Hay Festival’s Programme for Schools, running from 24th May, offers rich pickings – and a whole host of amazing authors and creatives are there to inspire young people

Hay Festival’s free Programme for Schools will bring writers and young people together online for a series of inspiring interactive activities and workshops. Taking place from 24th-28th May, it is a prelude to the main programme of the internationally renowned festival, running between 26th May and 6th June.

Five sessions will be broadcast daily for young people from early years to 16, with each event accompanied by free teaching materials and learning activities, available to view live or access on replay throughout. All events are offered in Welsh and English, compered by either Welsh poet Anni Llŷn or writer and presenter Radzi Chinyanganya.

For very early years, highlights include performance poetry from Joseph Coelho, outdoor adventures with Michael Holland (I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast) and fun with Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People, BIG DREAMS). Children can get creative with Matt Lucas (Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Silly Book of Pranks) or join Robert Winston as he explores the world of science. Alternatively, they can explore the Earth’s Incredible Oceans with Jess French or join conversations with The Time Thief‘s Patience Agbabi. Other author highlights include Alex Wharton and Katy Riddell, Zanib Mian, David Baddiel and Konnie Huq.

Hay Festival Bookshop Credit Sam Hardwick Copy
Older children can join events and get insights into areas such as screenwriting

Older children can join dynamic events led by authors, poets, illustrators and performers, with issues up for debate ranging from sustainability and the environment to reading for pleasure and screenwriting. Guests include  Benjamin Dean (Me My Dad and the End of the Rainbow), Liz Kessler (When the World Was Ours), Manjeet Maan (The Crossing) and Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls).

Hay Festival has also released two digital Beacons Project workshops aimed at emerging writers aged 16-18, featuring a pair of acclaimed creatives. Award-winning screenwriter and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne discusses the adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, produced by Bad Wolf and Screen Alliance Wales, while Welsh poet, author and playwright Owen Sheers leads students through a creative writing workshop inspired by and filmed in the landscape of Wales.

Hay Festival is supported by lead sponsors Visit Wales and Baillie Gifford. Events are free to attend, with donations to Hay Festival Foundation welcomed throughout to secure the Festival for future generations of readers.

Parents, teachers and young people can register for free at hayfestival.org/schools.