I was invited by Casey Elisha the organiser of the Festival to be a panellist.
The day was aimed at children aged 11 and under and their parents. There was a selection of interesting workshops. There were stalls around the main hall, selling books and hair and beauty products. Many stall holders sold copies of their self-published books.
The day was well attended and very interesting.
What I observed and learned from that day is that parents are aware that their young children need support and positive representation of their lives, but what is being delivered, especially in the content of their early years’ picture books in the mainstream is not meeting that need. After the panel session, I was privileged to speak to many of the participants, many parents and self-published authors, who agreed wholeheartedly that they would be interested in joining creative writing workshops to enable them to produce books which can be in the mainstream of publishing for children. These workshops could be run by them, for them with input from various experts including teachers and librarians and maybe later on mainstream publishers.