrick Ness event is particularly interesting as it is a Teen Curator Event involving participants from Newpark Comprehensive School. They will interview the author in County Hall, Dún Laoghaire in front of an audience, which is a brilliant opportunity for Ness’s readers.

Included in this year’s events are two free writing workshops held in participating secondary schools by the ‘Fighting Words’ organisation on 5th September. Groups of fifteen students will be able to create and then refine dialogue with the help of tutors from the writing centre. This is a marvellous chance for would-be writers to gain experience and advice from the experts. Pupil involvement is also encouraged in other school events where the children, requested to come along armed with pencil and paper can join in the fun. And if you don’t know how to draw a Hugglemonster, the brilliant Niamh Sharkey will probably show you how.

Booking for family events doesn’t open until July, but expect to see the return of the Monster Book Lunch with many popular authors in attendance. This is just a sneak preview of what’s to come in September. For younger fans, the festival will be hosting a Picture Book Picnic as well as a Monster Family Doodle event. Get your pencils sharpened in readiness for the latter giant activity (that means adults too). So far, Derek Landy, Charlie Higson and Cathy Cassidy are due to make the event, but keep an eye out for more news of the remainder of the programme. Now, all we need is a warm, sunny September as a backdrop to the fun!

For booking and further information: www.mountainstosea.ie  You can find the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Also: www.fightingwords.ie

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