The full schedule for the upcoming Blackburn with Darwen Children's Literature Festival has been unveiled, with a busy week of events taking place for young readers.

The festival will run from Tuesday, June 4, to Monday, June 10, at libraries in the borough, and it is the sixth time the festival has taken place.

It is organised in partnership between Blackburn with Darwen Libraries and the Children's Literature Festivals charity, founded by local author Christina Gabbitas.

A host of authors will be visiting across the festival to host talks and events at different libraries, with book giveaways and other talks aimed at keeping children from being drawn into criminality.

Ms Gabbitas, who is also a patron of Blackburn with Darwen Libraries for Children, said: “I’m thrilled we are able to deliver another festival that engages with thousands of children.

Lancashire Telegraph: Kindness is a key theme of the festivalKindness is a key theme of the festival (Image: Christina Gabbitas)

"Since the festival's inception, we have engaged with over 14,000 children and families in the borough and gifted over 6,500 books.

"If it wasn’t for Blackburn Library, I wouldn’t be writing today. I’m very grateful to Adele Karwatt and the team at the library service for their continued support.

"In addition to the Blackburn with Darwen Councils library service, I wanted to say a huge thanks to our funders this year too, Darwen Rotary, Lloyds Trust, Darwen Town Council, and Spot On Lancashire."

On Tuesday, June 4, starting the festival will be Lancastrian authors Dom Conlon and Dan Worsley, who will visit Darwen Library to give readings of their books.

That evening, from 6.30pm at Darwen Library, Ms Gabbitas will also lead a talk alongside officers from Lancashire Police about the dangers and consequences of carrying knives and county lines drug dealing.

Lancashire Telegraph: Oliver Sykes will perform readingsOliver Sykes will perform readings (Image: Christina Gabbitas)

The event is free, though tickets need to be booked through Eventbrite, and attendees will also receive free comics on the subjects.

Blackburn Library will host school groups from June 5 to 7, meeting authors Yesmien Bagh Ali and Oliver Sykes who will hold readings, while illustrator Reyhana Ismail will run drawing classes for pupils.

Dom Conlon will also be giving readings, with Ms Gabbitas joining in to perform readings. She will also give her knives and county lines talk to students.

On Saturday, June 8, community days will be held at Blackburn and Darwen Libraries, with free books up for grabs for visitors.

Lancashire Telegraph: Veteran poet Rappaman is back at the festivalVeteran poet Rappaman is back at the festival (Image: Christina Gabbitas)

Ms Gabbitas will be joined by Donavan Christopher, a poet who goes by the stage name Rappaman, at 10am in Darwen and 2pm in Blackburn. Oliver Sykes will again be at Blackburn Library, with free tickets for these events also available on Eventbrite.

Closing the festival on Monday, June 10, will be readings and talks from Ms Gabbitas at Cherry Tree, Mill Hill and Roman Road Libraries, with the final county lines and knife crime talk that evening at Higher Croft Children's Centre.

Adele Karwatt, service manager at Blackburn with Darwen Libraries, added: “The literacy festival that our patron Christina Gabbitas has brought to the town has had such a huge positive impact on the borough and our library service.

"We are looking forward to inspiring children and young people through a love of books and reading with some wonderful events.”

Tickets for events in the festival are available from Eventbrite, and for more information visit your local library.