Hosting this year’s NCBF Gala Day at The Word was a huge honour for South Tyneside Libraries! It was a great opportunity to showcase The Word as a national centre for the written word in all its forms. Owing to the numerous sessions happening throughout the day, the Gala Day was delivered between two venues The Word and St Hilda’s Church.
I was excited but also nervous about the day. I had so many questions such as ‘how will it go?’, ‘will everybody turn up who booked tickets?’. My questions soon disappeared when the front doors of The Word and St Hilda’s Church opened and children with their grown-ups arrived for the sessions.
There was a lovely atmosphere around both buildings with the sounds of excited children taking part in author, illustrator and artist sessions. The months of planning and organising finally paid off!
Being involved in the Schools’ Programme side of the Northern Children’s Book Festival for a few years now, I had already met quite a few of the authors and illustrators taking part in this year’s festival (Viv French, Holly Sterling, The 2 Steve’s). It’s always good to see these authors and illustrators and find out what they have been doing and what is happening for them in the near future. I did however meet some authors I’d never met before on Gala Day (Nick Sharratt and Korky Paul). As the saying goes, it’s always nice to put a face to the name!
My highlights from the day were having my photo taken with Jonny Duddle dressed up in his pirate outfit and seeing my daughter playing the part of a ninja in The 2 Steve’s performance. She was very excited about being chosen to take part.