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Our Festival celebrates reading, writing and creativity and is a collaborative project , jointly co-ordinated by the Librarians of the eleven secondary schools across Swindon. Throughout the festival week, students work with authors, poets, illustrators and storytellers who visit schools for readings, performances and workshops.

For our 2017 Festival, we are delighted to announce the following top names in literature:

  • Andy Biggs
  • Alexia Casale
  • Steve Cole
  • Dave Cousins
  • Stan Cullimore
  • Helen Dennis
  • Ash Dickinson
  • Andrew Lane
  • Sarah Mussi
  • Tom Palmer
  • Jonathan Stroud
  • Two Steves
  • Ross Welford
  • Joffre White
  • Lisa Williamson

2017 sees the tenth anniversary of the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature (SYFL). From modest beginnings, this well respected annual event has grown year on year, nurtured by our passion for books and reading. We are proud to have attracted so many wonderful and diverse authors and performers and look forward to what year ten has to bring.

We kick off this year’s events on Monday 6th November with the Inter-school Book Quiz at The Dorcan Academy. This is always a highly competitive event between the eleven schools. Last year’s winners, Highworth Warneford School, will be keen to retain the title in 2017 but who will challenge them to the trophy? It is all to play for!

Our headline event for all schools will take place at the Wyvern Theatre on Tuesday 7th November with award winning fantasy fiction author Jonathan Stroud. Jonathan is the author of the New York Times best selling trilogy Bartimaeus and the Lockwood and Co series. Lockwood and Co is a fantastic supernatural series about a horrifying epidemic of ghosts in London where a trio of detectives investigate some of the spookiest and deadliest hauntings . Ghosts and ghouls beware!

During the week, performance poet Ash Dickinson will return to Swindon to visit each of the eleven secondary schools to perform his poetry to all Year 7 students, encouraging their “inner poet” by supporting them to create their own rhymes and verse. Each school will also host workshops and interactive talks from their chosen authors throughout the week. They will also host transition events featuring the best in KS2 authors and writers for students from their partner primary schools in Years 5 and/or 6. These sessions incorporate even more of Swindon’s student population into the exciting world of reading, writing and creativity supported and celebrated by the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature.

The Festival programme also includes the following cross-school activities to contribute to the week-long celebration:

Creative Writing Competition – 500 words story inspired by an image.
Illustration Competition – Creation of illustrations from a section of text from the Carnegie 2017 winning title.

The SYFL is funded by the Swindon Association of Secondary Heads (SASH). We are extremely grateful this year for the additional sponsorship of prizes by Bower and Bailey, Browns Books for Students and WH Smith.

“Such a great opportunity for students to meet and work with writers, poets and artists. Every town should have one!” - Dave Cousins 2016


For more information contact :
Fiona Hardcastle, Co-ordinator, Swindon Youth Festival of Literature
The Dorcan Academy, St Pauls Drive, Covingham, Swindon, SN3 5DA
Tel : 01793 525231 ext 144. Email : fhardcastle@dorcan.swindon.sch.uk