Waterstones Children's Laureate

Author-illustrator Cressida Cowell is the Waterstones Children's Laureate for 2019-22. 

The role of Children's Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.

Cressida Cowell is the number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. She has sold over 11 million books worldwide in 38 languages.

 

Cressida's Creativity Summer Camp

From 6 - 10 July, Cressida is holding a week of ‘Summer Camp’ activity celebrating children’s innate creativity and showcasing the enormous wealth of talent across the UK.

She's joined by an all-star line-up of leading authors and illustrators – including Eoin Colfer, Theresa Lola and Rob Biddulph – to encourage young creatives with writing workshops, drawing masterclasses and much more. We're updating this page daily with new activities!

Please note: We sometimes link to third party sites, including YouTube, so children should not use Cressida's Creativity Summer Camp unsupervised.

Wednesday: Poetry and Performance

The Summer Camp Schedule

Monday 6 July: ‘Inspiring Magic Ideas’

  • Cressida’s Creativity Summer Camp launches with a glimpse into the work-in-progress notebooks of leading authors and illustrators with Liz Pichon, David AlmondDapo Adeola, Chris Riddell and Allen Fatimaharan revealing the inspiration behind their much-loved stories and their creative process.

  • Cressida’s ‘Laureate Gallery’ celebrating creativity opens today, with children invited to submit their own work to be exhibited alongside that of former Laureates Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine and Lauren Child as well as Candy Gourlay, Yasmeen Ismail, Jim Field, Jackie Morris and more. For further details, click here.

Tuesday 7 July: ‘Drawing Day’

  • Celebrating drawing and the art of illustration, Cressida will be joined on the second day of Summer Camp by Nadia ShireenMarta  Altés and Sarah McIntyre, who present a step by step drawing masterclass, plus a Summer Camp themed online art lesson from Guinness World Record holder Rob Biddulph.

Wednesday 8 July: ‘Poetry & Performance’

  • Poetry and performance are the theme of Summer Camp on Thursday, with Young People's Laureate Theresa Lola leading a poetry workshop and readings and tips from Laura DockrillJoshua Seigal and Joseph Coelho, plus Cressida will be reading some of former Laureate Michael Rosen’s most loved poems.

Thursday 9 July: ‘Reading Aloud Around the World’

  • On Thursday - which marks the one year anniversary of Cressida Cowell’s appointment as Waterstones Children’s Laureate - international Children’s Laureates from around the world will unite with Cressida for a Laureate readathon, with Jason Reynolds (US), Eloise Williams (Wales), Áine Ní Ghlinn (Ireland), Ursula Dubosarsky (Australia) and Manon Sikkel (The Netherlands), to celebrate the power of sharing a story.

Friday 10 July: ‘Writing Masterclass’

  • On the final day of Cressida’s Creativity Summer Camp, Eoin Colfer, Zanib Mian, Sharna Jackson, Patrice Lawrence and Francesca Simon will be helping aspiring writers with a masterclass containing plenty of story starter ideas, advice on creating characters, and how to build an imaginary world. And to wrap-up Summer Camp, Cressida will be joined by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Onjali Raúf for a very special live event where they will answer as many questions as possible in a creativity brainstorm!

In this section

About the Waterstones Children's Laureate

Everything you need to know about the laureateship and the current children's author in the role, Cressida Cowell.

More about Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton.

Children's Laureate events

Would you like to see Cressida Cowell and the former Waterstones Children's Laureates? If so, why not head along to one of a number of events this year.

Former Laureates

Take a look at our League of Laureates: ten star authors and illustrators who have previously held the role.

Our supporters

Find out about everyone who supports the Waterstones Children's Laureate and makes the role possible.

Celebrating 20 years of the Waterstones Children's Laureate

In 2019, we reached a milestone: the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children's Laureate. Here's what we did to celebrate!

Celebrating 20 years of the Waterstones Children's Laureate

In 2019, we reached a milestone: the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children's Laureateship in the UK. 

Find out how we celebrated

Latest from the Laureate

Laureate news and blogs

Fun activity sheets to try

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