Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 16.17.33A collection of top children’s authors and illustrators will meet their fans at a day of free book-based fun and entertainment later this month.

The Northern Children’s Book Festival Gala Day, on Saturday, 21 November, will also include art and craft workshops, storytelling sessions and a pop-up book shop.

This year, the event is being hosted by Durham County Council and will take place at Durham Town Hall and Clayport Library.

Among those already signed up to take part in the annual event are Vivian French, The Two Steves, Guy Bass, Jonathan Stroud, Philip Ardagh, Barry Hutchison, Julia Jarman, Lynne Chapman, Adam Bushnell, Liz Million, Kate Fox, Holly Sterling, Kjartan Poskitt and Neil Bushnell.

Youngsters can also settle down for a story read by Pascale Konyn or a representative from literary charity Beanstalk and make their own book cover in the craft corner.

Blackwell’s will be running a pop-up book shop and there’ll be some interesting characters wandering the streets of Durham City throughout the day.

Activities are aimed at young bookworms of all ages, from pre-school children to teenagers.

The Gala Day, which runs from 10am to 5pm, marks the end of the two-week Northern Children’s Book Festival, which sees library services across the region hosting reading activities in schools and libraries.

Linda Dobson, Durham County Council’s principal library manager, said: “The Northern Children’s Book Festival is a fantastic event, which offers a great way to get youngsters interested in reading and to encourage those who are already established readers to try something new.

“The Gala Day itself is a great event, giving children the chance to come face-to-face with their favourite authors and get hands-on with all sort of book-based activities.”

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This year’s festival also includes a Consequences Family Evening at Durham Town Hall on Friday, 20 November.

Guest authors Vivian French, Philip Ardagh, The Two Steves, Kate Fox and Barry Hutchison will be challenged to create a story on the spot with the opening line suggested by the audience.

Suitable for children aged seven-years-old and upwards, the evening promises to be great fun, giving fans the chance to find out how quick thinking the authors can be when put under pressure.

The evening runs from 7pm until 8pm and costs £5 for adults or £3 for children and concessions.

Tickets for both events must be booked in advance by visiting