@ the Castle

Two weeks ago we took part in a brand new children’s book festival – Towers and Tales at Lismore Castle, Waterford. Only getting around to blogging about it now so I’ll keep it short and mostly visual! We arrived on Friday and basically ran around taking photos…

Got up next morning and all the illustrators went out and drew on the Waterford library bus… (click for close ups- promise it’s worth it!)

Kids attended story-telling in English and as Gaeilge, did monster doodles with Niamh (Sharkey), made books, and pictures with folks from IGI, made hats and sharks with Sarah McIntyre, attended talks by Philip Ardagh, Chris Riddell, Darren Shan and Shane Hegarty. I ran a writing workshop with a group of talented teens in the local library and did a panel talk about getting published for adults in the Red Hall. There was a mini food market in one of the courtyards and the sun split the stones all day.

These photos don’t really show it, but at least 1200 folk came through the castle gates. ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED!!!

Afterwards we had afternoon tea…

All the speakers and the dozens of volunteers who made the day happen sit down to tea

All the speakers and the dozens of volunteers who made the day happen sit down to tea, hosted by William and Laura

…took more photos of the castle and each other… (mouse over for names of authors and illustrators)

It was a weekend in the Castle of Adventure, complete with cream scones and loads and loads of BOOK STUFF! All dreamed up by Niamh Sharkey, William Burlington, Elaina Ryan (CBI) and Maura O’ Keefe a year ago when Lismore Castle hosted the Pictiur exhibition for a month. And, maybe, next year it will happen all over again. If you are invited, I recommend you say yes!

Towers and Tales



Monstrous poster for Towers and Tales © Niamh Sharkey

Fancy spending Saturday in a castle? Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, Ireland, to be exact. This Saturday (18/4/15) at the Towers and Tales Festival there is literally something literary for everyone. Loads of stuff for the little ones, the bigger ones, and and the teens, plus two sessions aimed at adults. Niamh Sharkey, Shane Hegarty, Darren Shan, Philip Ardagh, Chris Riddell, Sarah McIntyre, Sarah Webb, Brown Bag, all in this amazing venue for one day. I’m joining a panel discussion on ‘How to Get Published’ for adults and running an afternoon writing workshop for teens.

There’s a cafe, the CBI book doctors, animation, comic-making, monster doodling, mad hat-making, story-telling, an illustration exhibition….all in this fantastic setting, a castle not usually open to the public. Get booking and spend the whole day. You just need to do a wee bit of clicking to download the programme for full details…http://www.towersandtales.ie/programme/

A glimpse of the authors and illustrators taking part:
Top image Niamh Sharkey’s fab festival poster monster! Image of Lismore castle is grabbed from the festival site. These and photos of authors/illustrators (also grabbed from festival site) all © individual authors and illustrators and Lismore Castle.