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The Secret Garden of Stories: The Reader Organisation’s Children’s Literature Festival

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 30th June 2014

festivalThis August something very exciting can be found at Calderstones Mansion House...

The Reader Organisation is proud to present our very first Children's Literature Festival, transforming the garden of the Mansion House into The Secret Garden of Stories. From Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th August, you can join us for a host of great literature for children and fun activities for the whole family including Roald Dahl storytelling sessions, craft workshops, games, competitions and appearances from very special guest authors Cathy Cassidy, Lydia Monks, Jon Mayhew and the award winning Andy Mulligan.

The Secret Garden of Stories is set to be the biggest children's literature festival in Liverpool, held in the magical surroundings of Calderstones which opens up a world of imagination on its own. It's just £1 to enter the garden daily from 10am-4pm, with lots of fun in store.

The Author's Den

Come along to the Author's Den during The Secret Garden of Stories and have the chance to hear first hand from some of the best children's authors, including Cathy Cassidy whose books include hits from The Chocolate Box Series, Marshmallow Sky and Cherry Crush, Lydia Monks reading extracts from her brilliant stories I Wish I Were a Dog and What The Ladybird Heard, and Andy Mulligan whose books include Return to Ribblestrop which won the 2011 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and Trash which has been adapted for a film to be released this Autumn.

Entry into The Author's Den costs £5 per author talk, with full listings below:

  • Meet Jon Mayhew - Thursday 28th August, 2-3pm (book online)
  • Meet Lydia Monks - Friday 29th August, 2-3.30pm (book online)
  • Meet Cathy Cassidy - Saturday 30th August, 12-1.30pm (book online)
  • Meet Andy Mulligan - Saturday 30th August, 2-3pm (book online)

happychildren2There will also be a very special and very fitting performance of one of the most classic children's novels The Secret Garden by The Bookworm Players as part of the The Secret Garden of Stories, taking place on Thursday 28th August, 6.30-7.30pm. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £5 for children for an outdoor performance. Book tickets online here.

We're also looking for sponsors for The Secret Garden of Stories, with a range of sponsorship packages available to companies and organisations which will enable you to be a special part of the festival - whether you want to pledge £50 or £5,000, there's something to offer. Download the sponsorship pack on our website.

We're also open to discussing other ways to be involved, so if you have any ideas of how you can best be a part of the festival don't hesitate to get in touch by calling 0151 724 5000 or e-mailing

More news on The Secret Garden of Stories to come in the coming weeks.

We're also open to discussing other ways to be involved, so if you have any ideas of how you can best be a part of the festival don't hesitate to get in touch by calling 0151 724 5000 or e-mailing

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