International Literature Festival Dublin is delighted to announce that Janet Smyth, former Children & Schools Programme Director at the Edinburgh International Book Festival will be joining our team as our new Family & Children's Programmer. Janet will be working alongside Martin Colthorpe, ILFDublin Programme Director to bring to the fore an exciting programme for 2021.
With over 20 years of experience working in literature with children and young people, Janet started her career with Scottish Book Trust as manager of the Readiscovery Campaign sending children's writers and illustrators on a bright yellow bus round primary schools across Scotland, reaching some of the nation’s remotest locations.
She went on to be Director of the Pushkin Prizes in Scotland and set up Blast-Off Books in Linlithgow, a specialist children's bookshop. After closing the bookshop Janet assumed the role of Children & Schools Programme Director at the Edinburgh International Book Festival where she stayed for 8 years, working on making the festival ever more accessible to new audiences. In 2019, she joined National Galleries Scotland as Deputy Head of Learning & Engagement (Health and Wellbeing) with responsibility to develop an organisational strategy that would place NGS at the point where arts, social and healthcare intersect to enable increased participation across society leading to better wellbeing. Since 2020, Janet has been a programme consultant with Bath Festivals leading on the creation of the Reading is Magic digital children and schools book festival.
Speaking today Janet said, "It is a delight and privilege to be taking on the role of the Family & Children's Events Programmer for the International Literature Festival Dublin, a festival with a brilliant reputation world-wide. Empowering young people to access and engage with books, stories and writing in all its forms is incredibly important: in our current climate this offers opportunities for understanding, connection and imagining better; and more now than ever we need enlightened and empathetic thinkers to shape our future. I am very excited to work with the ILFDublin team to celebrate the best of Irish writing and to bring exciting international authors to the city of Dublin."