Media Release: Boswell Book Festival children’s programme – new for 2016 – Bozzy’s Book Bang!

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Festival’s first full weekend of children’s events – in association with The Engineering Centre, Dumfries House Estate

FOR the first time in its six-year history, Boswell Book Festival announces a full weekend of events especially created for children and their families.

The events have an intriguing ‘elemental’ theme and take place on Dumfries House Estate, in the Engineering School, at the recently-restored Sawmill and out in the Engineering Playpark.

Begins festival director, Caroline Knox: “Over the years, the festival has widened and deepened its offering for children both in and out of the Ayrshire schools.

“We are very excited this year to be pairing up with the Engineering School at Dumfries House to launch our first full Festival weekend for children, Bozzy’s Book Bang! – a journey of exploration in words and activities through earth, water, air and fire: from Nick Sharratt’s Laughter Laboratory and Kjartan Poskitt’s Murderous Maths to Adam Murphy’s interviews with the reanimated zombie corpses of Science Superheroes Marie Curie and Charles Darwin.”

Count Down!

Count Down! - celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, natural scientist, conservationist and one of the world’s best-selling children’s writers. Jemima Puddleduck and Peter Rabbit along with other much loved Potter characters will inspire and motivate the children to produce some highly original artwork.

Adds Knox: “In the week running up to the Festival weekend, school children will produce a set of illustrated panels of the four elements with accompanying text.

“These will be the work of P2 and P3 at Auchinleck, St. Patrick’s and Ochiltree Primary Schools mentored by exciting new illustrator Eilidh Muldoon and best-selling writer Vivian French. They will be on show over the weekend for the first time.”

Blast Off! Family Fun Weekend

Zombie Corpses, Spangle Angles and Yucky Worms!

Who can resist the chance to explore the ‘science of silliness’ with renowned children’s author and illustrator, Nick Sharratt, to make friends with Vivian French’s yucky worms, to join biologist Gill Arbuthnott on a fantastic journey into their own body or to be part of making the world’s funniest ever illustrated story in the Children’s Festival Finale?

With over 20 events running across this special weekend, families and children of all ages will find much to choose from.

Vivian French MBE has been one of the driving forces behind this year’s programme, teaming up with Dr Karen Alexander at The Engineering Centre who with Dumfries House Education will be laying on zany interactive activities.

“This is,” says Vivian, “csuch an exciting festival! One of the joys of having been involved for some years is watching both regulars and newbies grow more and more enthusiastic about authors, illustrators, books and reading, as our relationship with the area deepens.

“Having access to the exciting new venues on Dumfries House Estate this year will add a further dimension to our programme and I’m absolutely certain Bozzy’s Book Bang will leave children buzzing with excitement! I can hardly wait.”

Meanwhile, our Master of Silliness and all time favourite, Nick Sharratt, currently ranked one of the top children’s illustrators in the whole of the UK, is also impatiently pawing the ground at the starting gate…

“It’s always hugely enjoyable taking part in the Boswell Book Festival,” says Nick.

“And I’m really looking forward to my all-age family sessions this year when I’ll be putting on a white coat and examining the science of silliness, chemistry of comedy and physics of fun. I’ll be mixing brand new stories with old favourites and throwing in games, songs and drawing. Warning: there may be loud explosions of laughter!”

The Boswell Book Festival children’s programme is a key part of the Boswell Book Festival – the world’s only festival of biography and memoir 6 – 8 May.


Notes to editors:

Children’s Festival Leaflet, photographs, visuals all available in Dropbox here:
Full details at:

For Interviews, further information and additional photographs please contact:

Carol Carr: marketing and press – Boswell Book Festival
Tel: 01988 700 974
Mb: 07766 754 877

Festival facts


Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May

At the Engineering Centre, Dumfries House Estate

Tickets: £1 per child (except where otherwise indicated) Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tickets will be available from: Kilmarnock Palace Theatre Box Office: 01563 554 900 (lines open Mon-Sat 10am-5.00pm)


Cumnock Town Hall (open Mon-Fri 10.00am-5.00pm)

Waterstones, High Street, Ayr (open Mon-Sat 9.00am-5.30pm/Sun 1.00am-5.00pm)


At the Engineering Centre on the day subject to availability


On site for the weekend selling books by all the authors appearing.

Book signing

Authors will sign copies of their books after their events


The Coach House Café – serving delicious cold and hot food, snacks, juices, hot drinks, tea, coffee and home baked cakes.

Parking: There is parking on the Dumfries House Estate. Access to Dumfries House is from the A70 Ayr/Cumnock or Cummnock/Ayr direction. There is only ONE entrance to the Festival, marked ‘Dumfries House Cars Only.’

Sponsors: We are eternally grateful to all our funders and sponsors without whom this event could not proceed. We thank them for their invaluable support. In particular we thank Creative Scotland who has kindly supported the festival since 2011.

The Boswell Trust:

The Boswell Book Festival is an event inaugurated and staged by The Boswell Trust a charity registered in Scotland that is established for the promotion of heritage, literary arts and education, specifically the restoration of James Boswell’s mausoleum in Auchinleck churchyard and the creation of a visitor attraction in the adjoining Boswell aisle.

The Boswell Book Festival has experienced phenomenal growth and the organisers are keen for this growth to continue. It has now developed well beyond the capacity of its original site of Auchinleck House – owned and managed by the conservation charity The Landmark Trust – but which will however continue to form part of the Festival programme in 2016.

Trustees: James Knox (chair), Peter Kennerley, Margaret Boswell Elliot, Caroline Knox, Gillian Watson and Dr. William Zachs

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

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