A Southampton-based children’s author is to appear at the Isle of Wight Story Festival in 2024.

Nazneen Ahmed Pathak, is among the names set to appear at next month’s event, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon and Mock the Week star Alasdair Beckett-King will headline the lineup of authors and speakers talking on-stage, which will take place this coming February half term.

Visiting from Southampton, Nazneen Ahmed Pathak, the Hampshire Poet Laureate from 2022-2023, will speak about her debut children’s book City of Stolen Magic, which was Waterstones’ book of the month in 2023. 

Thursday, February 15, will see Horsebox Theatre return to the festival after a sold-out performance in 2023. They will be performing a stage adaptation of Vincent and the Mermaids, the new book by Island author Jules Marriner.

Stand up comedian turned writer, Kate Weston, will speak about her number of young adult books including Diary of a Confused Feminist, whilst Mick Smith will run a song writing workshop, perfect for all budding musicians. 

READ MORE: What's on at The Guildhall in 2024

Day two of the festivities will feature fantasy writer and festival favourite Kieran Larwood, as well as legendary poet John Hegley and illustrator Neal Layton, talking about the children’s book they collaborated on, Stanley’s Stick.

The Enchanted Cinema will also be there, inviting the audience to become ‘the orchestra of enchanted sounds’ as they tell the stories of Where the Wild Things Are and Hedgehog in the Fog.

Alasdair Beckett-King, best known for his appearances on Mock the Week and Radio 4’s News Quiz, will present his stories about fictional detective Montgomery Bonbon whilst earlier in the day, Gerald Dickens - the great great grandson of Charles Dickens - will perform the winning stories written by primary school children taking part in an Island-wide competition. 

The final day of the Isle of Wight Story Festival will be headlined by Francesca Simon, the best-selling creator of the popular Horrid Henry series, as she talks about her latest book, Two Terrible Vikings. 

Kes Gray, who is best known for his Oi Frog picture books and Daisy Trouble chapter books can’t wait to speak about his twenty-year, award-winning career. 

Speaking ahead of the festival, Kes said: “I’m very much looking forward to appearing at the Isle of Wight Story Festival.”