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Bookchat roadshow

Reading consultant Victoria Dilly (the Book Activist) plans to bring together reading professionals, authors and parents at a series of events to encourage reading for pleasure. The first event took place this autumn in West Sussex and Victoria tells us about it in this blog.

'An event this autumn, at a school in West Sussex, brought together reading professionals, education specialists, the Public Library Service, Schools Library Service and fantastic award winning authors. Speaking directly to parents and carers, the sole aim was to help them encourage their children with reading and writing for pleasure.

A combination of presentations, an author panel and an exhibition enabled parents to hear a variety of suggestions, top tips and activities which they could use to encourage their children. We shared ideas on how to encourage children's reading for pleasure, with a focus on choosing the right book and ensuring all reading is valued. Parents are often the best reading role models children can have.

Gill Pawley from Inkpots, a local organisation running creative writing workshops, emphasised the importance of ensuring that creative writing is collaborative and fun.

We also enjoyed a fantastic author panel featuring three award-winning, inspirational authors; Sophy Henn , Nikki Sheehan and Jamie Thomson. They shared their childhood memories of reading and writing, their best tips for getting children into reading and writing, and why stories are so important.

"Empathy - we find who we are and who others are through stories" said Nikki Sheehan. Sophy recommended using images as inspiration for the creative writing process and Jamie suggested using everyday scenarios to help you. "Who knows, you could be sitting next to an international spy on the bus?!"

A variety of publishers and relevant organisations supported the event, with giveaways and exhibition stands including Barrington Stoke and Collins Primary. Parents had the opportunity to visit the stands before, during and after the event, including local education service Discover & Be, and Helen Arkell, the dyslexia and learning needs specialists. The Schools Library Service and the Public Library Service were also represented with parents able to join up if they weren't already members!

With a bookstall provided by Waterstones Haywards Heath, this was a collaborative event aimed at helping parents and carers encourage their children with reading and writing.

I am now hoping to tour the Roadshow across the South East and beyond. Collaborating with relevant organisations and individuals who share a passion for reading and writing has been a hugely worthwhile experience. Initial feedback from parents and carers has been very positive and I am excited about the prospects for future events with ideas and suggestions signposting all the fantastic ways they can support and encourage their children's reading and writing.'

A second Roadshow is planned for early in 2017.

For more information please visit

03/12/2016Bookchat roadshow
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