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About the Festival

A festival to grow up with...

The Manchester Children’s Book Festival is a Laureate Education project. It was devised by Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE, who wanted a celebration of children’s books in the city of Manchester when she was made Poet Laureate in 2009. 

We launched MCBF as a four-day pilot in 2010, a hugely successful celebration that involved three Laureates, our own Carol Ann Duffy, National Poet for Wales Gillian Clarke and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, along with a host of other high-profile authors.  The bar was set high. 

In 2012 and 2014, we were joined by partner organisations from across the city and developed a model made up of year-long projects, competitions and workshops in schools and libraries, culminating with ten days of events for families, schools and professionals taking place across the city in June/July.  

The Festival has always been a collaboration of most of the city’s libraries, museums, galleries and theatres and we work closely with other festivals, especially the Manchester Literature Festival. By 2014, the audience for our Family Fun Day, our biggest family event, had risen from 500 (in 2010), to a steady 1500 and the momentum was such that we decided to make the festival annual.  Between 2015-2017, our Family Fun Day audience rose to more than 4000, with around 10,000 people engaging with festival events and projects annually.   

With our biggest ever Family Fun Day running in 2017 and a legacy of projects, competitions and pilots that have engaged thousands of children, families, teachers and writers, we have decided to take a break from our annual programme in order to reflect and evaluate our successes.  We haven’t stopped, though.  We continue to work year-round with partners to deliver a range events and projects and we still work with publishers to provide author visits to schools. 


MCBF in Schools

We are currently testing pilots and models with a cluster of schools in the Longsight/Manchester area with a view to rolling these projects out across out schools network from 2019.

We are often approached by publishers offering author visits to schools. When these ad-hoc opportunities are available, we advertise them via our Twitter and Facebook pages and also email teachers on our mailing list. 

If you would like to receive information about when different authors and workshops are available to come into your school, please sign up for the MCBF mailing list and tick to indicate that you are a teacher.  You can also follow us on Twitter @MCBFestival or like us on Facebook. 


MCBF at Manchester Met

The Manchester Children's Book Festival is organised and run by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University – and many of the Festival’s events take place on the university campus.

MCBF is a key project for the university, providing a platform for collaboration with external partners from across the city and beyond and opportunities for our students to develop their skills through engagement in the Festival's volunteer and placement programmes.

The Manchester Writing School and RAH (Research in Arts & Humanities), working with MCBF, often host events that may be of interest to teachers, librarians and writers.  These are advertised via Twitter and are listed on our MCBF website. 


MCBF in the City

Many of our partner organisations contribute to the Manchester Children’s Book Festival programme by hosting events at their venues: cultural organisations across the city, including major museums, galleries, libraries, theatres and bookshops. 

Our partners also provide a year-round programme of activities and opportunities that we promote through our Manchester Creative Learning Network. For further information about the Network and our events for teachers, please sign-up for our mailing list or contact: mcbf@mmu.ac.uk.

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You can also find out more about what we are doing via our Events and News pages. 

Keeeeep Reading! 

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