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The Big Malarkey

Starting a New Children’s Literature Festival

The Big Malarkey Festival – the children’s literature extravaganza

“One of the great legacies of the UK City of Culture”

Graham Chesters, James Reckitt Library Trust

Get Lost in a World of Stories

This festival was devised and delivered as part of the UK City of Culture when over 7000 people came to meet writers, illustrators, poets, performers and puppet-makers, and try their hand at all kinds of practical activities.

I was tasked with bringing various literature-based events together and this project was particularly enjoyable as it fed off my inventing and developing The 3foot People Festival for many years. Details of that children’s festival can be found elsewhere on this website.

Featuring a week-long schools programme, after-school activities, the annual James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award and a ginormous weekend programme, The Big Malarkey festival played host to some of the UK’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators alongside musicians and brilliant local talent.

The Big Malarkey Festival – sponsored by KCOM

This project was organised in collaboration with the local library service with support from the James Reckitt Library Trust and the Arts Council England.


Authors and others gave engaging presentations
How to Draw Cartoons workshop at the Big Malarkey
A storyteller
A puppeteer