Launch of Reading is Magic Festival :: NEWS

Launch of Reading is Magic Festival

20 June 2022 Share

Launch of inclusive 2022 festival with a star-studded cast of best-selling authors illustrators and poets

It’s time to step into a world of creativity with the inspirational annual Reading is Magic Festival this autumn! 

The Reading is Magic Festival aims to promote creativity and connection through stories and shared experiences, creating content for ages 4 to 13 and beyond.

Not only is the event completely free, it is entirely online so children and schools across the UK and globally can benefit from a world-class line-up of best-selling writers, poets and illustrators. It will be running between Monday 26th and Friday 30th September 2022.

Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell and creator of How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once, will introduce each day of the incredible line-up at this year’s event.

Organised by the prestigious Bath Children’s Literature Festival, this year’s third annual Reading is Magic Festival will be hosted by the brilliant Mwaksy Mudenda, a current Blue Peter presenter.

She will present a five-day programme packed full of magical digital events that can be beamed straight into schools and homes, making it available for all to enjoy, wherever they may be.

All events have been curated with young people in mind and to provide a free, inclusive and engaging resource for schools and families. 

Five themes, taken from Cressida Cowell's Waterstones' Children’s Laureate Charter have been woven throughout the week. Each of the events will address one or more of five of the points from the charter, declaring that ‘every child has the right to… be creative for at least 15 minutes a week, have a planet to read on, see themselves reflected in a book, have advice from a trained librarian or bookseller, and read for the joy of it’: a mission which is close to the hearts of all those involved.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival has built a reputation for its strong commitment to inspiring an interest in reading in young people, as well as for its dedication to creating events that are as inclusive and accessible as possible. As a result, it has forged strong partnerships with national and international book festivals, to create this unique festival, which launched in 2020. This will be a truly international and diverse festival with events coming from countries as far afield as Canada, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, among others. 

The partnership of festivals and programmers is made up of Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Ake Arts and Book Festival, Toronto International Festival of Authors, Bocas Lit Fest, New Dutch Writing, Scottish Book Festivals Network and Empathy Lab. 

Inspiration for the festival name came from Cressida Cowell’s key message: ‘reading is magic, and magic is for everyone’ and this focus on inclusivity underpins the very essence of the festival. The award-winning children’s author and creator of How to Train Your Dragon, The Wizards of Once and new series, Which Way to Anywhere, plays a crucial role in the festival and her commitment to instilling a passion for reading in young people clearly shines through. 

The programme has also been thoughtfully designed to ensure that every young person is able to participate. All visual events have captions, a British Sign Language interpreter and the festival has worked with Bath-based The Egg Theatre’s young audio describers to advise the authors and illustrators on audio describing so that more children can enjoy them. 

Reading is Magic Festival has partnered with Calibre Audio to ensure that children who struggle to access print can enjoy the books that will be featured in the programme. 

Events will last between 15 and 30 minutes and will be broadcast on a schools-friendly platform. Schools can view events live in UK time or on demand afterwards. Online materials and resources will support each event and book buying opportunities will be sign posted. 

Schools and families are invited to register for free at