'Boredom and staring into space must be allowed,' says Lauren Child at BookTrust NI event

Published on: 25 September 2018 Author: Catriona Wightman

Lauren Child called for children to be given the space to be creative in a special BookTrust Northern Ireland event in Belfast.

Myra Zepf, Lauren Child, Mare-Louise Muir and Bruce Ingman at Queens University Belfast

Myra Zepf, Lauren Child, Mare-Louise Muir and Bruce Ingman at Queens University Belfast

Lauren Child visited Queens University for the first time in her role as Waterstones Children's Laureate for a lively discussion of creativity.

'We need to be able to fail in our lives,' she said. 'If we don't take risks and fail, we will never make anything spectacular.

'I also think boredom and staring into space must be allowed. These spaces are the beginning of the imagination.'

Child was joined by Bruce Ingman and Myra Zepf at the event, which was chaired by BBC Radio Ulster presenter Mare-Louise Muir.

The panel also discussed how to get children hooked on books and the importance of children's writing and illustration as an artform.

Zepf explained that she hoped the event 'helped shine a spotlight on the challenges of cultivating creativity in children's lives', while Ingman added: 'I've learned so much from reading and drawing with kids.'

Watch a short film of Lauren Child's visit to Queens University Belfast

Guests at the event included illustrator Paul Howard, author Pauline Burgess, and Damian Smyth, head of literature at ACNI, who provide funding for BookTrust's work in Northern Ireland.

'Working closely with Booktrust in Northern Ireland means that the Arts Council can help with events such as this one – a unique opportunity to experience Lauren Child, the Waterstone's UK Children's Laureate, in conversation with Bruce Ingman and Myra Zepf about the importance of the artform of children's writing and illustration,' said Smyth.

'It's a message we are delighted to endorse for all children and young people in the company of such excellent practitioners.'

Meanwhile, head of BookTrust Northern Ireland Liz Canning said: 'We are delighted Lauren Child made a special visit to Northern Ireland as the Waterstones Children's Laureate.

'We hope this BookTrust-hosted event helped inspire families and practitioners in Belfast to get reading and get creative!'

Download the full press release

More about BookTrust Northern Ireland

Waterstones Children's Laureate

Bestselling author-illustrator Lauren Child is the Children's Laureate for 2017-19: a role given every two years to celebrate outstanding achievement in children's literature.

All about the Laureate