exetreme imagination Festival

Exeter celebrates writing for children, by children.

exetreme imagination is a biennial children’s literature festival held in Exeter which unites together all the major arts and cultural organisations in Exeter in a creative collaboration, bringing high-profile children’s authors into schools, communities and arts venues to work alongside young people, sharing their experiences as writers and engaging them in the power of the written word. At the same time, the festival inspires young people by using the arts as the imaginative springboard for writing, or as the medium through which writing can be reinterpreted and reframed. So for two weeks in October, the city is alive with activities and events which showcase the best children’s authors and gives children and young people a myriad of ways to express themselves through writing, and to use writing as a way of expressing themselves through other creative media.

The 2018 festival was a great success, with over 1,000 direct audience participants in ticketed events, and more than 3,000 in wider audiences attending street theatre and other free events. As a taster of the variety of events on offer, we had Philip Reeve talking, ahead of its release about Mortal Engines, directed by Peter Jackson and Railhead. Philip also performed The Roly Poly Flying Pony Show with Sarah Macintyre – a rambunctious version of their book, The Legend of Kevin. We had comic writers, the Etherington Brothers, showing young writers how they design their comics; and Nicola Davies entertaining young children with stories from her own zoological travels to show how she brings real scientific worlds to life in her books. The Mal Peet Writing Competition, in memory of late local author, Mal Peet, the festival’s first curator, gave children across the region an opportunity to write for pleasure.

And perhaps most importantly, exetreme imagination has a major commitment to the marginalised and socially disadvantaged and there is a parallel ‘behind the scenes’ private festival programme, which includes writers working in residence in schools with disadvantaged students, and author visits to schools which do not normally have financial resources for such events.

We are enormously grateful to ALCS for their support of our festival.

Written by Debra Myhill, Pro Vice Chancellor of the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter

ALCS is proud to sponsor the Mal Peet Writing Competition; helping promote writing and inspire the next generation of writers. As part of this sponsorship, we provide copyright education resources to exetreme imagination, to help teach young writers about the importance of copyright.

For more details on these resources, visit our copyright education page.