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Children’s Laureate of Wales to headline major Pembrokeshire festival

The Children’s Laureate of Wales, Connor Allen, will be travelling to Pembrokeshire this summer to headline at the inaugural Children’s Festival in Haverfordwest.

As well as presenting alongside a team of children’s authors and storytellers, Allen will be hosting a writing workshop exclusively for the winners of a story writing competition which is being launched in the weeks running up to his visit.

The children of Pembrokeshire are being invited to write a short story in either English or Welsh with a maximum of 600 words.  The story must start with the worlds ‘Once upon a time in Haverfordwest….’ which is translated as ‘Un tro yn Hwlffordd…’

The young authors must be aged between four and 11 years old to enter, and the deadline for submission is June 11, 2023.

Connor Allen has been setting the imaginations of children alight since being appointed as the Children’s Laureate Wales in 2021.

“Growing up on a council estate in Newport, poetry and the arts were always seen as that big, giant mammoth high above us,” he said.

“So the opportunity to demystify poetry and present it as a simple expression of how you feel is one of the key reasons I wanted to be Children’s Laureate Wales.  It’s all about making poetry accessible, fun and relevant to the children and young people across Wales.”  

In addition to the short story competition, Pembrokeshire children are also being asked to design a bookmark.  All designs, which will measure approximately 5.5cm by 20cm, should be submitted by June 11 and the winners will be notified on July 1, 2023.

Entries should be sent to [email protected], handed it in at school (if your school is participating), or dropped off at the Riverside Library in Haverfordwest.

The best design by an artist up to 7 years of age, and best design by an artist up to 11 years of age, will both win a free ticket to the festival and a bag of books and goodies.

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 The festival has been organised by local families to entertain children during the school holidays. Connor Allen will be presenting alongside  children’s authors and storytellers. The lucky winners of a story writing competition will win a place at a writing workshop with the Children’s Laureate Wales at the festival. The festival ends with a band created especially for the occasion from local musicians, and dancing with the popular Forest Fairy Friends.

The Children’s Festival takes place at the Haverhub, Haverfordwest, on Saturday July 29.