Former Devon schoolboy and now bestselling children’s author Simon James will be among a group of celebrated local authors running events for children at this year’s Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.

The author and illustrator of Dear GreenpeaceSally and the LimpetThe Wild Woods and The Birdwatchers, who was educated at Queen Elizabeth School in Crediton, will share his skills in a children’s workshop suitable for ages 6+ on Saturday, September 21st.

For older children with a passion for creative writing, award-winning writer Tanya Landman, who lives in Devon, will be teaching children develop characters and shape plots in an interactive workshop.

Author of more than 30 books, including Carnegie Medal winning Buffalo Soldier, Tanya will be explaining how to generate ideas. The workshop is suitable for ages 13-18, whether they are a keen writer or have never written before; no experience is necessary.

Saturday afternoon sees Devon writer Claire Barker presenting the next in the series of her charming tales of Knitbone Pepper, a friendly ghost dog who haunts the crumbling Starcross Hall with a gaggle of other ghostly pets.

The Knitbone Pepper tales are available in ten different languages and, in 2017, they were shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Fiction award and won the Book Factor, an award voted for exclusively by children

Completing Saturday’s children’s line-up is Devon artist Maria Floyd, the co-creator of the popularLittle Paws Hotel series. She’ll tell her tale of dogs Olive and Gus, before bringing everyone together to make a giant Dachshund.

Annie Ashworth, Festival Artistic Director, said: “Part of Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival’s mission is to foster and develop a love of words, stories, reading and writing, and where better to start than with our youngest festival-goers. These popular events are selling out quickly, so get your tickets soon to avoid missing out.

“We hope to inspire new ideas and get children creating. And, who knows, we might see them back at the Festival as accomplished authors one day!”

Sunday, September 22nd sees multi-million-selling, award-winning author Cressida Cowell, creator of the How to Train Your Dragon series, share her inspiration and tips on becoming an author or illustrator.

Appointed the Waterstones Children’s Laureate in 2019, Cressida will also talk about her latest book,The Wizards of Once – Knock Three Times, a series which won the coveted Blue Peter Book Award.

Plus, to celebrate 2019 being the anniversary of the first moon landing, children aged 3+ can enjoy some out of this world fun in the Mini Marquee on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September.

The drop-in sessions are encouraging children to get creative, as they make edible planets, create the volcanoes of Venus, paint moon rocks, help build a Lego international space station, and much more!

There’s even something for the littlest of literary lovers, with a free ‘Bounce and Rhyme’ session hosted by Budleigh Salterton Library in the Mini Marquee on Friday, September 20th.

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival takes place from Wednesday 18th – Sunday 22nd September and has over 50 events at venues across the town. To find out more, for the full programme and to get tickets, visit the website.