Audience - Hip Hop Shakespeare

Education Programme @ Wimbledon BookFest

Wimbledon BookFest has two sides to its work - its public Festival in October and its year round education programme with Merton schools.

Wimbledon BookFest is dedicated to using the power of reading, writing and literature to improve the education opportunities for local children and young people. We work within the Borough of Merton and increasingly in Wandsworth. In 2016, 62 schools took part in the Wimbledon BookFest Education Programme from the state, independent and the SEN sector.

Events Author & Writers

Author events are run for primary and secondary schools as motivators to encourage literacy. These range from picture book authors and illustrators to storytellers, poets and novelists. Older students have visits from journalists, politicians and screenwriters and writing workshops. Authors have ranged from Benjamin Zephaniah, Carol Ann Duffy, Sir John Major and George the Poet to Michael Rosen, David Baddiel, Jacqueline Wilson and Steve Backshall.

Free Books Initiative

In 2016 over 2,500 free books were given to children with a deprived socio-economic demographic and little engagement in reading.

Young Writers' Competition

BookFest's annual competition attracts entries from 40+ local schools every year who are inspired to write creative stories and poems. Our 2016 competition attracted entries around Marvellous Mischief to tie in with Roald Dahl's centenary and Shakespearian entries of Mistaken Identitiy and Rivalry. The top entries are published as part of a collection of stories and poems to encourage young people's creativity.


Through a partnership with educational film specialists Chocolate Films students attend workshops teaching filmmaking skills. Students are introduced to careers in the creative industries and taught how to tell stores through film. Films are then publically screened at the Festival. 2016 sees the launch of Take Ten Project making documentary portraits of today's Londoners funded by the Wimbledon Foundation.


BookFest runs an event with the reading charity, Beanstalk to help recruit adult reading volunteers into schools.

Bookclubs in Schools

BookFest has launched a partnership which focuses with Bookclubs in Schools which focuses on peer to peer reading and support.


Running inter-school debates at BookFest on current affairs and political issues. It works with professional partners such as Debating Matters and hosts the Merton heats of this national competition.

Beyond Words

BookFest partners with charity, Beyond Words, to run books groups in the library for non-readers. Young people with learning difficulties are invited to sessions.

Youth Panel

Sixth formers from local school programme make up a panel that meets regularly to develop the festival's events to attract and engage a younger audience. This year's events include performance poetry, a gig night, the future of journalism and the politics of gender.

Stewarding & Volunteering

BookFest offers opportunities for sixth formers in local schools to steward at the festival.

The Education Programme @ Wimbledon BookFest is funded through grants and school sponsorship and works closely with our lead education partner, University of Roehampton. Education grants include: Mishcon de Reya, Wimbledon Founation, Taylor Family Foundation & The Young's Trust.

Boy primary educationJohn Major with Rutlish boys

pic: young pupils engrossed at an author event, Sir John Major with students from his alma mater, Rutlish

Here are some of the amazing films made as part of BookFest's film projects:

Toy Soldiers (Ursuline):

Duck (Raynes Park):

The Writings on the Wall (Ricards):

Dirty Work (Rutlish):

The Party (St. Marks):

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