Korky Paul, illustrator of the award winning Winnie The Witch series, lives in North Oxford with his wife and two children, but his recent book Winnie Under the Sea, with its zany underwater adventures, may well have been inspired by his long summers in Greece, writes Maggie Hartford.

His new picture book, The Midadventures of Winnie The Witch, looks set to be a Christmas blockbuster, and he also has a book for young readers, Winnie Shapes Up, written by Laura Owen. He will read from some of the stories and entertain at the Kennington Literary Festival on Saturday, October 15. The event is aimed at children under ten, but adults can reserve seats if accompanied by a child.

With Oxford’s new City Poet, Kate Clanchy, Korky will award prizes for an illustrated poetry challenge for children — details available at Kennington Library.

The festival kicks off at 7.30pm on Friday, October 15, with the film The Ultimate Survivor, about the cinema in Cowley Road.

Kate Clanchy is the first speaker on Saturday, followed by Oxford science fiction writer Brian Aldiss, whose classic books are being reissued this year. He will discuss “Oxford: Home of Fantasy Fiction” with Witney writer Juliet McKenna, who has just released the first in her new trilogy The Hadrumal Crisis.

Former Oxford scientist Margaret Pelling will talk about her new novel A Diamond in the Sky, while Bampton-based novelist Frank Egerton will discuss his novel Invisible, set in a fictional village in West Oxfordshire. Children’s writer MG Harris will introduce Dark Parallel, the fourth book in her teenage thriller series The Joshua Files, followed by BBC Radio Oxford’s Bill Heine on his latest book Hunting the Shark. The festival concludes with The Oxford Times’s Helen Peacocke, talking about her latest book, Paws Along the Way, followed by a dog walk with her border collie Pythius to Sandford Lock, ending with drinks at the Tandem pub at about 4.30pm. Festival-goers may even hear some titbits about her next book, to be called Paws For the Cotswolds.

The festival is at Kennington Village Centre, opposite the Tandem, with ten per cent of proceeds going to the Friends of Kennington Library.

Most talks are free and can be booked at the door, but prior booking is advised.