As the World Cup begins, football fever will fuel the 2018 Big Write – one of the largest children’s literacy sessions in the UK – featuring the award-winning children’s author, Tom Palmer.

The ambitious creative writing workshop presented by Harrogate International Festivals and sponsored by Ashville College is open to pupils from Years 4 and 5 from across the Harrogate district and takes place at the Royal Hall on Friday, June 15.

Last year’s Big Write featured more than 600 schoolchildren from 25 schools across the district.

Simon Asker, from Ashville College, said: “We are delighted to sponsor this event in its fourth year, and I very much hope all the children enjoy what will be a challenging and rewarding experience.  Events like these highlight writing as an essential skill, which will benefit children for the rest of their lives. It can foster confidence, communication, self-expression and hopefully a lifelong love of writing.”

Hundreds of schoolchildren from across the district are expected to take part. The event is part of Harrogate International Festivals’ HIF+ – a programme of outreach arts delivery, and is delivered by the education experts, Pobble.

Lizzie Brewster, Development Manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “The Big Write has become a much-anticipated part of many school’s diaries.  We’re thrilled with Ashville College for their continued support of The Big Write helping to bring this brilliant event to Harrogate.”

Young authors will be selected from the day to have their work published and shared with the world on

Simon Blower, co-founder at Pobble, said: “Having a leading writer like Tom Palmer for the World Cup makes this year’s Big Write really special. Writing is crucial not just in terms of developing literacy, but it allows children to express themselves. This is what Pobble is all about – engaging young minds and giving children a platform to share their fantastic writing.”

Tom Palmer is the author of three Puffin football children’s series, Football Academy, Foul Play and The Squad, with a new KS2 history series, the Defenders trilogy. His passion for football gets kids from the pitch to the page.

The Leeds United fan’s enthusiasm for the written word is the answer to many parents’ dreams when it comes to inspiring reluctant readers. Tom Palmer said: “For me, books opened up opportunities to write and travel and get to watch football all over the world on four different continents, so I hope to inspire young minds!”

Schools are invited to bring along Year 4/5 pupils for The Big Write, 9.45am at the Royal Hall, Harrogate on Friday June 15. Places available on a first come first served basis.