Leading regional arts producers Chester Performs have announced an exciting new young person’s arts festival – WayWord - to take place from February 14-22.

WayWord will be a 10 day festival celebrating stories and the written and spoken word and it will play host to a diverse programme of events and workshops aimed at children and young people aged 4-24.

The festival will take place across Cheshire and the public will be able to attend WayWord events at three festival hubs: Chester Town Hall, Ellesmere Port library and Winsford Library.

Festival manager Paul Lavin said: “With everything from storytelling to film making, from new books to youth politics, from exploring the possibilities of new technology to slam poetry, this is going to be an exciting new festival and we are particularly excited about spreading the festival into Winsford and Ellesmere Port as well as Chester.”

Young audiences aged 16-24 can take part in the 48 hour Film Challenge, discover tips to improve their blogs, learn to write computer code, create a mobile game, take part in a script writing workshop, form part of a youth parliament, or even do battle in a poetry slam.

Meanwhile, for children and families, there are plenty of opportunities to meet favourite writers including the ever-popular Cathy Cassidy, Costa Award Winner Sally Gardner (Maggot Moon) and Debbie Moon, writer of the hit CBBC programme Wolfblood.

Other festival highlights include The Wimpy Kid Show where audiences will learn how to draw the characters in Jeff Kinney’s best-selling books, Kjartan Poskitt’s Murderous Maths, The Diary of Dennis the Menace and the Oodcast’s complete history of Doctor Who.

The Wimpy Kid Show will be at Winsford Library on February 22.
The Wimpy Kid Show will be at Winsford Library on February 22.
 

There will also be a series of free fringe events and activities running throughout the festival including a pop up cinema, book stalls, craft activities, exhibitions and storytelling.

Tickets for the main festival events are on sale now and start at just £5.

Under 12s go free when accompanied by an adult. To find out more, including the full programme of activity and how to book tickets, visit www.wayword.co.uk.

Wayword Festival highlights include:

CHESTER - Poetry Slam, Thursday, February 20, 7.30pm, Chester Town Hall.

What’s better than stand-up poetry? Competitive stand-up poetry of course! Enjoy an evening in the hands of four of the country’s most experienced poetry slammers as they battle for wordpremecy!

Expect fun and raucous action at this full length event with an interval and a chance hear the following top notch slammers.

Tim Clare created the Poetry Takeaway and performs at Aisle16’s Homework, a monthly literary cabaret night in London.

Mark Grist left teaching to become a full time poet after a YouTube video of him verbally pulverising a young rapper called Blizzard in a nightclub went viral – it’s now been seen four million times.

Molly Naylor her adapted her own hit show at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe into a Radio 4 play and has a new show on at the Battersea Arts Centre this spring. She is a regular at slams up and down the country.

Dominic Berry lives and slams in Manchester; he has won New York’s infamous Nuyorican Poetry Cafe slam and UK’s Superheroes of Slam.

There will also be a chance to pit your stand-up poetry skills against all-comers.

If you need tips and a frankly unfair advantage, make sure you’ve been to the workshop in the afternoon where Tim and Mark will pass on their wisdom.

Tickets £10 available online at www.wayword.co.uk.

ELLESMERE PORT - Cathy Cassidy – Coco Caramel, Saturday, February 15, 11am at Ellesmere Port Library.

Best-selling favourite Cathy Cassidy comes to Ellesmere Port to talk about her latest book in the Chocolate Box Girls series.

Cassidy Coco is the youngest of the Tanberry sisters but she’s as headstrong as any of them.

Coco is crazy about animals and loves her riding lessons. When Caramel, her favourite pony at the stables, is sold, Coco scopes out the new owner – and she’s not happy about what she discovers.

With big sister Honey going off at the deep end and Summer only just recovering from her eating disorder, there’s no-one at Tanglewood to help Coco out.

Can Coco save Caramel alone – or will a new friend help her?

Tickets: £5 (under 12s go free) available online at www.wayword.co.uk.

WINSFORD: Alistair Watson – The Wimpy Kid Show, Saturday, February 22 at noon, Winsford Library.

A must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and great family entertainment. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz.

The event also includes exclusive video clips of Jeff Kinney talking about the books, his involvement in the films and shows how he draws the Wimpy Kid characters. Plus, all those who purchase a book on the day, are eligible for their book to be stamped with an exclusive Wimpy Kid Show stamp.

Tickets: £5 (under 12s go free) available online at www.wayword.co.uk.

CHESTER, ELLESMERE PORT AND WINSFORD - The 24 Hour Film Challenge, February 15–17, Chester Library, Ellesmere Port Library and Winsford Library.

Chester Performs are looking for teams from across Cheshire to take part in an exhilarating two-day filmmaking competition as part of WayWord.

Amateur moviemakers from across the region are invited to take the challenge where teams have just 48-hours to script, shoot and edit a 2 minute film.

The weekend begins with a workshop session where participants receive their brief. This session will take place on Saturday, February 15 from 10am-noon and will be transmitted live to three locations across the county: Chester Library, Winsford Library and Ellesmere Port Library.

Completed films must then be submitted by the end of the 48 hours.

Once submitted, films will be screened at the three venues throughout the festival, where the public will be able to vote for their favourite. Voting will also take place online.

The winning team will receive a special prize at an exclusive screening at Chester Town Hall on Friday, February 21; complete with popcorn and hot chocolate!

The challenge is open to groups and individuals; the only requisite is energy, enthusiasm and ideas.

You will need to provide your own equipment to make your movie on; this could be your mobile phone, digital camera, or animation software.

Team up with work colleagues, school mates, family or friends (maximum five people per team) and sign up online at www.wayword.co.uk.