Hay Festival, Wales - May 2017

Being surrounded by some truly inspiring thinkers and fantastic writers has made me wonder what my writing journey will look like and where it may take me.

The Hay Literary Festival never fails to open my mind and pour wonderful new thoughts into my head. I go to as many talks as possible and stray from the familiar whenever possible in search of new understanding.

Although it seems there are many children’s stories out there which rely on smelly socks, dirty underpants and snot to sell themselves (really? Do we not credit little boys with being entertained by anything else?! Zero-calories for the mind and toxic for the self-image) there are some real gems to be found which look to expand children’s horizons and without effort seize their attention.
Who wants anything else from a book than to discover treasures which capture the imagination with the secret ingredient ‘magic spark’ and the ones which stay with you years later…

The highlight of this year’s festival for me was by far, hearing Chris Riddell speak in his last “Ask the Laurette” session. He has found the literary sweet spot which I aspire to.
He is very very funny and has your full attention from the start —sometimes before he has even said a word he has you giggling.
He is unashamedly political and does not dumb anything down for the younger audience (Yes! credit children with political understanding or introduce them to concepts/issues they can find out more about later)
He has fabulous cultural reference points (bringing Lord Byron to the under 9s! Genius!) and he has purpose -he really wants to make a difference to children and fuel the fire for their love of books.

I was lucky enough to meet him and I plan to follow the advice he gave to this unconventional politically rilled up children’s author! Thank-you CR!