Following a knockout festival in February 2020, with ~2000 tickets booked in just three weeks, the Herne Hill Kids’ Lit Fest is bouncing back from 1-6 February 2022. The six-day festival will unite leading lights from across children’s literature to share and celebrate story making in all its forms. There will be a full schools programme throughout the week, plus an inspirational public programme running after school and across the weekend.  

Participants for 2022 include Alice Hemming (The Leaf Thief); Alex Milway (Big Sky Mountain); Jane Porter (Tiny Penguins and the New Baby); Ken Wilson-Max (Astro Girl); Frann Preston-Gannon (The Bad Day); Cath Howe (How To Be Me); Margaret Bateson-Hill (Masha and the Firebird); Mo O’Hara (Agent Moose); Ally Sherrick (The Queen’s Fool); Jackie Marchant (A Girl Called Tom); Andrew Weale (poetry); Catherine Millar and Emily Drabble (Life-Changing Libraries with Cressida Cowell); Collar & Cuffs Theatre (Be Not Afeard); Miriam Halammy (Always Here For You); Sarah Mussi (Here Be Dragons); Loretta Schauer (Cinder Gorilla); Rashmi Sirdeshpande (Never Show A T-Rex A Book); Ross Montgomery (The Midnight Guardians); Dom Conlon (This Rock, That Rock); Patrice Lawrence (Diver’s Daughter); Chitra Sounder (Sona – Looking After Planet Earth); Lucy Reynolds (We Are Family); Tom Mitchell (Escape From Camp Boring); Alex Wheatle (The Humiliations of Welton Blake) and many more.  

This will be the third year the Herne Hill Kids’ Lit Fest has been run, and the first year funding has been received from the Arts Council, in recognition of the quality and impact of the festival in 2019 and 2020. The aim is for the festival to grow each year and to become an annual event that puts Herne Hill and the surrounding area firmly on the map as a nucleus for world class children’s literature.  

Centre stage for the festival will be the ‘Stepping Into Stories’ competition, which invites children of all ages to tell their own story, in any format, using this year’s theme, ‘Bouncing Back!’. The competition deadline is Friday 14th January, and it will be judged by much-loved children’s book author and illustrator, Chloë Inkpen, creator of titles such as I Will Love You AnywayMrs Blackhat, and Hole in the Zoo. As the competition judge, Chloë says she is especially pleased that it is “open to lots of different kinds of storytelling media, including pictures, comics and songs – not only writing”. There will be three age categories for the competition, each with exciting prizes, and Chloë will announce the winning entries at a prize presentation event on Sunday 6th February 2022.  

The festival will be run with audience and participant safety at its heart. We will be following social distancing requirements closely and will contact all attendees with guidance shortly before the festival to ensure we keep everybody COVID safe. 

For ticket sales, more information about the festival, and details about the competition and how to apply, please visit