Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Schools Day 2019

Tuesday May 7th 2019 – Doors open at 9:00am
Edenbridge, United Kingdom

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Ticket Quantity
10:00 -10:50am, Maz Evans (KS1)
Sold Out
Rosie Harker, Nosey Parker. Recommended for reception, years 1 and 2.
11:15 - 12:05pm, Joseph Coelho (KS1)
Sold Out
Luna Loves Library Day. Recommended for reception, years 1 and 2.
10:00 - 11:00am, Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Yr 4,5 & 6)
Sold Out
Runaway Robot. Recommended for years 4, 5 & 6
11:15 - 12:15pm, Maz Evans (KS2)
Who Let the Gods Out. Recommended for years 3, 4, 5 & 6
12:50-1:45pm, Really Big Pants Theatre Company KS2
Sold Out
Wonky. Recommended for years 3, 4, 5 & 6
2:00-2:55pm, Really Big Pants Theatre Company KS2
Sold Out
Wonky. Recommended for years 3, 4, 5 & 6
12:30 - 1:30pm, Joseph Coelho (Yr 5, 6, 7 & 8)
A Year in Nature Poems. Recommended for years 5, 6, 7 &8
2:00-3:00pm, Dan Freedman (Yr 6, 7 & 8)
Unstoppable. Recommended for years 6, 7 & 8
Teacher ticket
Teacher seats are not guaranteed, if you require a seat please book as a pupil

Prices in GBP - UK Pound Sterling


Thursday 24th January 2019 - tickets on sale, to view the full programme please look at the information below.
Pupil tickets - £5.00
Teacher tickets -  FREE but must be reserved. We cannot guarantee a seat if the event sells out, although teachers are welcome to stand at the back.  If you require seats please book additional pupil tickets. 


We have put together a wonderful line-up of top children’s authors and performers for this year, featuring Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Dan Freedman, Maz Evans, Joseph Coelho and festival favourites Really Big Pants Theatre Company. Tickets can be booked online above. 

Events run for 50 mins – 1 hour and cost £5.00 per pupil with teachers going free. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis. It is possible to book more than one event per year group. Schools are welcome to tour the Castle’s collections (at no additional cost) and to explore and picnic in the grounds between events. Bring a gazebo and set up a base for the day. You will be required to book tickets online using a payment card. Please book soon as we anticipate events will sell out fast!

Our annual children's Short Story Competition is now open. 500 word entries are invited from all children aged 7-13. Further details below.

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME - Sponsored by Brooks Macdonald

MAZ EVANS : Rosie Harker, Nosey Parker 

Recommended for reception, yr 1 & 2 : 10.00-10.50am

Rosie’s always getting into trouble – she’s such a Nosey Parker! But Maz’s heroine will help little people to use their imaginations to draw or write what Nosey Rosie might find on her adventures. A gentle introduction to creative writing that will encourage little minds to have big ideas. Join Maz for a fun, energetic and interactive workshop.

Wow, what an amazing day we had with Maz and that's just the teachers! Her fun filled creative writing workshops, got our children enthusiastic to write and taught them that we all have amazing imaginations, we just need to open them. Alma Park Primary School

JOSEPH COELHO : Luna Loves Library Day

Recommended for reception, yr 1 & 2 : 11.15-12.05pm

Do you love stories? Dive into a world of books and discover the magic and mystery behind each page. Award-winning performance poet and author Joseph Coelho will have you moving, dancing and joining in as you explore the library with Luna in the most mesmerising way; featuring live illustration.

Young readers are already familiar with stars such as McGough, Rosen, Arlberg and Magee. Let us hope they’ll become as familiar with Joseph Coelho’s work. Books For Keeps


Recommended for Yr 4, 5 & 6 : 10.00-11.00am

Alfie is off school after an accident in which he lost both his hand and his confidence. He's lonely all day on his own, so when he comes across Eric, a one-legged robot in need of a friend, he brings him home with him. But a ban on humanoid robots has just been passed, which means Alfie is breaking the law by sheltering Eric. Join award-winning Frank Cottrell-Boyce on this funny and heart-warming adventure about two best friends helping put themselves back together.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce is a successful British screenwriter who wrote the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. Millions, his debut children's novel, won the 2004 Carnegie Medal. He has also been shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, Whitbread Children's Fiction Award and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

MAZ EVANS : Who Let the Gods Out

Recommended for Yr 3, 4, 5 & 6 : 11.15-12.15pm

Inspired by the anarchic world of her bestselling series Who Let the Gods Out? Maz will teach young writers the importance of Point of View - whose shoes are you standing in and how does it change the story if you look at events from someone else's perspective? Important lessons to be learned in writing - and indeed, in life... 

Maz's visit was absolutely amazing - from the moment she arrived, the whole school was buzzing. Our Key Stage 2 were enthralled by her and came away with deep and long-lasting messages, including the importance of sharing your problems with adults, the universality of stories and that every single one of them is a writer. Horsenden Primary School


Recommended for Yrs 3, 4, 5 & 6 : Performance 1: 12.50-1.45pm : Performance 2: 2.00-2.55pm

Two shows for KS2 from our favourite children’s theatre company who will be cooking up a storm with their new show Wonky! Take a large handful of nutrition, a healthy dash of PE, a hearty portion of PSHE, and mix them together with (clean) green fingers. Bake for 55 minutes against the glittering backdrop of a dance competition. Add a dollop of peer pressure, serve with some celebrity culture and a garnish of gender equality… et voilà!

Can you help Olive and Messy Jesse save the day as they encounter top chef Monsieur Nincompoop, cool rapper Scool Yo, and the enigmatic pop star Solar Pa’nelle – as Olive’s so-called best friend Trixie tries to thwart them at every turn? Plant a seed…and see what grows. There’s cooking! There’s dancing! There’s rapping! Not all at the same time.

JOSEPH COELHO : A Year in Nature Poems

Recommended for Yr 5, 6 & 7 : 12.30-1.30pm

Join Joseph Coelho on a fabulous poetic journey writing poems about the seasons, taking inspiration from stinging jellyfish to scrumping apples from trees. Find out how he uses memory and the world around him to inspire him and discover the true stories behind many of the poems in his latest book A Year of Nature Poems. 

Award-winning poet Joseph Coelho will perform poems from his latest collection and talk about what nature means to him. He will then invite the audience to create their own poem for the month of May.

A year as seen through Joe Coelho’s poems offers a terrific sensory awakening to put us all in mindful mode, and perhaps will inspire children to pen their own responses to the beauty of the natural world. Jill Bennett

DAN FREEDMAN : Unstoppable

Recommended for Yr 6, 7 & 8 : 2.00-3.00pm

Meet Roxy and Kaine. Twins and rivals. Living in a pressure cooker of high expectations and high achievements. She’s heading for Wimbledon and he’s being scouted by the Premier League. Unless life gets in the way. When tragedy hits the family, their sporting dreams become a living nightmare. How can you hang on to your dreams when everything is falling apart? A gripping reminder of just how unstoppable life can be. Dan offers a fun and inter-active session for both boys and girls, using his passion for sport to engage them in reading, writing, raising their aspirations and thinking about their futures.

Dan Freedman grew up wanting to be a professional footballer. Instead he became a top football journalist, interviewing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi amongst others. Dan is the author of the hugely popular Jamie Johnson football novels which have been adapted for BBC TV. He is also an ambassador for the Premier League Primary Stars programme which over 12,000 schools have signed up for. 

Gates will open at 9.00am and the talks will run from 10.00am to 3.00pm with author events taking place in both the large and the small marquees. Each event will be followed by a book signing and pupils will be able to buy their copies from our festival booksellers Sevenoaks Bookshop in the Great Hall. Please feel free to make a day of it - the Castle and its collections will be open for pupils to visit and schools are welcome to bring picnics and gazebos to set up so you can enjoy exploring our lovely grounds.

SHORT STORY COMPETITION sponsored by Brooks Macdonald

Our annual children’s SHORT STORY COMPETITION is now open. 500-word entries are invited from all children with categories for ages 7-9 and 10-13, please click the button below for details. Winning entries will be read out at the Literary Festival by voiceover artist Rachel Sellers and published in Scoop Children’s Magazine. Winners will receive free tickets (1 adult + 1 child) to see bestselling author A F Harrold and illustrator Emily Gravett at the Festival Family Day on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May and receive a signed copy of their latest book The Afterwards. The deadline for submissions is FRIDAY 15th March 2019.


Please feel free to share this page with fellow teachers, school librarians and Heads of English/Literacy. Any queries please contact Victoria Henderson on

'Brooks Macdonald is proud to sponsor the Schools Day, a whole day of events featuring children’s authors, illustrators and workshops for local schools, at this year’s Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival. With an office in Tunbridge Wells we provide investment management services to professional advisers, private clients, trusts and charities throughout the South East region.'

*The value of investments may go down as well as up and neither is guaranteed.

Please visit for further details.


Find out more about this year's Literary Festival


Starts: Tuesday, May 7th 2019 at 9:00am
Doors open: 9:00am
Ends: Tuesday, May 7th 2019 at 4:00pm

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Timezone: Europe/London
Bookings close: May 7th 2019


Chiddingstone Castle
Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone

United Kingdom

Contact details

This event is organized by Chiddingstone Castle.

Telephone +441892870347
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