Herne Hill launches first literary festival to celebrate World Book Week


Poet Paul Lyalls with young fans
Poet Paul Lyalls with young fans

Herne Hill celebrates World Book Week with its first ever Literature Festival. The newly-launched Station Hall above the railway station will host a packed programme of events for all ages from Monday 4 – Thursday 7 March. Activities include poetry, performance,  storytelling, and creative writing sessions, followed by evening walks, workshops and talks for the adults.

Lucy Reynolds, children’s book author and Project Manager for Station Hall and the book festival said: “We’re absolutely delighted to launch the Herne Hill Literature Festival in our newly opened Station Hall and are thrilled that it has attracted such an incredible range of leading authors, poets and publishers, the majority of whom are based in Herne Hill.

“The event celebrates the huge wealth of literary and book-related activity happening in the local area and will, we hope, inspire the next generation of budding authors, illustrators and readers to create and love books for a lifetime”.

Organisers hope that Station Hall, which has been vacant for years, will become a thriving centre for the community.

With short term development funding from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, the Herne Hill Forum is working with individuals, groups, charities and enterprises to create a community space in the centre of Herne Hill.

The Literary Festival, is one example of how the space will bring people together. For more information and an up to date calendar of events visit www.StationHallHerneHill.org.

A daytime programme of Book Week sessions for schools to share in a growing love of books and storytelling. Organisers are asking people to donate books for redistribution throughout the week to make sure that as many children as possible have access to books.

All events need to be booked in advance via the Station Hall website  – and are ‘Pay What You Can’. Suggested donation of £1 for school sessions; £2.50 for after-school; £5 for evening, which can be paid in cash at the door for those who are able to.

 Monday 4th March, (4-5pm)  Paul Lyalls, star of BBC2’s/CBBC’s ‘Big Slam Poetry House’, with his new collection of poetry, ‘A Funny Thing Happened’. More info here.

Flying Boots story competition (7.30-9.30pm) learn about the stories behind the new art trail, and get some tips and inspiration to set you off in the right direction to seek out that prize! Free drink and nibbles included with tickets.

Tuesday 5th March, (3.45-4.45 pm)meet writer and illustrator Jane Porter, who will guide you through the creation of a story book using story prompts and collage – suitable for all ages. Story Time with Mama G (4.45-5.45pm), a new initiative from Petite Pantos that combines the magic of panto and story telling. Mama G loves to share stories about her heroes such as Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Mama G loves to share her stories
Mama G loves to share her stories

Wednesday 6th March,(3.45-5.45pm)

Join Herne Hill children’s author and Project Manager for Station Hall and the Herne Hill Literary Festival, Lucy Reynolds, for an interactive reading of her new book, Hedgehogs Don’t Live in the City!. Then make your own prickly creations and learn how you can help this special little creature.

In the evening (7.30-9.30pm)there’s a special discussion and panel event about children’s publishing, The Stories We Tell Our Children. Herne Hill’s Katharine Smales who teaches the children’s publishing module at Goldsmiths discusses the importance of children reading for pleasure and the life skills this brings them by exploring a range of recently published children’s books.  Followed by a children’s publishing panel.

World Book Day, Thursday 7th March

FLYING BOOTS IN STORYTOWN (3.45-5.45pm) range of creative storytelling activities inspired by ‘Flying Boots and Eyes on Fire’, the Herne Hill Art Trail. Enter your Ideas to develop into stories to the Herne Hill Storytelling Competition.

Local writer Dan Trelfer introduces his new story character Holekit Caboodle a magical problem solver. Throughout the afternoon, there will be a pop up Photo Booth with Herne Hill photographer, Portrayed Photography  – come in your book character costume and get a free digital photo to remember the day.

BIG BOOK GROUP– (7.30-9.30pm) – OUR HOUSE WITH LOUISE CANDLISH Grab your copy from Herne Hill Books or Dulwich Books;  then join a ‘Big Book Group’ exploration of the novel, with input from best-selling local author,  Louise Candlish.