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We’re BURSTing with news this week (see what we did there?) ICE member and founder of Burst, Simone is part of the organisation team, and also the publishing partner, for Velvet Coalmine Festival which is being held in Blackwood on 12th – 16th September.

roaldThis year’s theme is the Roald Dahl Centenary and the festival headliner is Dallas Campbell from The Gadget Show who will be doing a Charlie and the Glass Elevator science demo and talk. They will also have Young People’s Laureate Wales, Sophie McKeand, attending, plus the charity Never Such Innocence will launch their resource pack for schools and their 2016/2017 Poetry Competition.

Simone will be holding Burst workshops in six primary schools and one secondary school to create poems, stories and illustrations for a children’s anthology to celebrate Dahl. It’s titled ‘Putrid Poems and Despicable Brutes’, and has the backing of the Roald Dahl Estate and Quentin Blake, who has kindly given permission for them to use one of his illustrations (exciting!).

Cardiff illustrator and cartoonist Huw Aaron will also be involved in some of the workshops, as well as Blackwood author C.G. Hickling. About the event, Simone said:

“This is the first year the Velvet Coalmine Festival has focused on children’s literature, and it will be doing so in the future. We’re planning bigger and better events for 2017 and 2018 and want to expand the festival out to more schools and attract more authors etc. so we can make this an amazing and inspiring annual event for the South Wales Valleys.”

They are on the lookout for sponsors and patrons (individuals, local businesses and corporate) to make this happen, so if anyone is interested in finding out more, or attending a sponsorship evening in October, then they can get in touch with Simone at [email protected] or email [email protected].


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