Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime in Stories

Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime in Stories

On display until Sunday 2 July 2017

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books introduces an exclusive exhibition drawn directly from Michael Morpurgo’s extensive archive donated to Seven Stories in 2015.  

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain's best loved story makers and this unique exhibition showcases, for the first time, the notebooks and manuscripts that became the classics we know today including War Horse, Private Peaceful, Kensuke's Kingdom and Farm Boy

Explore the secrets behind Michael's storytelling through his original drafts, adaptations, scripts and unpublished manuscripts.  With content rich in historical research, creativity and poignant prose, this exhibition explores the processes behind some of the most loved titles in modern children's books.

Included in the exhibition:

  • Imagine, daydream and pen your own story ideas, inspired by Michael and his beloved Devon in a replica of Michael’s very own creative caravan
  • Immerse yourself in atmospheric soundscapes which help explore familiar themes in Michael’s story telling such as war, the countryside and farming, the Scilly Isles and friendship.
  • Pore over a handwritten draft of War Horse (first published by Egmont, 1982) on display for the first time.  The draft sits alongside props from stage and film to showcase the prolific journey from draft manuscript to published book and beyond to the National Theatre adaptation and Steven Spielberg blockbuster. 
  • Included in the exhibition will be artwork from some of the many illustrators including Olivia Lomenech Gill, Michael Foreman and Patrick Benson who have contributed to Michael's books over his career.
  • Artefictions: Young people from Excelsior Academy have created fictional artefacts and produced their own creative writing which is included in the exhibition. 

The exhibition is supported through a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Seven Stories and Newcastle University's School of English Literature, Language an Linguistics.  The KTP is believe to be the first of its kind between a university English department and an external organisation, and is being funded by InnovateUK and the Arts & Humanitites Research Council (AHRC).

Exhibition supported by:

For more information, click here.

Keep an eye out for our new Collection Highlight page with material from our Michael Morpurgo archive, launching soon.


This summer, take part in activities and events inspired by the Story Maker, Michael Morpurgo. 


Meet the Curator of Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories this September. Find out more.

Attendance to this Event requires a day ticket to be purchased.