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WONDERFEST – Celebrating Irish Children’s Books 2021

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Olivia Hope


In association with Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire 

Supported by Children’s Books Ireland, The Arts Council and dlr Libraries 


After the success of last year’s online book festival, WonderFest is back, featuring a wealth of Irish talent, including Oliver Jeffers, Niamh Sharkey, Eoin Colfer, Muireann Ní Chíobháin, Chris Haughton, Judi Curtin, Derek Landy, Ashwin Chacko and Tarsila Kruse.

24 events in total, featuring 64 artists!

Join the innovative live events from the comfort of your own school or home, making it accessible for all.

Run by a crack team of children’s writers, illustrators, festival programmers, designers and wellness experts, hand in hand with Irish publishers and the dedicated children’s bookshop, Halfway Up the Stairs.

The theme for this year’s festival is the important of CREATIVITY in children’s lives and many of our writers and illustrators will be exploring this theme.


WonderFest Schools  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 17-19th November

A host of innovative digital events delivered live to schools’ whiteboards – for primary school children.

WonderFest Families Saturday 20th November

A fun-filled day for story-loving children aged 0-12 and their families, packed with all kinds of creative events for the whole family to enjoy together from the comfort of their own homes.

WonderFest Inspires Wednesday 17th to Sunday 21st November –

Inspirational talks and masterclasses for adults who want to find out more about children’s books, or writing and illustrating for children.

All events are LIVE (with some pre-recorded elements) – giving children and adults all over Ireland (and the world!) the chance to interact with some of their favourite Irish writers and illustrators.

Register interest on www.wonderfest.ie

Booking opens 4 October via Pavilion Theatre website www.paviliontheatre.ie

The books accompanying the events can be purchased and posted out to children by our partner bookshop, Halfway Up the Stairs.

With 64 hugely talented children’s authors and illustrators from all over Ireland
taking part in 24 different events you can:

  • Watch EOIN COLFER talk to Patricia Forde about his books and his past life as a teacher
  • Have fun at the Creativity Bootcamp with TARSILA KRUSEand JULIETTE SAUMANDE
  • Hear OLIVER JEFFERS talk about the importance of creativity
  • Hear bestselling author JUDI CURTIN talk to her editor, HELEN CARR about writing
  • Draw Amazing Animals with ASKWIN CHACKO and SHEENA DEMPSEY
  • Join PETER DONNELLYÚNA WOODS AND NICOLA COLTON for a picturebook extravaganza
  • Ask DEREK LANDYall those burning Skulduggery Pleasant questions
  • Enjoy animal tales with CHRIS HAUGHTON
  • Join FLORA DELARGYand fellow Belfast author/illustrator PJ LYNCH for tales of wonder


  • Discover a wealth of new stories at the NEW IRISH BOOKS 2021 SHOWCASES for parents and teachers
  • Another one for grown-ups, budding children’s writers and illustrators can find out all about making books for young readers in our PROPERBOOK live webinars with editors and agents and our new MASTERCLASS series
  • Dual language IRISH/ENGLISHevents

And much, much more!

For more information
visit www.wonderfest.ie from 4th October  

Sarah Webb, WonderFest Events Team 

‘In the last eighteen months many of the major festival were cancelled and both readers and writers miss them terribly. In September 2020 during a virtual coffee morning run by Children’s Books Ireland, twelve children’s writers and illustrators made a decision: we’d band together to create and run a completely digital family book festival – that way it would happen come what may. And from that spark of an idea WonderFest grew.

It’s been a real pleasure working with the festival team and we can’t wait to share a second year of events with children and families this November. I’m especially looking forward to hearing Eoin Colfer talk about his books and his previous career as a teacher with fellow WonderFest team member and award-winning writer, Patricia Forde, and Oliver Jeffers talk about the importance of creativity, our theme for this year’s WonderFest.’



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