Thursday, June 05, 2014

Cornwall 2014

There's an exciting program in store for the national teams participating in the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final in Cornwall, England in July.

Not only do they get to "talk books " with each other over the week of the world final but there's also the stunning coastline, the lush landscape and the rich history of Cornwall to absorb in this short time. It's a hard job but someone's got to do it - I expect that, as their country's top readers, they'll be up to the task. Good luck teams!

Pendennis Castle (photo credit)

From Pendennis Castle, the Tudor fortress built by Henry VIII to help protect England from his many European enemies, to the gardens of Glendurgan, with its intriguing maze, the teams will have a wonderful opportunity to explore treasured Cornish landmarks as part of their world final experience.

The 175 year old cherry laurel maze at Glendurgan

You'll find some more of the highlights of the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final program after the jump:

The Cornish coast is beautiful and lots of outdoor activities have been planned. Have you noticed how the sky is always blue in photos of tourist attractions? Wondering about the weather in Cornwall in July? Wonder no longer - here's a link to some weather information. So that's why kayaking, beaches and fish and chips feature on the program - it's summertime and the living is easy.

Summer in July? Hard to imagine on this chilly Canberra day as we edge towards winter.

There's a visit to the Minack open-air theatre, carved into the granite cliff-tops of Porthcurno eighty years ago. Then there are excursions to St Michael’s Mount, Restormel Castle and the world heritage site, Heartlands Mining Heritage.

And then there's the Eden Project which houses the biggest conservatories in the world but is so much more - an educational charity and social enterprise which creates stunning gardens, runs environmentally sustainable programs and projects while also conducting research and putting on educational and community programs. A big day out for the Lit Quiz Kids!

All of these wonderful experiences will, of course, surround the centre-piece of the week - the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final.

The Princess Pavilion, Falmouth, Cornwall

At 1.30 pm on Tuesday 8 July, at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth, the 2014 world final will commence. All are welcome - entry is free!

The Kids' Lit Quiz UK committee is currently finalising the world final program - inviting guest authors and arranging the gala dinner to follow. It's all sounding pretty exciting!

If you'd like to read more about Kids' Lit Quiz world finals, have a look at Marj Brown's post on Durban 2013, last year's world final, which introduced us to a number of terrific South African writers and storytellers (and their books!), and Wayne Mills' welcome post for some reading tips on preparing for the world final.

Literary Cornwall

Not only is Cornwall beautiful but there are also many literary references and connections in children's literature. Cornwall also has a strong folklore tradition - just the thing for the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final!

Did you know that Shell Cottage, Bill and Fleur's home in Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, is set in the fictional Cornish village of Tinworth? And, of course, you'll remember the mischievous blue Cornish pixies in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Pixies have strong Cornish connections but, whatever you do, don't call them "pixies" if you want Cornish people to warm to you! In Cornwall, they're known as "piskies", a whole different kettle of pixie.

And, did you know that William Golding, the author of Lord of the Flies, came from Cornwall? Or that Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen (1914), a verse of which is well-known to Australians and New Zealanders because of Anzac Day traditions, was composed in Cornwall (where a plaque marks the clifftop spot near Pentire Point)?
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
Two of the novels in Susan Cooper's fantasy series The Dark is Rising are set in Cornwall (Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch) while Daphne du Maurier, probably best known for her novel, Rebecca, set many of her books in Cornwall. Her short story, The Birds, adapted as the classic horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is also said to have been inspired by Cornwall!

The fairytale, Jack the Giant Killer, is said to have taken place in Cornwall.

Finally, there's a whole list of suggestions for children's books set in Cornwall at this site, ( It's where I found out about The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber. This award-winning picture book was inspired by the Cornish festival of Tom Bawcock's Eve, celebrated in the village of Mousehole on 23 December. (How do you pronounce "mousehole"?! I'll bet it's not the Cornish way.*)

Walker Books

So there you have it - books, beaches, cats, cliffs, castles, sustainable living and so much more. Cornwall 2014. Bring on the Kids' Lit Quiz world final!

*  say "mowsel", not "mouse hole" if you want to impress the Cornish folk.

Huge thanks to Megan Nelhams of the Kids' Lit Quiz UK committee for her help with this post.

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