The tenth Maggie’s Day took place on 2nd November 2021. Maggie’s Day is a collaboration between the Maggie Evans Fund and The Story Museum in Oxford to engage schoolchildren across the county with books and stories, culminating in an event with a children’s author. The fund commemorates the life of Maggie, a literary agent who died at the age of 29.
Through the power of the arts, Maggie’s passion for storytelling continues to be shared, by showing children how to express themselves through writing.
Even during the COVID-19 period, the Maggie Evans Fund has kept busy with its Extreme Reading project. The fund was delighted to be able to hold the first Maggie’s Day for well over two years on 2nd November. The day, held as always at Oxford’s The Story Museum – resplendent after its stunning recent refurbishment – featured children’s poet Joshua Seigal. He delighted more than 70 children from six different Oxfordshire schools in the museum’s brand-new theatre, the Woodshed, during two energized and interactive performances of his lively and amusing poetry.
Well-known children’s author Jo Cotterill, originally lined up to be at the event but forced to cancel because she had COVID-19, sent the audience an uplifting and inspiring video message, which can be viewed below. The Story Museum’s current exhibition is about the Book of Hopes, an extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures to which Jo contributed, written during lockdown by more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, and is dedicated to everyone working in hospitals.
The schoolchildren performed their own poems, written for Maggie’s Day on the subject of hope. Organiser Isy Mead from The Story Museum pointed out that this subject seemed very pertinent, with the COP26 conference going on in Glasgow, and the COVID-19 crisis still far from over. The poems were a wonderful insight into the children’s thoughts and wishes and proved that the day helps children to love all literature and forms of writing.
As usual, guests and friends of the fund were in attendance at Maggie’s Day for one of the performances, and also enjoyed a chance to look around the museum’s wide-ranging new exhibits. The Maggie Evans Fund plans to organise next year’s Maggie’s Day in spring/summer as usual, and will of course continue its other projects, in particular Extreme Reading.
The fund is always very grateful for any new donations that help make all of this possible. If you would like to donate you can do so here.