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Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival

Children’s Book Festival Comes to Pontypridd

Eloise Williams, Rachel Trezise and Catrin Collier just a few of the authors coming to Pontypridd

 Pontypridd now has it’s very own Children’s Book Festival  (Sat 18th May) thanks to a partnership between the Cardiff Book Festival, Pontypridd Town Council and the Pontypridd Museum.

Over 15 authors and other guests taking in best sellers and local talent from the worlds of fiction, non-fiction, prose and poetry will be delivering a range of readings, workshops, interviews and Q&As. In addition we will have a range of activities, stalls and displays and even a Fair Trade Tuck Shop!

The author events

 Mark Dorey will be enchanting families and younger children with storytelling from books such as Can We Walk to the Moon? and Polly’s Magic Bubbles and the Quest for Dizzelwood 3+

Mark Dorey is a writer and publisher with over 20 years writing experience and is passionate about engaging youngsters to read and write. Mark has performed poetry and spoken word events all over Wales with National Theatre Wales.

clare e. potter will be delivering a multi-generational poetry workshop, Granddads and Granddaughters, Mums and Sons, Dads and Daughters all welcome! clare will be using objects to initiate discussion and the creation of short poems. Bring your own special object or borrow clare’s. All ages, all stages, Cymraeg and English! 4+

clare e. potter is a writer and performer from Cefn Fforest. She spent ten years in the Deep South where she did an MA in Afro-Caribbean literature. She has had various writing residencies, works on collaborative community projects, and won the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry.

Eloise Williams will be reading from her book, Gaslight, which won the Wales Art Review Young People’s Book of the Year 2017, as well as being interviewed by Cerith Mathias and answering questions form the audience. Suitable for 9+

Eloise was born in Cardiff and grew up in Llantrisant. She now lives in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, very close to the beach where she walks her dog Watson Jones and collects sea glass with her artist husband, Guy Manning.

Local best selling author Catrin Collier, will be delivering a writing masterclass and mini-writing competition focussed on fictional worlds with prizes suitable for 11-16 year olds 11+

Catrin Collier/Katherine John has published 55 novels in English and translation, 25 as Collier. Her novel, Hearts of Gold filmed by BBC Worldwide, attracted 6.8 million viewers on UK TV.  One Last Summer, based on the wartime diaries of her Prussian mother is recommended reading by the Holocaust Day Memorial Trust. The film she scripted from her crime book By Any Name is showing on Amazon Prime. She is currently working on commissioned film scripts and a series of books.

Claire Fayer, will be delivering a masterclass for aspiring children’s book authors including story ideas and developing characters as well as a Q&A and how to find a publisher. 16+

Claire Fayers writes comic fantasy featuring swashbuckling pirates, evil magicians, heroic librarians and man-eating pengiuns. She grew up in South Wales, studied English in Canterbury, and is now back in Wales where she spends a lot of her free time tramping around castles in the rain, looking for dragons!

Rhonnda author Rachel Trezise will be rounding off the festival with a writing workshop for teenagers and young people 13+

Rachel Trezise was born in the Rhondda valley in South Wales where she still lives. She studied at Glamorgan and Limerick Universities. Her first novel was In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl. Her first short fiction collection Fresh Apples won the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2006. Her second short fiction collection Cosmic Latte won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize Readers’ Choice Award in 2014. Her first full length play Tonypandemonium was staged by National Theatre Wales in 2013. She also writes non fiction.

What the organisers say

The event is being organised by Jeff Baxter, Cerith Mathias and Carl Thomas.

“This will be an all day festival for children and families to celebrate books of all kinds, inspire new authors and enjoy reading, writing and storytelling with joy, fun and friendship. It will take place in the beautiful surroundings of the Pontypridd Museum under the shadow of the famous old Pontypridd bridge.”

The rest of the programme

  • Baby Bookworms will deliver a free activity for 0.5-3year olds involving play, books and storytelling
  • Pontypridd Library will be there to discuss the Summer Reading Challenge, their new anthology of local writing, and the Bookstart Scheme with the help of the BookStart Bear!
  • Bridgend Children’s Bookshop The Dream Shop, Usborne Independent bookseller, and Pontypridd Market’s very own Unit 74 will have stalls for all your book buying needs.
  • The PONT project will have a display from their recent trip to Uganda and news on the anthology of prose, poetry and short stories from the children of Uganda and Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Taff’s Well Co-op have kindly sponsored a Fair Trade Tuck Shop with FREE teas, coffee and squash
  • Local authors Erica Willmott, Jennifer Van-Baaren and Brenda May Williams will be all reading from their books as well as signing copies
  • Michael C Thomas author of the Pan Glas Mysteries and Sarah Phelps who wrote The Adventures Of Thomas & Blanket: A Hairy Tale & Open Wide will be signing their books
  • GTFM will be broadcasting live from the festival interviewing attendees, authors and organisers
  • Scott Evans will be there all day tweeting, blogging and interviewing
  • There will be FREE book themed face-painting
  • Bethan Nia will be even giving FREE harp taster sessions

 Where is it and where can I buy tickets?

The festival takes place at the iconic Pontypridd Museum.  Entry is FREE, individual author events are ticketed and cost from £0-5

All Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult

The festival is supported by Cardiff Book Festival, Pontypridd Town Council, Pontypridd Museum and Taff’s Well Co-op.  Follow Twitter for updates @pontykidbooks

 For further information or interviews, please contact Festival coordinator Jeff Baxter ( or 07780437125.