Pop Up Festival

Last weekend I went along to Pop Up, a brand new festival of stories which took place in Coram’s Fields in London on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July.

The festival was actually the grand finale to several weeks of events which had already taken place in venues across London, from the British Library to London Zoo. These events brought together children and young people from schools in Camden and Islington with a range of illustrators and authors, including Jamila Gavin, Malorie Blackman and Anthony Browne, who launched the schools programme as his final appearance as Children's Laureate.

The final weekend was packed with free public events for children of all ages and their families, ranging from a tea-party with the Moomins to a chance to meet Rastamouse to spoken word, poetry and hip-hop with artists such as Francesca Beard and Charlie Dark. I was there for several events relating to Booktrust's Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and spent a most entertaining day helping out two of the judges from the 2010 prize,  Bruce Ingman and Philip Ardagh, with their laugh-out-loud performances and workshops.

Because I was so busy with these events, I didn't get as much chance to look around the festival as I would like, but it was fun taking a wander around at the end of the day, looking at artwork created by children, peeping into the event spaces and the packed Guardian bookshop, and even meeting a few animals in the farmyard area! Over 6,000 people came along to the festival over the course of the weekend, in what was undoubtedly a fantastic start to this fun, exciting festival, which puts a fresh spin on the usual book festival model. For more information visit the website or there's a longer blog post here which I wrote for the Booktrust blog.