Be inspired at London Literature Festival

London Millennium Footbridge by Judy Darley
London Literature Festival hosted by the Southbank Centre is returning from 18th to 29th October.

With George the Poet guest curating the opening night, the festival will launch with a celebration of the vitality of London’s spoken word scene.

Non-author stars bringing new memoirs to the festival include Sir Patrick Stewart, Kerry Washington, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and a UK-exclusive with Jada Pinkett Smith.

Internationally-acclaimed writers, including Yu Miri, Teju Cole, Bryan Washington, Oliver Jeffers and Helen Oyeyemi, will present anticipated new work.

Black British Book Festival partners with the Southbank Centre for the first time, bringing a memoir launch from Leigh-Anne Pinnock and a day-long festival.

Family events will run during the October half term, with new books from Jacqueline Wilson and Jeffrey Boakye and a London premiere from Zeb Soanes with the Oprheus Sinfonia.

There will also be plenty of free events for all ages across the 12-day festival, including a live recording of BBC Radio 4’s Open Book hosted by Johny Pitts and Elizabeth Day, free family events and performances in The National Poetry Library.

For the full programme, visit

All image supplied by the Southbank Centre.

The magic of a child’s imagination

Selkie and Mermaid stories with Nicola Davies

Southbank Centre’s annual multi-arts Imagine Children’s Festival returns for its seventeenth year from 7th till 18th February 2018. It’s the perfect opportunity to set your creativity loose, with twelve days of storytelling, playing and exploring for children and their families. At its heart, this year’s programme features a specially curated Royal Festival Hall event celebrating the world’s leaders and pioneers who have changed the world, to inspire the next generation of young changemakers.

The line up of activities include Super Hero parties, magical immersive adventures and snail friendships (particularly intrigued by this!) to dancing scientists with flatulence. Elsewhere, Nicola Davies will be sharing Selkie and Mermaid stories (see the beautiful artwork above), and award-winning author Jacqueline Wilson will discuss her much-loved characters including Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker, as well as her latest novel Wave Me Goodbye.

An Afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson Credit James Jordan

An Afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson © James Jordan

Over half of the events are free, making it as inclusive as possible, with the likes of Caroline Bowditch, CBBC’s Ben Shires & Cerrie Burnell, Charlotte Cotterill, Radio 1’s Chris Smith & Greg James, Francesca Simon, Harry Hill, Jacqueline Wilson, James Campbell, Jess Thom, Joseph Coelho, Mitch Johnson, Patrick Monahan, Robin Stevens, Yuval Zommer all counted among the folks hoping to rev up kids’ imaginations.

Find out more and book tickets at the Southbank Centre website or call 0203 879 9555.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(at)icloud(dot)com.