Varjak Paw

Sixth former Pheebs revisits one of the great classics of children's modern literature, SF Said's Varjak Paw.

Death in the Spotlight

Junior reporter Phoebe Haywood reviews Death in the Spotlight, the eighth book in Robin Steven's Murder Most Unladylike series. Robin, a Festival Patron, will be working with two primary schools in January to inspire the pupils to do their own writing as well as presenting a public event in April all about Death in the Spotlight.

Shiny Pippin

Harry Heape is part of the extraordinary team of authors visiting local schools in March. His wonderful books about Shiny Pippin, her granny and their friends are reviewed by our junior reporter, Pheebs.

Creative writing workshops for vulnerable students

During spring term 2018, acclaimed author Bali Rai worked with groups of vulnerable students - young people who are in permanent residential care, have emotional, social and mental health needs, and are excluded from mainstream education. As well as talking about his life as a writer (all participating students got given a copy of Bali's book, Kiss of Death) Bali encouraged them to find their own voices and tell their own stories. Some of the young people had never done any creative writing before, one or two had never finished a piece of work but they all felt inspired to try their hand at storytelling.

One teacher wrote: "Not only were Bali's sessions engaging and inspiring but the students got so much out of them on a personal level too. Some of our hardest to reach students responded to his visits positively and it was an amazing few weeks for our students.

Following the sessions, some students produced stories for Bali and he very kindly responded to these personally. This meant a lot to the students and they really appreciated the way he spoke to them and there was a two-way respect."


Peter Bunzl comes to ChipLitFest on 28 April to talk about the ingenious and exhilarating Cogheart Adventures. Junior reporter Pheebs gives her review of the first book, Cogheart. 


Sky Song and the Dreamsnatcher series author, Abi Elphinstone, is visiting ChipLitFest on 28 April. Guest blogger, Robo Epic Guy, gives his review. 


Pheebs, our junior reporter, reviews Catherine Johnson's Sawbones. Catherine is one of team of authors working with local school students as part of our outreach programme that beings professional writers into the classroom.