TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track
Catch top African writers Brian Chikwava and Binyavanga Wainaina (pictured), both previous winners of the Caine Prize for African Writing, in conversation with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on October 15 in the two-day Think Africa festival at the British Library, programmed by the Africa Centre. The UK launch of Kwani, the magazine for new African writing founded by Binyavanga Wainana, is the following day.
Beverley Naidoo's talk on "Journeys Across Borders" for children over 10 (adults also welcome) deals with childhood in South Africa, Nigeria and in the UK. The audience will be asked "to explore their own conceptions of others' lives, and the relationship between life and the novel".
On October 16 Naidoo talks to Lindsey Collen and Alex Agyei Agyiri on the political and social convictions behind their writing. Later the same day there's a panel discussion on the representation of African, Caribbean and black British children in contemporary UK children's books with Catherine Johnson, who writes novels for teenagers, Kerry Mason, director of the multicultural books supplier Letterbox Library and publisher Verna Wilkins.
Events cost pound;5 each (concessions pound;3.50), reductions for day passes. Tickets: 0207 412 7222, www.bl.uk. Leading up to the festival, see www.africacentre.org.ukafricanvisions2005.htm for details of events featuring Think Africa authors in Bristol, Cheltenham, Brighton, Chelmsford, Oxford and Ilkley between October 8 and 13.
The Campaign for Drawing's Big Draw on October 8 and 9 will be launched this Sunday, October 2, by picture book celebrities Quentin Blake and Posy Simmonds, plus Gerald Scarfe. From 11am, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, will be turned into a drawing arena where the public will be encouraged to pick up a pencil; and the Drawing Together carnival procession leaves the VA Museum for Kensington Gardens at 3.30pm.
Over the weekend itself, more than 1,000 events and workshops are scheduled around the UK; see www.thebigdraw.org.uk. Many are free or have kept fees low. Beatrix Potter's artwork has inspired two days of events in Hawkshead, Cumbria (tel: 01534 36319) and, for a change of pace, 16 to 24-year-olds can enter their manga and anime drawings in the style of Tokyo's finest comic book art for a competition at Blackburn Central Library until October 15 (tel: 01254 587244).