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Wimbledon Bookfest 2012

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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A Book Lover's Dream
Wimbledon Bookfest 2012

Wimbledon's annual bookfest is between the 6th-14th October this year. The main venue is Wimbledon Common inside a huge 6,500 square foot tent, but there will also be other events held all around Wimbledon.

Guests include international bestseller, Sebastian Faulks, pop icon, Will Young, and retired rugby and sports commentator, Brain Moore. There will be talks, activities, and competitions for both adults and kids, and for the first time there will also be a filmfest carrying on till the 17th October, which is your chance to watch some the most top rated films, such as The Iron Lady. The events will usually last an hour (except for the films - don't worry, they won't stop the movie halfway through), and unless otherwise stated, will cost £10 for adults and £7.50 for kids.

Kid's Events

Saturday 6th October

A Mouse's Tale – Author of the picture book, A Mouse's Tale, Tony Kane will be giving a reading of Tom Mouse's latest adventure at 11.30am at St. Mary's Garden Hall. There will also be a preview screening of the upcoming animated series, and be drawing lessons by the illustrator, Sam Loggie.

David Wood's Storytime – For fifty minutes David Wood will entertain your 3 kids with a magic show, novelty books, and a story. It will be at St. Mary's Garden Hall from 2pm.

Sunday 7th October

Belle & Boo – Created by illustrator, Mandy Sutcliffe, Belle & Boo is a popular British brand with picture books about a girl and her toy rabbit. The brand also designs clothing, stationary, artwork, and gift items. The event is being held at St. Mary's Garden hall at 1pm, and there will be craft activities for 4-6 year olds.

Secret Kingdom Party – At the same venue at 3pm, there will be a party for 5-8 year olds. Children will enjoy music, magical games, and craft-making with lots of glitter.

Friday 12th October

Hugless Douglass Party – Douglass is a bear in need of lots of hugs in his picture book series. Author/Illustrator, David Melling will be at Wimbledon Common at 11am and 1pm, teaching 3-6 year olds how to draw Douglass, and reading some of his stories.

Beast Quest – Let your little warriors defeat the evil wizard, Marvel, with battle cries, cryptic puzzles and beastly games in the main tent at Wimbledon Common. Everyone will receive a goody bag at the end.

Saturday 13th October

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – As part of the new filmfest, HMV Curzon Cinema is putting on a screening of Eric Carle's much beloved The Very Hungry Caterpillar at 10.30am.

Sunday 14th October

Womble Storytelling and Singalong – 'Underground, over ground, wombling free, the Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we'. A 45 minutes sing-a-long with musician Julian Butler in the main tent at 11.30am.

Gods and Warriors – Bookfest patron, Michelle Paver, has written a brand new children's book series called Gods and Warriors. Set in the Bronze Age, Hylas and Pirra must fight for survival with the help of their animal friends. Paver will do a reading for anyone over 9, in the main tent at 11.30am.


Over the week, there will be a number of authors talking about their books. Writers include Gary Mulgrew, Margaret Drabble, KM Peyton, Patrick Bishop, and more.

Saturday 6th October

40 Years of Picador – The UK's leading publishing imprint, Picador, will be showcasing top-line authors such as John Butler to give readings at Wimbledon Library at 7pm for £7.50.

Tuesday 9th October

Crime in The Library – Bestselling thriller writers will read extracts from their novels in Wimbledon Library at 7.30pm for £7.50.

Thursday 11th October

100 Years of Wimbledon Common – In the main tent at 5pm, you can listen to a £7.50 the Geology, Antiquities and Natural History of Wimbledon Common.


Friday 12th October

The Great Gatsby – Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was adapted to screen in 1974. Get the chance to revisit a great classic at 7.45pm in the main tent for £7.50.

Tuesday 17th October

The Iron Lady – Starring Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady was the first film made by Wimbledon Studios, and was a great success. It is a biography of Margaret Thatcher, a the studio is holding an exclusive screening at 8pm.

Enduring Love – A 2004 film directed by Roger Mitchell, it has a cast of British Thespians, and is being screen at HMV Curzon Cinema at 7.30pm for £7.50.

Other Events

Tuesday 9th October

Literary Pub Quiz – 60 people will get to put their book knowledge to the test at the Swan pub at 8pm. Prizes will be provided by Bloomsbury.

Waiting in The Wings – At 6pm, the writers shortlisted for the Wimbledon bookfest short story competition will read out their entries. The winner will be decided by judges and the public vote. Tickets are £7.50.

Wednesday 10th October

Beyond Words – A bookclub for people with learning difficulties. Professor Sheila Baroness Hollins will be holding a workshop at Wimbledon Library at 4.30pm. It will start with a DVD, followed by a 'scratch book club', and picture based storytelling. Tickets are £3.

Bookclub – This is your chance to get exciting bestsellers for your bookclub. Picador are giving away at least 200 copies of each book on offer, including five upcoming novels to be released next year.

Sunday 12th October

Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman – Actor, John Sessions, and guitar virtuoso, José Maria Gallardo del Rey, will honour the author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes. The event is being held at Wimbledon College School Theatre at 7.30pm for £15. It lasts an hour and a half, and there will be a Spanish wine tasting.
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Why? A week of reading and fun
When: 6th-17th October
Phone: 020 8877 5747
Where: Wimbledon Common
Cost: Most tickets are £7.50 or £10
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