The Swindon Youth Festival of Literature has been awarded the 2023 Community Award from The School Library Association. The Awards took place at the Hilton in Swindon on Tuesday 11th July with the awards being presented by the author and illustrator Steve Antony who is also the School Libraries Champion for the SLA.
The evening also celebrated the Primary and Secondary School Librarian of the year and the winners of the Enterprise Award.
Winning the Community Award has been an amazing recognition of the Festival which is in its 16th year this year. The week-long festival takes place every year in November and involves 12 Swindon Secondary school and over 60 partner Primaries and is run by the librarians in each of the Secondary schools. Each Secondary school hosts an author visit, a poetry event, a primary transition author event and takes students to the Wyvern theatre to see the headline author which this year is Jacqueline Wilson. Every event is free for students to attend. We also run a creative writing competition, judged by the author Helen Dennis this year, an Illustration competition judged by Steve Antony and a poetry competition judged by the poet Ash Dickinson. The finale of the week is an inter school book quiz.
The Festival is funded by the Swindon Association of Secondary Heads and our competitions are sponsored by a Swindon Solicitor’s firm Bower and Bailey and our local independent bookshop Berts Books.
Kate Murphy, the librarian at The Dorcan Academy and the coordinator of the festival said:
‘To win this Community Award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the fantastic team of school librarians whose enthusiasm and hard work ensures the Festival happens in their school communities every year. I am so proud to be part of it’
And Sherryl Bareham, the Headteacher at The Dorcan Academy said:
‘The Swindon Youth Festival of Literature is a highlight of our school calendar. Promoting a love of reading is a high priority for us as a school and having famous authors and poets coming in to school is both inspirational and educational for our students. I know that my colleagues across Swindon feel the same. It is an excellent example of collaboration and community working at its best and I am very proud and delighted that we were nominated for, and won this prestigious award’
Well done to all.