May

Find out about children's book events taking place this May.

May

All this month: May is National Share-a-Story Month, founded and run by the Federation of Children's Book Groups... so make the time to tell a tale or two! This year the focus is a World of Stories: celebrating stories, poetry, myths and legends from around the world, exploring other cultures as well as our own British stories. And remember, it's the FCBG's 50th year, so the month is bound to be even more special.

4 May: The Shrewsbury Bookfest launches today and runs until 7 May! The full programme is now available on the website, and includes lots and lots of fun - from a Roald Dahl stage show to the 'Bookfest Quest' and even a creative writing masterclass with author Christopher Edge.

7-27 May: Pack the bucket and spade and head to the seaside: it's time for Brighton Festival. Artist and cartoonist David Shrigley is this year's guest director so we should be in for some visual delights and hilarity - check out the Brighton Festival website for all the details, as the full programme has now been unveiled. Alongside an 'Adopt an Author' scheme for local schools, expect talks from the likes of Peter Bunzl and Jacqueline Wilson, writing workshops, and lots of other fantastic family-friendly events.

12-13 May:  Barnes Children's Literature Festival, London's largest dedicated children's literature festival, is back for its fourth year! Confirmed authors and illustrators include Judith Kerr, John Burningham, Cressida Cowell, Frances Hardinge, Axel Scheffler, Andy Stanton, Tony Ross, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Gravett, Harry Hill, Dan and Peter Snow, Emma Chichester-Clarke and Matt Sewell, and there will also be a chance to see the stage adaptation of Waterstones Children's Laureate Lauren Child's Ruby Redfort detective series. You can find out more on the website here.

13 May: It's National Children's Daywhich is all about the importance of a healthy childhood and protecting the rights and freedoms of young people. There should be lots of events going on throughout the country, too.

14 May: The British Book Industry Awards take place today, so which book will follow last year's triumph - Kiran Millwood Hargrave's A Girl of Ink and Stars - and win Children's Book of the Year in 2018? We're also excited that this year there's a new award for Illustrator of the Year.

17-22 May: It's time for more prizes... this time voted for by children in Leeds. The Leeds Book Awards will give out a prize in the 9-11 category on 22 May, while on 17 May there will be awards in the 11-14 list and 14-16 category. The shortlists are already out, and you can see which books are nominated on the website.

19-20 May: Linton Children's Book Festival in south Cambridgeshire. Expect a huge range of free events for kids and their families including events with Joseph Coelho, Chris Priestly, Jo Cotterill and Helen Moss, workshops, storytelling and lots of fun drop-in activities. 

19-27 May: The International Literature Festival Dublin is held in May. One thing we know is that the winners of the Children's Book Ireland Book of the Year Awards will be announced as part of the celebrations, but that's not all - expect events from Michael Rosen, Julian Gough, Kate Pankhurst, Oliver Jeffers, Derek Landy, and lots more. Head to the website for more information.

24 May: The best children's picture books of the year will be celebrated at the English Association 4-11 Picture Book Awards today - with categories for fiction and non-fiction in two age ranges, 4-7 and 7-11. So which of your family's favourites will be honoured in 2018?

24 May: The legendary Hay Festival launches today and runs until June 3 - it's one of the biggest events in the books calendar so we're sure there'll be loads to whet your family's appetite. The full programme of events is now available on the website and it's a real treat of a line-up. Among the heaps of superstar children's authors attending are Cressida Cowell, Andy Stanton, Eoin Colfer, Juno Dawson, David Almond, Sir Michael Morpurgo, Judith Kerr, Ed Vere, Jacqueline Wilson and our current Waterstone's Children's Laureate Lauren Child - she'll be there discussing creativity on 1 June and reading her brilliant A Dog with Nice Ears on 2 June. Don't miss BookTrust's events either - we'll be hanging out with our Writer in Residence Nadia Shireen on 1 June (all profits go to BookTrust!) and our very own Emily Drabble will be chatting about creating imaginary worlds with Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Emma Carroll and Jacob Sager Weinstein on 2 June.

26 May- 3 June: It's time for the Edinburgh International Children's Festival, formerly called Imaginate. This festival has an emphasis on theatre and dance, but expect a lot of storytelling too - the website has more information on the events taking place.

26 May: Who could resist that patchwork elephant drawn by the amazing David McKee? It's Elmer Day today with events taking place in nurseries, schools and bookshops across the country.

31 May: As part of the Hay Festival, the winner of the YA Book Prize will be announced today (BookTrust's Emily Drabble is hosting the prize panel with Alex Wheatle, Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan on 1 June). Which title will follow in the footsteps of last year's winner, Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence?