word play

Welcome to WORD PLAY a reading festival for young folk and their families, taking place at How Brave is The Wren Bookshop (Kings Heath) and schools in Birmingham in June & November. Participating schools include Hall Green Junior School, Hall Green Infant School, Colmore Junior School and Kings Heath Primary School / Queensbridge, University of Birmingham School, King Edwards Camphill Girls, Kings Edwards Camphill Boys. But if we’re not coming to your school don’t worry as we hosts a whole program of activities at How Brave is The Wren bookshop for you to join in with.


Word Play JNR 2023 hosted workshops from the following amazing authors and illustrators:

Marie Basting, Jess Butterworth, Sarah Christou, Carson Ellis, Matthew Forsythe, Lindsay Galvin, Lizzie Huxley-Jones, Farhana Islam, Kereen Getten, Jodie Lancet-Grant, Lets Make Art, Daniel Thompson, Jaclyn Moriarty, Al Murphy, Catherine O’flynn, Richard Pickard, Piers Torday, Kate Wakeling.

Schools Programme Our schools programme is presented as a mixture of live and pre-recorded session, any schools in Birmingham interested in getting involved in future editions of Word Play can contact Jenny: [email protected]

WORD PLAY Magazine: A longside the workshops we produce the WORD PLAY magazine, full of activities and samples of new books to read, limited to a print run of 2500 all school pupils included in the Primary schools programme receive a free copy, with copies available to purchase from How Brave Is The Wren shop in Kings Heath / Birmingham.

The magazine is designed and illustrated by Ben Javens find out more about him HERE

Word Play Secondary

For the first time this year we brought Word Play to secondary schools in Birmingham, running a small pilot program with 3 fantastic authors Hiba Noor Khan, Gita Raleigh & Jeffrey Boakye visiting students across years 7 & 8 at Queensbridge, University of Birmingham, King Edwards Camphill Girls & King Edward Camphill Boys schools. We had an amazing response to this and hope to bring a full programme to the schools in 2024.

WORD PLAY Festival is created by How Brave Is The Wren, the children’s bookshop. 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 all the schools involved especially the reading, English leads and the Librarians, Anorak Magazine and Ben Javens.

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

Word Play Secondary

Read all about our pilot programe for Word Play in secondary schools


Take a look at the Word Play magazine, this digital copy will be accessible via Issu until 18th June 2023


For all books featured in the Word Play programme