The National Children’s Festival Highlights at Listowel Writers’ Week

The National Children’s Literary Festival at Listowel Writers’ Week has an amazingly imaginative programme of events from June 1st to 5th. Click on the image above for all the colourful details.

Some of the most exciting names in children’s literature will be in Listowel between June 1st – 5th for what is certain to be a fun-filled, magical adventure at The National Children’s Literary Festival at Listowel Writers’ Week. Here, the team behind Ireland’s premier literary festival takes us through an amazingly stimulating programme of events for young minds.
We have an amazing, action-packed programme of events lined up with something for children of all ages including Creative Writing, Drawing, Cookarama and Cartoon Workshops; Play Therapy, Bookworm Bus, Balloon Art,  Treasure Hunt, Gymboree, Face Painting, Bumbledance, Fancy Dress Parade and much, much more… Many of the events are Free of Charge!
Thursday 2nd June
The Monstrous Child with Francesca Simon – 1.00pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age 10+ Years. Cost: €4
Francesca is universally known for the staggeringly popular Horrid Henry series. We are delighted to welcome Francesca to Listowel to tell us about her first young adult novel, The Monstrous Child, a darkly funny look at life through the eyes of Hel, an ordinary teenager – and goddess of the underworld. An ideal event for more mature readers who grew up with the tales of Horrid Henry.
Author Philip Reeve 2.00pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age 10+ Years. Cost €4
Author of Mortal Engines and Goblins, Philip will read and talk from his new YA science/ fiction/fantasy novel Railhead and talk about the creation of his latest and most elaborate imaginary world  the Network Empire, a far-future society of thieves and androids, Hive Monks and Station Angels, K-gates and intelligent trains.
Illustration Workshop with Sheena Dempsey – 4.30pm until 5.30pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age 6-11 Years. Cost €7. Limited to 15 Places
Sheena Dempsey loves to draw all kinds of animals.  Join her for a fun, character design workshop ”Mean Cat vs. Dave Pigeon” (taken from “Dave Pigeon” written by Swapna Haddow, and  illustrated by Sheena).  Who would win in a fight? Participants will draw heroic, noble pigeons and the meanest cats imaginable by exploring expression, shapes and characteristics. Feathers and fur will fly.
PJ Lynch ‘Drawing on the Imagination’ Workshop – 4.30pm until 5.30pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age 9+ Years. Cost €7. Limited to 30 Children.
PJ Lynch is one of Ireland’s best loved illustrators. His most recent illustrations include his new book The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower and Once Upon a Place, a collection of stories and poems by Irish writers specially commissioned by Laureate Na n’Óg.  In this workshop PJ will share some of the secrets of his illustrations, with all participants having the opportunity to work on their own drawings using charcoal and chalk.
Friday 3rd June
Playtime: Sensory Fun with Anam Saor Play Therapy – 10.30am until 11.30am at Listowel Community Centre. Age 0-3 Years. Cost €7. Limited to 20 Places.
This parent and child workshop encourages you to make up a basket of sensory play items for your baby or toddler to enhance exploratory skills and development.
Bookworm’s Bus in Association with Kerry Library – 11.00am until 12.30pm at Listowel Community Centre Carpark. All Ages. Free of Charge. Limited to 15 Children.
In association with Kerry Library, hop on board the Bookworm’s Bus and discover all that your local library has to offer. A series of readings by popular children’s authors will feature throughout the day: 11.30am Alan Nolan; 1.00pm The Story Queen; 2.30pm Valerie Sheehan –
Sarah Webb – Creative Writing Workshop – 4.30pm until 5.45pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age 8+ Years. Cost €7. Limited to 15 Children.
‘Talk Like a Dolphin, Sing Like a Whale’ Are you mad about animals and nature? Would you like to learn more about whales and dolphins and create your own animal character for a story? Do you love to doodle, draw and glue? Then, this is the event for you! Whether you’re crazy about big cats or dotty about dogs, you’ll be inspired and surprised by this innovative animal workshop.
Alan Nolan ‘Cartoon Capers’ Workshop – 4.30pm until 5.30pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age 8-12 Years. Cost €7. Limited to 30 Children.
Join Alan for ‘Cartoon Capers’ to learn how he became a cartoonist and create your own cartoon with him. Alan Nolan is the author and illustrator of The Big Break Detectives Casebook, the Murder Can Be Fatal Mysteries series of graphic novels and the humorous hurling novel Fintan’s Fifteen. His latest children’s illustrated novel, Conor’s Caveman is about a boy and girl who find a caveman frozen in a glacier in the Wicklow mountains, is available now! Alan lives in Bray, County Wicklow with his wife and three sons and a cat called Chewie. Chewie is the only member of the family who doesn’t regularly steal any of Alan’s pencils.
Saturday 4th June
Live Broadcast of ‘The Weekend Club’ in association with RTE Junior – 9.00am at Listowel Community Centre Car Park – RTE Outside Broadcast – No requirement to book in advance just come along. It’s FREE – all welcome!
RTEjr will present a special live broadcast of the Weekend Club with presenter Yvette Poufong! Join Yvette from I want a Pet on RTEjr TV, for music, competitions and interivews with festival guests.
Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre Present ‘Pugs of the Frozen North’ – 10.00am at Listowel Community Centre. Age 7+ Years. Cost €4.
Join writer and illustrator double-act Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre on a magical journey to the Frozen North, in the company of brave sled-racers, noodle-eating yetis and sixty six pugs. Learn how to draw your own cartoon, find out how to defeat a hungry Kraken, and discover the secrets of the Fifty Different Kinds of Snow.
Delicious Dahl Cookarama Workshop – 10.30am at Cólaiste na Ríochta (not Community Centre) Age 6-8 Years. Cost €10. Limited to 20 Children.
Celebrate ‘Roald Dahl 100’ by creating some Roald Dahl inspired treats in the kitchen with Cookarama.  Will they be revolting or scrumdiddlyumptious????
Sarah McIntyre presents ‘Dinosaur Police’ – 12.00pm until 1pm at Listowel Community Centre. Family Event! Cost €4.
RAWR!!! What happens when a hungry T-Rex goes on the rampage in the pizza factory? Can Dinoville’s police force bring this rascal to justice? Join picture book writer and illustrator Sarah McIntyre for a wild and interactive dinosaur story time! Learn how to draw your own cartoon dinosaur so you can go away and make your own stories and comics! Fun for the whole family, followed by a chance to get your book signed and doodled.
Storysmiths Workshop with Dave Rudden – 3.00pm at Listowel Community Centre. Age: 14-16 Years. Cost €7. Limited to 20 Children.
Every story has to start somewhere, and yours starts here. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, craft a great fight scene or if you just love books, this workshop is for you. Join author Dave Rudden (Knights Of The Borrowed Dark,) and learn how to craft a life-or-death struggle between hero and villain. Discover the secret machinery behind every story you’ve ever read. Create characters that may give you a novel of your very own.
Sunday 5th June
Therapeutic Stories & Puppets – 10am at Listowel Community Centre, Age 6-12 Years. Cost €7. Limited to 20 Children.
Therapeutic stories and puppet play help children to make sense of their feelings.  The puppets help make stories come to life and make them more meaningful for children.  Participants will be encouraged to use a puppet to tell a story of their own.
Minecraft Workshop: Eircraft – 10.30 at The Seanchaí Centre. Age 6-10 Years. Cost €15. Limited to 20 Children.
Participants must bring their own laptops as you will be using your own Minecraft Account.
The team building workshop is themed to the hugely popular Minecraft phenomenon and will have participants working together to complete tasks or improvising and imagining scenarios that require an element of teamwork to complete. Our theme for Listowel Writers Week is ‘Adventuring’.  Participants must band together to solve puzzles, battle bosses and discover the secrets of; The Dragons’ Pass, our unique Minecraft Adventure Map.
Crafty Capers with Mary Dowling – 10.30am at Listowel Community Centre. Age 8-12 years. Cost €12. Limited to 15 Children.
Join the wonderful Mary Dowling to create wonderful decorations using old books, natural materials and your imagination. All materials provided.
Play & Music: Gymboree – 11.00am until 12.00 noon at Listowel Community Centre. Age 6 months to 6 years. Cost €7. Limited to 50 Children.
Explore the best Gymboree music from around the world as we dance and sing to different styles. The music class includes instrument exploration combined with games followed by our great ‘Parachute and Bubbles’!  Also, imagination takes flight in our movement stories set to music. Great fun for all ages!
All this and much more! Tickets can now be booked online at  or by calling the office on 068 21074.
And don’t forget, our Young Adult Festival Programme will take place on Thursday 2nd June and is open to both Schools and Individuals. See: for full details. – We look forward to seeing you here, The Team.