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HEAD ON… Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

April 28th, 2016

Caroline Pascoe Head On - Mighty oaksAs a Headmistress watching girls develop into strong, innovative and independent women, I’m often reminded of that saying. But this time it’s on my mind thanks to the imminent arrival of the third annual Monmouth Literary Festival, organised from its conception by pupils from all three of the town’s senior schools.

The event, which has gone from strength to strength, now rivals adult-run festivals and unites the entire community through their love of books – a tremendous achievement for these passionate teens.

War Horse author Michael Morpurgo is headlining June’s week-long extravaganza this year with a memorable evening of storytelling, open to the public.

The celebrated children’s novelist is due to speak about many of his best-loved works, including Private Peaceful and its importance as the centenary of the Somme approaches.

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, was so impressed with the sixth formers’ organisational skills and the warm welcome she received last year that she is returning once again this summer.

She will be performing at a ticketed event alongside musical accompaniment by composer John Sampson.

Maya, 17, is a festival committee member from Monmouth School for Girls with high hopes for the event’s future.

She told me: “This year we have really upped our game and secured some unbelievably talented writers, artists and musicians.

“I believe that all members of the public should support the festival as it is vital for it to be passed on to younger generations. The festival isn’t just about education, it’s about coming together and supporting the town in order for it to fulfil its potential.”

As well as public events, the committee – made up of a handful of pupils from the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and Monmouth Comprehensive – has organised countless talks, readings and signings just for local schoolchildren.

This year, more than 10 schools will be invited to benefit from this joyous occasion.

The festival runs between June 21 and June 29. We look forward to seeing you there.

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