Day 5 has come to a close. On the one hand, it feels like the festival has been running for an eternity, but on the other, it’s difficult to fathom that we are five days in.

So, what was on offer to day? Well, we began the morning with Philip Ardagh and Elissa Elwick. For clarification, Philip is the tall bearded chap and Elissa is the dainty non-bearded one (see pic below).

Philip and Elissa are a brilliant duo, not only in terms of the book(s) they create, but also on stage. Don’t be fooled by Elissa’s innocent looking face, she is very poorly behaved with a kazoo and not the best cat trainer in the world either!

Philip and Elissa shared the first in the Little Adventurers series, before swearing the audience in as honorary Little Adventurers, answering questions and even creating a unique character – with Elissa expertly wielding the pen. It was a joy to see them in action.

On to this afternoon, which was for an older audience. Michelle Harrison, author of, amongst other titles, the award winning 13 Treasures series and The Other Alice, joined us for a wonderfully inspirational session. You could have heard a pin drop as Michelle talked about her path from want-to-be to published author. And not just published, but award winning too, with The Other Alice recently winning the Calderdale Book of the Year Award.

Members of the audience were invited to ask questions, for which they were rewarded with charms. What a magical treat. A favourite question was ‘Which of your main characters would you want to be?’, to which Michelle responded: ‘Red (from 13 Treasures), because she’s tough, sassy, cool and has a fox fur coat which turns her into a fox.’

Here are some of Michelle’s tips for writers:

  • Revision is the key to making a good story
  • Read!
  • You need to believe that the story could happen
  • Writing short stories is a good grounding for writing a novel

Two fantastically different, whilst equally engaging and inspiring events. Let’s see what day six brings, with James Nicol, Dan Smith, Gemma Fowler and Molly Looby!

***

Thank you so much for today. Books were a good investment. Aiden has been reading his for an hour and Georgia has drawn out and coloured in all of the characters.

A great big #LittleAdventures “Thank you!” to @chickenandfrog for such a warm welcome to the @BwdLitFest. And what a lovely audience!

Brentwood Literary Festival, Brentwood Theatre: wonderful audience, great questions, so happy to take part in it. (Michelle Harrison)

Thank-you [Michelle] for what you do for children and for us.