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The Ideas Shop Hits Navan

Writer, Sarah Webb reports

On Thursday 13th October we arrived at the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan to be greeted by the lovely Maedhbh from the library services. After tucking into tea and toast in the café with fellow Ideas Shoppers, Judi Curtin and Oisin McGann, we all set up our props and waited for the 350 school children to take their seats.

They came from all over Meath, a lovely mix of schools. As we waited nervously backstage, they spilled into the front seats, grinning, and we sneaked a few peaks through the black curtains at their faces. Waiting backstage for an event to start is nerve wracking and I’m always jingling with nerves – will I be OK, will the audience laugh at the right places, will they ask any questions? On this occasion there was nothing at all to worry about, the Meath audience were completely engaged and watched and listened eagerly from the very beginning.

We each spoke first about growing up and what inspired us to be writers. We had a Memory Box on stage – a great big wooden box filled with all our memories. For me it was books I loved as a child, my tutu and ballet shoes and ballet fuzzy felt; for Judi one of her old dolls (very unloved as she pointed out!), old books and diaries; for Oisin an art kit, books, and his special memories of driving diggers and playing in building sites. Oisin lives in Meath and he was a big hit, especially with the boys!

Next we spoke a little about how we write a book – I talked about research and the role that plays in my work, and meeting the elephants in Dublin Zoo; Judi explained how a book is like a Russian Doll, full of different parts (or dolls) that all fit together to produce a story; and Oisin drew a very fab skeleton which he covered in clothes and explained how you add things to the ‘bones’ of a story, a bit like dressing the skeleton.

And finally we all talked about how books live on through our readers – YOU! Which was followed by a lively question and answer session and a super signing.

It was a real pleasure to meet so many fantastic young readers and thanks to CBI, and most especially Maedhbh and her team for organising the event so beautifully.

And look out for me, Judi and Oisin – we’ll be doing some more Ideas Shops very soon.

Sarah Webb XXX

http://www.askamygreen.com or http://www.sarahwebb.ie for more info

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This exciting session is presented by popular Irish authors Judi Curtin, Oisin McGann and Sarah Webb.  The three authors will cover the basics of creating stories, generating ideas, research, creating characters and plots, all presented in a theatrical style. 

From "The evil hairdo" by Oisin McGann

Solstice Arts Centre is kindly hosting this event to cater for the huge demand.

More than 300 local schoolchildren will get to see their favourite authors as part of Children’s Book Festival 2011. 

Antonia’s Bookstore will provide a pop-up bookshop after the event so children can buy books and get them personally signed.

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The annual Children’s book festival by Meath County Council Library Service kicks off this Monday (October 3rd).  All through October school children will visit Meath Libraries to see authors, illustrators, storytellers, and take part in drama and poetry workshops throughout the county.

The festival will be launched this week by Author/Illustrator Oisín McGann in Ashbourne and Navan Libraries where Oisín will host comic book workshops for the children.

Other visiting authors include Judi Curtin, Sarah Webb, Malachy Doyle, Nicola Pierce, Chris Judge, and Debbie Thomas.

This year the Library Service extends a warm welcome to Authors Tom Palmer and Andy Briggs from the UK and the Celtic Rathskallions travelling all the way from Canada.

The schoolchildren will also be entertained by Penelope Moorhead’s creative drama workshops and poetry workshops hosted by Tom French.

Competition

RTE’s Tina Mation from the Den has also organised a colouring competition in all the libraries where children from 3 years to 9 years can enter and not only win a prize for themselves but also a fabulous school prize for the overall winners.

Sponsors

The Library Service is very grateful to the many local businesses that have sponsored the Festival such as the Newgrange Hotel, The Headfort Arms Hotel, Brogans Hotel Trim, The Ashbourne Marriott hotel and Trim Castle Hotel, Children’s Books Ireland and Solstice Arts Centre.

The festival runs throughout October and also includes some Halloween arts & crafts workshops in various libraries. For details on any of these events check with your local library or view the library webpage on http://www.meath.ie , ‘Meath County Library’ on Facebook or @MeathLibrary on Twitter.

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Children's Book Festival 2011 Poster

Children's Book Festival 2011 Poster

The Children’s Book Festival kicks off next month across the library network with 89 events to cater for all interests and age groups. – We’re looking forward to the penalty shoot-outs with soccer fanatic Tom Palmer, and Tarzan will be swinging from the rafters in Solstice promoting the revamped series by Andy Briggs.

We have plenty of home-grown talent too with return appearances from the much-loved Judi Curtin, Sarah Webb and Oisin McGann.

New to the festival programme are first-time children’s authors Nicola Pierce, Chris Judge and Debbie Thomas.

For the comic books fans we have some interesting comic book workshops running in a number of our libraries.

Finally we have storytellers, drama workshops, poetry writing and Canadian dance and music to wrap it all up. Enjoy!

All events are FREE.

Bookings via your local library.

Bookings are for schools only.

Children’s Book Festival Events in Meath Libraries 2011

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