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Aitken Trust
Week 2024

23-27 September

bringing 25 inspirational authors, poets & illustrators

"As one of the largest schools outreach programmes in the UK,
our aim is to delight and inspire the readers and writers of the future."

The Appledore Book Festival Schools Week 2023 has now come to a close and it has been the best yet.

25 top authors and poets have travelled from far and wide to bring their extraordinary talents to

71 schools and libraries across North Devon and Torridge.


In all, 210 events took place in just 5 days!

Leisa Stewart Sharpe at Combe Martinjpg_edited.jpg

We have seen toddlers delighted by new picture books and storytelling activities and primary

school children bursting with ideas and questions.


Mid-teens have been actively engaged in writing workshops as well as discussions and older students have shown a keen interest in Young Adult literature and been challenged by the themes explored.

Many of the authors gave vivid accounts of their own lives, focussing on their very ordinary

backgrounds and describing how they followed their dreams and ambitions.


In every case, the stories were aspirational yet grounded in real life accounts. These were inevitably followed by many interesting questions and answers.


We would like to thank our sponsor, The Charlotte Aitken Trust, and grantmakers including Spectris, Fullabrook C/C, The Norman Family Trust, Friends of Appledore Library, local Councillors, local Round Table and Rotary Clubs, Waterstones, and donations from this year’s festival goers, who help to make these exceptional events possible.

Books at Home Scheme *New for 2023*

A new development has been our Books at Home scheme. Thanks to generous donations we have

been able to supply hundreds of our visiting authors’ books to all participating schools to furnish

the school libraries and to enable some children to take home and own a book - possibly for the first time.

What people say about Schools' Week ...

Quotes from schools:

“Thank you so much Appledore Book Festival for arranging this for our pupils – the children were inspired”.


“Such fun! The children were laughing and totally captivated by the storytelling”.


“Inspirational is the word I’d describe for this morning’s event.  The pupils have renewed energy to read”.

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