What’s your Summer Story?

Seven Stories - The National Centre for Children’s Books 
July – September 2016

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Book announces packed summer line up of authors, illustrators, exclusive exhibitions and activities including visits from Children’s Laureates past and present.


Calling all dabblers and occasional doodlers, creative writers, daydreamers and bookworms. Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books announces a packed programme brimming with plenty of creative opportunities this summer for all ages.

Seven Stories' brand new Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories exhibition launches on Saturday 2nd July and will inspire a summer of activities.  To launch his exhibition, which also coincides with the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, visitors can Meet the Story Maker: Michael Morpurgo and listen to him read from a stunning new edition of modern classic Private Peaceful on Saturday 2nd July.

A rolling programme of drop in activities reflecting the themes of Michael Morpurgo’s stories will be available all summer in Seven Stories Studio.  Families will be able to illustrate poignant soldiers’ letters, create a kite to spread messages of peace and get close to nature with farmyard fun.

Seven Stories also premieres its brand new Daydream Performance which will take families on a journey into their imagination. The performance has been produced to reflect Michael Morpurgo’s creative process: “The more time you take in “dream time” – living in your head where the story is – the more you utterly lose yourself in the story” says Michael Morpurgo.

Seven Stories encourages families to be inspired, get creative and capture the sounds, smells and adventures in this summer’s Scrapbook Challenge.  Families can pick up a scrapbook on arrival at the Visitor Centre ready to create their own Summer Story.  By following a trail around the building, visitors will collect seven specially designed pages inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling books.  Visitors can take their scrapbooks away and continue recording their summer story throughout the holidays as well as posting their photos, poems, short stories and sketches to social media #summerstory7S.  The best family Summer Story will win a copy of Michael and Clare Morpurgo’s Where My Wellies Take Me illustrated by talented local artist Olivia Lomenech Gill.

Seven Stories is proud to announce that current Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell will be making an exclusive appearance at Seven Stories this July.  Meet Chris – multi-award-winning illustrator and acclaimed ninth Children’s Laureate for a three-day Artist Residency this July. 

Watch the master of illustration at work as he scribbles, doodles, sketches and draws. Chris is renowned for his distinctively intricate and award-winning pen and ink illustrations as well as his witty, satirical cartoons. 

The three day Artist Residency will include a Studio Takeover (Saturday 23rd July and Sunday 24th July), exclusive Ink and Drink with Chris Riddell (Saturday 23rd July, 6-8pm, suitable for ages 15+) and Q&A with the Current Children’s Laureate (Sunday 24th July, 2-3pm) as well as an invaluable workshop for 8-12year olds called Navigating Fantasy and Maps with Chris Riddell, (Monday 25th July, 10-11.30am).

Families are invited to follow Seven Stories Instagram campaign Seven Stories Sketch inspired by Chris’ famous Doodle-a-Day. Share your sketches on Instagram #sevenstories #7Ssketch for a chance to win a copy of Chris Riddell’s latest book The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll.

Writers of the Next Generation will unlock their creative potential at The National Centre for Children’s Books with a week-long creative writing course.  Budding writers aged 8-12 have the chance to join Seven Stories’ Story Catchers, spend time with award-winning author Andy Seed AND current Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell as well as get access to some of the best scribbles and drafts from the Seven Stories Collection (Monday 25th – Friday 29th July).

All the family will enjoy lively and interactive events throughout the summer as Seven Stories welcomes multiple award-winning authors and illustrators including Blue Peter Book Award winner Andy Seed (*Author Event* Seriously Silly Stuff with Andy Seed, Thursday 28th July) and Kate Greenaway award nominee Holly Sterling (Hiccuping Hilarity with Holly Sterling, Sunday 10th July, 2pm). 

Children can also work with experienced animator and visual artist Paul Miller as he leads budding talent in the first steps to creating their very own animation (Animation Workshop with Paul Miller, Wednesday 3rd and 10th August, 10.30am-1.30pm).

Activities for Seven Stories youngest visitors continue throughout the summer holidays with even more Sensory Stories and regular Little Gallery Explorers. A special guest is coming to wish Seven Stories a Happy birthday this August. Meet Mog and curl up (but no cat-napping) ready for a delightful event to celebrate the nation’s most-loved cat (Mornings with Mog: Happy Birthday Seven Stories! Monday 15th - Friday 19th August).  Seven Stories is committed to instilling the very smallest bookworms with a love of reading through its innovative and engaging programming and with even more sessions on offer, the youngest visitors can come again and again.  

Seven Stories will launch its regular Early Bird Opening for visitors with an Autistic Spectrum Condition from Saturday 6 August.  Following the success of its involvement in this year’s Disabled Access Day, Seven Stories is thrilled to offer bespoke sessions on the first Saturday of every month which allow families to access the National Centre without the hustle and bustle that might overwhelm some visitors.  Seven Stories continues to embed accessibility and inclusive practice into its core programming with the addition of Sensory Backpacks, provision of ear defenders and continued development of its SEND offer.

Visitors to Seven Stories this summer can enjoy all types of stories which are told, retold, loved, shared, discovered and explored on a daily basis before heading off to create their own Summer Story.


Media Contact

For images, quotes, full listings or interviews please contact:
Hannah Lambert – Marketing and Digital Coordinator
Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ.
T: 0300 330 1095 ext 223
E: hannah.lambert@sevenstories.org.uk