word play

Welcome to WORD PLAY a reading festival for young folk and their families, within this programme you will encounter stories about child detectives, adventures involving volcano’s, poems about bad moods and bananas, more poems about hating poetry and a book written by a pigeon called Dave, along with a whole lot of other amazing stuff!

Word Play is a 6 day event, 5 days delivered at Hall Green Infant & Nursery School and Hall Green Junior School and 1 day online where everyone gets to join in, WORD PLAY’s aim is to offer you a sample of all the different types of stories and styles of writing that are out there and to see if we can tempt you to try something new, a new author, a new time to read, a new place to read?

SCHOOL PROGRAM 7th-11th June For those lucky soles who attend Hall Green Infant or Junior School, you’ll be embarking on a jam packed week of reading and writing between 7th -11th June. You can find more information about all of the authors and their books HERE

EVERYONE PROGRAM Saturday 12th June For anyone that has to go to school elsewhere, fear not, you too can still take part, Saturday 12th June is your chance to get involved, join in with The Accidental Show hosted by comedian James Campbell. Take part in a writing workshop bonanza with Gabrielle Kent author of the Knights & Bikes book series. Or if you just want something a bit more relaxing (it is the weekend after all) then sit back and enjoy some stories read to you by Sarah Hamilton Baker or watch a fabulous programme of short films put together by our friends at Flatpack Festival. What makes this even better is that you can enjoy this all from the comfort of your own home, den, in a tree, wherever you want it’s fine by us…you can even wear your pyjamas (if your grown ups agree). All of the information and links are listed on the right hand side of this page (or down below if you’re on a phone). To sign up for a notification of event links click HERE and you’ll be added to our mailing list

WORD PLAY MAGAZINE To help you to find that new author, or get started on your own book, we’ve teamed up with our favourite magazine ANORAK to bring you a WORD PLAY magazine, you’ll be able to download it HERE for free from 7th-12th June 2021

Inside you’ll find samples of books by our featued authors, tips on how to feed your imagination and how to bring your own ideas to life.

Find out more about ANORAK magazine HERE

WORD PLAY Festival was created by How Brave Is The Wren, the children’s caravan-bookshop, taking place between the 7th – 12th June 2021 in Birmingham and online. The festival aims to encourage a love of reading, storytelling and writing. It was made in collaboration with a host of brilliant authors, illustrators and publishers, thank you to everyone who has made this possible, special thanks to our partners Hall Green Infant & Nursery School, Hall Green Junior School, Anorak Magazine, Flatpack Festival, and thanks to our funding partners Arts Council England and Waitrose Community Fund.

Word Play has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Saturday 12th June Schedule


10 – 11am The Accidental Show

Pre Booked Event

Join us for a special WORD PLAY edition of The Accidental Show, an online creative chat show for children, hosted by children’s author and comedian, James Campbell special guests to be announced. The show is presented via Zoom, Tickets cost £5 please book by Friday 11th June by emailing bookings@thejamescampbell.com

11.30-12.30pm Top Secret Tips for Writing Brilliant Stories

Writing workshop with author Gabrielle Kent

Pre Booked Event

Gabrielle Kent, author of both the Knights and Bikes and Alfie Bloom series of books, shares her secrets for coming up with interesting and exciting story ideas. She will also discuss some top tips for story planning and for creating excitement, mystery and laughs.

This is a pre-booked event tickets are £5, sales finish 8pm Friday 11th June. The workshop will be presented via Zoom click HERE for more info on how to book.

Sat 12th June

Carson Ellis Book Reading & Workshop

Free Event

Award winning illustrator Carson Ellis takes us on a tour of her latest book In The Half Room, discussing ideas and things for you to try out along the way.

This event is FREE click HERE to view.

Word Play Stories Part 1

Free Event

Find a comfy spot and enjoy some of our favourite picture books, read for you by Sarah Hamilton Baker from the How Brave Is The Wren caravan.

This event is FREE click HERE to view.

Sat 12th June

Colour Box: The Imagination Emporium

Free Event

Our lovely friends at Flatpack Festival have hand picked some short films as a special Word Play edtion of their Colour Box programme.

This event is FREE click HERE to view

Lets Make Art

Free Event

Grab some old magazines and join Lets Make Art to create your own characters, inspired by Laura Carlins Fabulous book A World of Your Own

Click here to link to view the Lets Make Art workshop

Word Play Stories Part 2

Free Event

What better way to round off the day than by listening to a few more of our favourite books, read by Sarah Hamilton Baker from our lovely caravan bookshop.

This event is FREE click on the link in stories part 1 to view.

Most of our programme has been provided for free, thanks to funding from The Arts Council England, we want everyone to be able to enjoy this programme with out the added barrier of cost. However if you can afford to pay, we’d like to suggest a making a donation to Give A Book charity Thank you! http://giveabook.org.uk/