top of page


Our headline event for all schools takes place at the Wyvern Theatre and this year we will be welcoming the legendary author Jacqueline Wilson on Monday 6th November 2023. Dame Jacqueline Wilson started her writing career at the very early age of nine and was employed as a columnist for Jackie magazine at just 17. Nicknamed ‘Jacky Daydream’ by one of her teachers because of her tendency to gaze out of the window, she later took the name as the title for her own autobiography! From her earliest novels, Jaqueline has never been afraid to challenge the idea that books for children should avoid difficult issues. Her breakthrough novel, The Story of Tracey Beaker is about a girl in
residential care who makes up stories to make life more bearable and this went on to be successful series of books which was later televised.


There are of course many many other books by Dame Jacqueline. Which one is your favourite?

We can’t wait to hear her speak to our Swindon Schools’ audience!


Also during the week, performance poet Ash Dickinson will return to Swindon to visit each of the twelve secondary schools to perform his
poetry to all Year 7 students. Ash encourages everyone’s “inner poet” by supporting them to create their own rhymes and verse.


Our Inter-school Book Quiz finishes the week on Friday 10th November at The Ridgeway School. This is always a highly competitive event
between the schools’ bookworms. Will Great Western Academy retain the title in 2023 and who will challenge them to the trophy? It is all to play for!


The Festival programme also includes

  • Creative Writing Competition – 500 words story inspired by an image. Entries are judged by one of our Festival authors – the amazing Helen Dennis!

  • Illustration Competition – Works of art inspired from a section of text from the Carnegie 2023 winner and judged by children’s author and illustrator Steve Antony. The winners will have the exciting opportunity to participate in an illustration workshop run by Steve.

  • Poetry Competition - A poem based on this year’s National Poetry theme of Refuge judged by Ash Dickinson


Please see our competitions page for more details.


We are also very proud of our Library Ambassadors award which involves each Librarian nominating a student who has contributed to the
running of the LRC and the coordination of the SYFL.



Abbey Park.png
The Deanery.png
dorcan logo.png
GWA Logo.png
Highworth Warneford.png



Lawn Manor.png
Lydiard park.png
St Jo.png

St Joseph's Catholic College



bottom of page