Our Story

The Broughton Hall Children’s Literature Festival was dreamt up by Trevor Wilson, a retired teacher and entrepreneur who lives and works in West Yorkshire, UK.

Trevor, originally from Oakworth, West Yorkshire, started as a teacher at Shadwell Middle School in Leeds, before he moved to the Bahamas in 1975 to teach physical education and maths at the R G M Bailey High School in Nassau. In 1979 Trevor and his wife Catherine, also a teacher, moved to the Cayman Islands. Other teaching jobs and two children, Sarah and Jenny, followed, but the lure of Yorkshire was too great and in 1988 they returned home, with Trevor becoming deputy head at Malsis Hall, near Skipton and then at Westville House School in Ilkley before taking early retirement in 2005.

Since then Trevor has been driven by his love of children’s literature, founding both a flourishing publishing company, Caboodle Books and Authors Abroad, both based in Silsden, West Yorkshire. For nearly a decade, Trevor and an incredible team of bookworms have been organising events, workshops and performances with some of the UK’s most highly respected children’s authors, poets and illustrators. From Bradford to Bangkok, Derby to Dubai, Birmingham to Brazil and everywhere else in between, Authors Abroad co-ordinates more than 5,000 UK school visits and more than 700 international schools visits around the world, inspiring children from over 60 nationalities about reading and writing.

Trevor Wilson
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It has been a long-held dream of mine to establish a major Children’s Literature Festival in the North of England.
— Trevor Wilson

It has been a long-held dream of Trevor's to establish a major Children's Literature Festival in the North of England. At the moment there is definitely a bias heavily in the favour of the south and Authors Abroad aims to address that imbalance. The Broughton Hall Children's Literature Festival aims to be one of the key events in the UK's children's literature festival calendar.

A key component of the festival will be visits by well-known authors to schools in North and West Yorkshire and Lancashire where 50 passionate practioners will visit over 150 schools in the local community. This will take place on the 27th and 28th September. Furthermore, hundreds of young people will get involved through collaborative projects, such as the  Yorkshire Young Writer Competition and the Scarecrow Trail.

At the heart of the festival however, is a weekend of performances, workshops and literary magic at the extraordinary Broughton Hall Estate. In September 2018 this picturesque landscape will explode with the colourful sights and sounds of story-telling and performance poetry as passionate writers, artists, share their experiences and talents in a series of special events spread across the estate’s majestic parklands.

Moreover, Broughton Hall Children’s Literature Festival will be supporting the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. This is a charity that does marvellous work in schools training teachers how to recognise, and deal with, mental health issues in young children. Mental health issues are sadly prevalent in schools these days, with cyber bullying being particularly common. We have seen a dramatic increase recently in schools experiencing mental health issues associated with exam stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and peer group pressure. We believe that a love of reading has a very positive effect on children’s mental well-being, building confidence and self-esteem and developing empathy. Funds raised by the Festival will support the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust's excellent work in schools, especially in our region.

We invite you to come along and enjoy a wonderful weekend of fun and entertainment in one of Yorkshire's most idyllic settings.

Broughton Hall Estate

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