BUDDING young writers are encouraged to get their imaginations flowing during this year’s Children’s Festival.

The festival, which got off to a colourful start at the weekend, aims to get children interacting through sports, crafts, games and fun–filled activities.

As part of the festival, Waterstones has launched a short story competition, running until Saturday, June 4.

There are two age categories – 5 to 12 years with a 250word limit and 13 – 19 years with a 500 word limit. There’s no restrictions on style, topic or theme which means budding young authors can let their imaginations run wild.

Entries can be emailed to events.reading@waterstones.com or posted in the ShortStory Competition Post Box at the shop in Broad Street.

This year’s festival is three fun–packed weeks of events and activities for children all over the borough.

Many of the events are free.

Take a Children’s Festival selfie at any of the special events and use the hashtag #Reading_CF to be in with a chance of winning prizes.

The Forbury Fiesta proved a hit with children and adults alike, with activities including Bubble Jo and his amazing Bubble Show, performances from The O’Gara School of Irish Dance and The John Madejski Academy Choir.

Youngsters were spellbound by author Abie Longstaff.

An organiser said: “Abie’s sessions were very popular with an enthusiastic audience for each one. We were all a little bit spellbound by the retelling of the classic fairytales with the wonderful Fairytale Hairdresser, Kitty Lacey, who always saves the day.”

Tonight, there’s a special event for parents at Waterstones, as part of the festival.

Matt Coyne and the Scummy Mummies will be at Waterstones Reading, Broad Street, at 7.30pm tonight ( May 18).

For more about all the Children’s Festival events, visit reading.gov.uk/childrensfest