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Associated events

The Forum runs the Beeline Children’s Storytelling Festival for local school children from Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The Festival interprets ‘storytelling’ in the widest sense, bringing performers, artists and experts to the children and involving them in stimulating, enjoyable and creative activities. The Festival also works in collaboration with the Worcester City Children’s Library.

Festivals to date have included:

  • Performances from The Puppetlink Company.
  • Specially devised interactive and multi-media performances by the ‘Attic’ Theatre Company.
  • Performances by the ‘Birmingham Playhouse’ and ‘Dancefest.’
  • Storytellers Kat Wetherall, Michael Kerins and Vergine Gulbenkian.
  • Talks by Jacqueline Wilson, Anne Fine, Kevin Crossley-Holland and Michael Rosen.
  • Digital animation, stop-frame filming and sound workshops in the Creative Arts Centre at the University.

The ‘Attic’ Theatre Company was set up by David Broster for the first Festival in 2004. David and his company devise interactive multi-media performances. http://www.atticarts.co.uk/index.html

http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/beeline-storytelling-festival.html

The Blenheim Palace Literary Festival at Woodstock

Prof Jean Webb has worked as an advisor for children’s events at The Blenheim Palace Literary Festival at Woodstock. In 2011, as part of the Festival, she gave an illustrated talk on ‘War in Children’s Literature’ at The Marlborough School and, in 2012, again at The Marlborough School, she led a discussion with author Kevin Crossley-Holland on his historical fiction.

Prof Jean Webb has worked as an advisor for children’s events at The Blenheim Palace Literary Festival at Woodstock. In 2011, as part of the Festival, she gave an illustrated talk on ‘War in Children’s Literature’ at The Marlborough School and, in 2012, again at The Marlborough School, she led a discussion with author Kevin Crossley-Holland on his historical fiction. 

Beeline: The University of Worcester Storytelling Festival for Children

Since 2004 members of IFRCL have been involved in programming and running Beeline: The University of Worcester Storytelling Festival for Children. Originally a two day event, Beeline now extends across the month of October and includes many public events for children and their parents. The Festival works to the broadest interpretation of ‘storytelling’, bringing top national and international writers, performers and artists to children. Beeline on the University’s St John’s campus offers a full day of stimulating, enjoyable and creative activities taking place in a yurt and a circus big top, and it works in collaboration with the Worcester City Children’s Library and The Hive to stage events there. In 2012 the Festival variously involved two thousand children from Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The project manager for Beeline is Steve Boffy: s.boffy@worc.ac.uk.

Beeline activities

In 2012 Prof Michael Rosen opened the new Worcester children’s library as part of The Hive, Europe's first joint university and public library. The children’s library is the largest in the UK and incorporates performance spaces as well as extensive library facilities for children and teenagers. Michael’s engaging and stimulating poetry performance as part of the opening entranced over a hundred young children. He was part of Worcester’s first storytelling festival day in 2004 and was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 2008.  Amongst many others, past Beeline contributors include:

Writers and poets…

Anne Fine, Children’s Laureate (2001-2003) and award winning author. Her works include The Tulip Touch (Whitbread Children's Book Award, 1996), Flour Babies (Carnegie Medal, 1993) and Stories of Jamie and Angus (Boston Globe Horn Book Award, 2003).
Morris Gleitzman, multi-award winning Australian author whose works include, for example, Now (Young Australian Best Book Award, 2011) and Once (Australian Children’s Book Industry Award, 2011).
Brian Morse, award winning children’s poet whose works include A Slice of Sun
Michael Rosen, Children’s Laureate (2007-2009) and multi-award winning poet and broadcaster. Michael’s books include: Red Ted and the Lost Things (US junior Library Guild Selection, 2009) and Sad Book  (English Association ‘Exceptional’ Award, 2004). He has received many honours, including the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished services to children's literature.?
Liz Pichon, illustrator and author. Liz’s awards include the Roald Dahl ‘Funny Prize’, Waterstones Children’s Book Award and the ‘Redhouse Prize for Children’s Literature’ for The Brilliant World of Tom Gates.
Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Children’s Laureate (2005-2007) whose award winning books include The Illustrated Mum (Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the 1999 Children's Book of the Year), The Bed and Breakfast Star (The Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award and the Smarties Prize), Double Act (Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Children’s Book Award, 1996).
Kit Wright, whose poetry collections for children include Cat Among the Pigeons (1987), Rumpelstiltskin (1998) and The Magic Box: Poems for Children (2009).

Storytellers...

Lenny Alsop; Pete Castle; Peter Chand; Jamie Crawford; Virgine Gulbenkian; Ben Haggarty; Katrice Horsley; Karen King; Sally Tongue; Cat Wetherall.

Performers…

The Attic Theatre Company (established by David Broster, Head of Drama, Performance & Film at Worcester); The Story Hunter Theatre Co.; Tell Tale Hearts Theatre Company; The Fetch Theatre Company; The Lempen Puppet Theatre Company; The Puppetlink Company; RedDress Theatre Company; Rod Burnett of the Storybox Theatre Company. 

Artists and animateurs...

Phil Waters from the ‘Eden Project’; University of Worcester lecturers and practising artists and designers working with digital animation, stop-frame animation and sound; University of Worcester lecturer and award-winning illustrator and author, Piet Grobler; sculptor, Hannah Fox.

 

Occasional Lectures

Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian Children’s Fiction Editor, gave a talk to students on the future of the picture book in a digital age. (February 2012).
Prof Lissa Paul, Faculty of Education, Brock University, Ontario gave a research seminar, Hunting for Mrs. Fenwick’s Writings; Or, the Case for a Literary Biography of Eliza Fenwick (1766-1840), which drew on her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded research. (September 2012)
Kevin Crossley Holland, award winning author and President of the School Library Association, discussed his historical fiction with students and invited guests, focussing on his trilogy based on Arthurian legend. (April 2013)