Inaugural festival 'aims to inspire a new generation'

Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew

James Mayhew (left) and Zeb Soanes (right) speaking to school pupils. They will unite once more for an inaugural festival next month. - Credit: Mick Howes

Award-winning, best-selling authors and illustrators will all converge on a market town next month as a "spectacular" festival takes centre stage.

The inaugural Dog-Eared Children’s Book Festival will be held at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay on July 2 - with organisers encouraging visitors to "come curious - go home inspired!"

The festival poster

The festival poster. - Credit: Dog-Eared Creatives

With the festival hosted by Dog-Eared Creatives - a new arts hub, focussed on children’s book illustration - it has been co-founded by Pam Smy and James Mayhew, who both live in Bungay.

The Black Dog - welcome to Bungay

The Black Dog - welcome to Bungay. - Credit: Dog-Eared Creatives

An array of prize-winning, best-selling speakers have been lined up for the festival - from BBC Radio 4’s Zeb Soanes, who hails from Lowestoft and is author of Gaspard the Fox, to popular illustrator Polly Dunbar, who lives in Beccles, and Matt Robertson.

School librarian Olwen Offord, Zeb Soanes, James Mayhew and pupil Ben Wegg.

Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew on a previous school visit. - Credit: Mick Howes

Joining them in the line up are Rosie Haine, Vicci Crossman, James Mayhew, Pam Smy and musician Chris Warner.

Mr Mayhew said: “The name 'Dog-Eared' is a little reference to the famous Black Dog of Bungay - while a dog-eared book is a much loved book.

“Suffolk and Norfolk are rich both in folklore and legend - the perfect place to launch a festival of stories, illustrations and books, and we hope to inspire a new generation of readers, writers and would-be illustrators, with this fantastic opportunity to meet some truly inspirational and internationally renowned talents”.

Most Read

Specialist book sellers from the Norfolk Children Book Centre will also provide a pop-up book shop on the day - so your favourite authors and illustrators will be able to autograph a book.

There are five talks during the day, which starts at 10am.

Pam Smy said: “The festival will feature live drawings of dinosaurs, a talk about some of the most powerful queens in history, celebrations of bodies in all their variety, a performance of Gaspard the Fox with live music and art - plus you’ll also discover the secrets of how a book is made, and what inspires authors and illustrators today.

"We’re so excited to welcome such renowned speakers to Bungay.”

Tickets cost £4 for children and £6 for adults and can be purchased from the Fisher Theatre website. Access to the bookshop is free.

For more information, visit the Dog-Eared Creatives website.