What's happening in children's books in 2017? Your complete guide to festivals, anniversaries, awards and events
Published on: 1 Hydref 2017 Author: Charlotte Jones
Autumn is now definitely here (we can't believe it), and it's been a brilliant year, so far: full of events, anniversaries and festivals.
And if you want to know what else you can start getting excited about, you're in the right place as we've got all the details on some of the most important dates in children's books right up until the end of the year.
We've already had the announcement of a brand new Children's Laureate and the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; read on to find out what else is coming up:
All this month: October is the month of The Big Draw Festival, which will see lots of events around the country encouraging you to get sketching.
2 October: It's International School Libraries Day today - how will your school be celebrating?
2-8 October: Henley Literary Festival is another extravaganza which has a special programme of children's events and a schools festival to boot - you can keep an eye on their website to find out what's coming up, but we already know that David Baddiel will be involved along with Geek Girl author Holly Smale, the iconic Michael Morpurgo, and Radio 1's Greg James and Chris Smith.
4 October: Today is No Pens Day Wednesday, an initiative from the Communication Trust that encourages schools to put down the pens and celebrate a day of learning through speaking and listening activities. Will you be getting involved?
5 October: It's National Teachers Day today - we'll be celebrating by revisiting some of our favourite teachers in children's books.
5-15 October: Hooray, it's time for Wimbledon Bookfest - and there are some brilliant events on offer! As well as a Schools programme, expect visits from authors and illustrators like Chris Riddell, Polly Faber and Clara Vulliamy, and DJ and TV presenter Matt Edmondson (who'll be performing magic!) There are also lots of fun workshops, while the adults should head along to the 12 October debate about whether there's such a thing as 'bad books' - BookTrust's very own Gemma Malley will be on stage! Find out all the details about what's going on via the Wimbledon Bookfest website.
6-15 October: The Cheltenham Literary Festival is one of the oldest literary festivals in the world, and this year it's promising its biggest Family programme yet! Newly-minted Children's Laureate Lauren Child will be there, along with stars including Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Robin Stevens, Michael Morpurgo and Matt Haig, plus celebrities-turned-authors like Miranda Hart, Nadiya Hussain, Adrian Edmondson, Harry Hill, Greg James and Chris Smith. There's a strong YA lineup, too - Patrice Lawrence and Melinda Salisbury are among the authors who will be there - and there are two new Festival spaces, The Den and The Wild Wood, with free events including making a mural with Lucy Cousins, brewing up Harry potter potions, a Famous Five story trail and a teddy bear's picnic. Ancd who could forget the Where's Wally trail taking place throughout town? The full Family lineup hasn't even been revealed yet - this is just the beginning - so keep your eyes peeled on the website.
9-14 October: Hooray, it's National Libraries Week! Yes, this celebration of libraries - whether they be public, school, university or work libraries - has expanded from a single day to a whole week. There should be lots of fun events going on to encourage a love of libraries.
7-16 October: Durham Book Festival is another well-established event and it always works closely with schools, including a Big Read campaign - this year with David Almond - and poetry workshops with the Festival Laureate. On top of that, each year sees a picture book being adapted into a musical theatre production that tours schools, libraries and community centres. The schedule is now available on the website so you can find out what's coming up.
13-29 October: The Family Learning Festival kicks off on 13 October, with events across the country designed to inspire a love of learning - that could mean anything from fun workshops in libraries to special activities in museums. Keep an eye on the website to find out what's going on near you.
19 October: In what might end up being one of the biggest dates of the year in children's literature, Philip Pullman will release the first novel in his new trilogy The Book of Dust today. The books are said to feature His Dark Materials' heroine Lyra at the centre of the story, but Philip's said The Book of Dust isn't a prequel or sequel - but an "equel" that stands "beside" His Dark Materials. Get excited now.
20 October: Sticking with a bit of a magical theme, today marks the opening of the British Library's exciting Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition! Part of Harry Potter's 20th anniversary celebrations, the experience is inspired by subjects taught at Hogwarts and promises rare books and magical objects, plus details of the myths and legends that inspired the stories and even some pieces from J.K. Rowling's personal archive. Surely a must for any Potterhead - you can find out more information here.
27 October: How lovely - the UK celebrates National Tell-A-Story Day today. Who will you choose to share your tales with?
Also in October: The BookTrust annual lecture will take place... The winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year award will be announced... The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize will celebrate the best children's science books... the Beverley Children's Literature Festival will take place... Dundee Literary Festival will feature another raft of events... Nottingham Kids Festival of Imagination includes book swaps, readings and workshops.
All this month: It's National Non-Fiction Month - here are some books your child will love to help you celebrate.
6 November: The John Yeoman and Quentin Blake: 50 Years of Children's Books exhibition opens at the House of Illustration today, but you've got lots of time to see it, as it runs until 4 March 2018. The duo have collaborated on nearly 50 projects so here's a chance to get a close-up look at some of their work - you can find out more information here.
13 November: World Kindness Day takes place today - these books which encourage empathy and compassion seem like a perfect reading list to us.
13-17 November: How exciting - it's BookTrust's Children's Book Week! There will be lots more information to come - keep up to date with everything you need to know on our website.
20 November: The UN's Universal Children's Day is marked on 20 November, promoting togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.
27 November: Here's a real November treat - Book Week Scotland launches today and continues until 3 December, with events in schools, libraries, community centres and workplaces to promote a love of reading.
30 November: Today marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels.
Also this month: The winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize is announced... The Young Critics Award winners are unveiled... The Northern Children's Book Festival will see authors and events in around 100 schools as well as an exciting free Gala Day... the South Ken Kids Festival will mark its 20th year with book signings, a drawing competition and live events... the Books on the Tyne Newcastle Book Festival will be back for more reading fun.
9 December: Here's a real treat - the lovely folk at the V&A Museum have decided we could all do with cheering up and will be launching their Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition today! Expect merchandise and original E. H. Shepard drawings (might be best to stock up on honey and condensed milk beforehand, though - we can only imagine how much you'll crave them afterwards...) Find out more and book tickets on the V&A website.
Also this month... Have a break from all that Christmas shopping and head to the cinema, because the end of the year is full of movies that book lovers will adore. We don't have exact dates yet, but an adaptation of Jennifer Niven's All The Bright Places starring Elle Fanning is expected to be released in December.
Other films thought to be arriving in the UK towards the end of the year include an adaptation of C S Lewis' The Silver Chair and a movie version of Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House. Plus, we should be seeing a big-screen take on Patrick Ness's much-loved book The Knife of Never Letting Go featuring Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley.
Children's Book Week
Help us to inspire children everywhere to love reading this November, in our week-long celebration in schools.