together! - Inclusive Children's Literary Festival

by Together Children's Lit Festival in London, England, United Kingdom

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We believe every child deserves to see themselves in the pages of a book. Support the UK’s 1ST ever inclusive children’s literary festival!

by Together Children's Lit Festival in London, England, United Kingdom

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The Together Festival 2019 will be the UK's FIRST fully inclusive children’s literary festival! We aim to promote a spirit of togetherness whilst improving access to literacy and the love of reading in underrepresented groups such as ethnic minorities, children with disabilities and families with an unconventional makeup.

Over three days, you can expect world-class author readings, live shows, illustrator and creative writing workshops, a book fair, inclusive bookshop and more! Plus, we will be making sure our events are as accessible and inclusive as possible, putting on dedicated events that inspire a love of reading for children with sight and hearing impairments and learning difficulties.

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Why This Is Needed

'If in their formative years, children do not see their realities reflected in the world around them or only see problematic representations mirrored back at them, the impact can be tremendously damaging.' Every child deserves to see themselves in the pages of a book, regardless of their socioeconomic background, disability, family makeup or ethnicity. But in 2019, this isn't the case for most children.

This year's theme is BAME Representation, in response to the CLPE’s ‘Reflecting Realities’ report. This report found only 1% of children’s books published in 2017 contained a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) main character and only 4% contained any BAME supporting characters.

According to the Department for Education's 2017 'Schools, pupils and their characteristics' report, 32.1% of pupils of compulsory school age in primary schools are of minority ethnic origins. In secondary schools, 29.1% of pupils are of minority ethnic origins. Both figures are steadily increasing.

There is a serious lack of representation in the children’s publishing industry and we hope that through a collective and unified effort, we can help work towards a future where at least 30% of children’s books have a character of BAME origins.


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The Literary Festival

In Summer 2019, we will be hosting the first ever inclusive Children’s Literary Festival. 

You can expect:

- Live shows and film screenings

- Author readings/talks

- Storytelling sessions featuring books such as The Wheels on Tuk Tuk, Nimesh the Adventurer and The Ghanaian Goldilocks, There's Room for Everyone and Handa's Surprise

- Illustrator workshops 

- Creative writing workshops brought to you by The Lil' Author Skool

- An all-inclusive bookshop

- A world food market

- And much more!

In the spirit of togetherness, there will also be a number of collaborative projects inspired by inclusive and diverse books such as:

- Our City Mural: children can help build the London of the future through collage, inspired by What Can A Citizen Do? written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris

- Wall of Words: children and parents can add words of their choice to our wall of words whether they make them happy, laugh or are even made up, inspired by The Word Collector written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. We want to collect words in as many languages as possible!

- The Idea Jar: help us answer the question ‘How can we make our world a better place?’ by putting your ideas into our giant lifesize idea jar, inspired by The Idea Jar written Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Deb Pilluti

We will have a range of both free and ticketed events.

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The Book Fair

The Exhibition

In Autumn 2019, we will be holding London’s first ever Inclusive Children’s Book Fair. Through this one-off event, we will be offering both large and small publishers the opportunity to exhibit, you’ll be able to browse and purchase every diverse and inclusive book on offer. There will be a dedicated space for self-published authors too! For one day only, we will also be hosting a range of panels, talks and workshops by The Author School discussing the issues faced in the publishing industry such as incidental inclusion, cultivating own voices and raising cultural awareness. Our 'model' bookshop will contain a minimum of 30% books that represent BAME characters and will demonstrate how retailers and publishers can successfully market these books alongside their existing mainstream titles. Curating the perfect mix of inclusive titles, independent & commercial publishers, self-published & agented authors, we hope retailers can walk away with the inspiration of how to better diversify their own shelves!

The aim of the Book Fair is to provide solutions to the lack of diversity and inclusion, tailoring the discussions into concrete solutions and will bring everyone together to champion the same common goal!

This will be a ticketed event.

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How We Will Use Your Donations

The two biggest costs will be hiring out the venues and fees for speakers, authors and illustrators. We want to ensure that all our speakers, authors and illustrators are fairly paid for their time, efforts and travel. All volunteers will be unpaid, however, food and refreshments will be provided for. This year's literary festival will be held in Greater London. Other costs in include:

- Storage and transportation

- Inclusive books and festival merchandise

- Printed Material

- Signage and Displays

- Insurance and Licenses

- Furniture/Fixture rentals

- Refreshments

- Fulfilling Crowdfunder rewards

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Our Future Plans

If our first event is a success and sustainable, we hope that in 2020 we will be able to host multiple Together Festivals across the UK to reach more children who may not have access to inclusive books and representation. We also plan to develop a 'Together Schools Programme' for 2020, bringing inclusive and diverse books to primary schools across the UK with exclusive mini Together Festivals.

Who We Are

The Together Festival team is made up of volunteers who have a passion for children’s literature and making the publishing industry more diverse. Our expertise spans across the publishing industry. We are made of up authors, publishers, booksellers, activists, parents, family and friends. The festival is founded and directed by Naomi Shakespeare, creator of généraliste an inclusive children's online bookshop.

Our Charity Partner

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We are thrilled to be working with the support of the CLPE. Their groundbreaking Reflecting Realities report served as the inspiration for this festival and we hope that within our partnership we are able to work towards our vision of seeing the 1% becoming the 30%. The CLPE is a registered charity that has been working since 2002 to provide training, free resources and quality children's literature to teachers and children throughout the UK. All profits not reinvested in the future of the Together Festival will be donated to the CLPE so they continue to provide free books to schools throughout the UK.

Partners

We also excited to have the support of the Literally PR, Hashtag Press and Little Box of Books as our creative partners. They are supporting us with operational, creative and logistical knowledge plus helping us curate the best possible selection of inclusive books.

For more information about our festival please visit our website, www.togetherfest.co.uk

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

Together Friends Membership

Become a friend of the Together Festival with our yearly membership card. For £50 you'll receive a physical card in the post which will get you priority booking, early bird discounts, 10% off at our inclusive bookshop and a range of selected partner offers.

£5 or more

Wall of Fame

Your name will be featured on our website wall of fame, thanking everyone who contributed to making the festival happen!

£10 or more

Together Badge

Show your support for the festival with a shiny new 'TOGETHER' badge!

£20 or more

Together Tote Bag

Show your support for the festival with an eco-friendly 'TOGETHER' tote bag with all the room you need for books!

£30 or more

1 Inclusive Book + Tote Bag + Badge

Receive any inclusive book from our featured titles alongside a 'TOGETHER' tote bag and badge.

£75 or more

3 Inclusive Books + Friends Membership

Receive any 3 inclusive books of your choice from our featured events and get our Together Friends Membership card for 1 year

£100 or more

5 Inclusive Books + Friends Membership

Receive any 5 inclusive books of your choice from our featured events and get our Together Friends Membership card for 1 year

£150 or more

Family Day Tickets + Friends Membership

Get tickets for 4 people to attend up to 5 events on a day of your choice. Plus get a Together Friends Membership card, tote bag and 2 inclusive books.

£250 or more

x2 Family Day Tickets + Friends Membership

Get tickets for 2 adults and 2 children (or 1 adult and 3 children) to attend any events on a day of your choice. Plus get a Together Friends Membership card, tote bag and 2 inclusive books. When you choose this reward you'll also be giving another family a chance to attend the festival who normally may not be able to afford it. They will also get a family ticket, tote bag and 2 inclusive books.

£300 or more

Get 1 of Every Book We Feature

You'll receive 1 copy of every book featured at the festival plus a tote bag! You can select this reward for yourself, nominate someone else or a school as a recipient

£500 or more

Together Friends Lifetime Membership

Become a friend of the Together Festival for life! For £500 you'll receive a physical card in the post which will get you a 'TOGETHER' tote bag + badge, 2 selected inclusive books, priority booking, early bird discounts, 10% off at our inclusive bookshop and a range of selected partner offers. It never expires!

£750 or more

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Mini Together Fest at a School of Your Choice!

For 1 morning or afternoon session, the Together Festival will come to any primary school of your choice within the UK or Ireland and will put an author reading, creative writing workshops and more!

£750 or more

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Together Patron

As a Together Patron, you'll have the opportunity to help shape the future of the Together Festival and have your say. You'll be invited to exclusive one-off events and receive complimentary tickets to festival shows. You will receive acknowledgement of your support on our website and programme. We'll also send you a Together Patron Membership card with all the benefits of the Friends card, plus 15% off at our inclusive bookshop.

£1,000 or more

Bronze Sponsorship Package

1/4 page advert in our programme, your logo on our website and back of our programme, advance event booking, 5 complimentary family tickets and goody bags, marketing literature at our help point and in our bookshop, your company name next to an event of your choice, 1 linked social media post per month

£2,000 or more

Silver Sponsorship Package

1/2 page programme advert, your logo on our website and front of our programme, advance event booking, 10 complimentary family tickets and goody bags, marketing literature at our help point and in our bookshop, your company name next to an event of your choice plus signage on the day, 2 linked social media post per month, web advertisement for 6 months, 1 feature in our e-newsletter, 1 custom reward

£3,000 or more

Gold Sponsorship Package

Full page advert in our programme, your logo prominently on our website, programme and signage, advance event booking, 15 complimentary family tickets and goody bags, marketing literature at our help point and in our bookshop, company name next to an event of your choice, profile links on each of our social posts, web advertising for 12 months, product sampling and demonstrations, inclusion in PR, 2 features in our e-newsletter, 2 custom rewards

Let's make 'together! - Inclusive Children's Literary Festival' happen