The prestigious Philippa Pearce Lecture is an annual event that celebrates excellence in literature for children. It provides a platform for the very best children’s authors, poets and illustrators to reflect on their art. Always thought-provoking, the lectures have tackled such topics as the significance of time, the place of fear, and what poetry is for.

The lectures were established in 2007 by the family, friends and colleagues of the highly distinguished children’s author, Philippa Pearce. They attract a regular and wide-ranging audience of academics, writers, publishers and lovers of children’s literature. A video recording is always made available.

“She was one of the very finest writers British children’s literature has ever had, and everything she wrote has a touch of the particular vision and understanding of human nature that was hers alone.” Philip Pullman

The Philippa Pearce Lectures are held in association with Homerton College, Cambridge.


The moment Cressida Cowell stepped up to the lectern, it was clear that the very same energy and fun that characterises all her books were right here in front of us. We settled back with the happy anticipation of a child who’s about to be read to. Though her work has been transported to the big screen, for Cressida it is still the printed page where the real magic happens. “Books are our tool to make sense of the inexplicable,” she said, “to articulate to ourselves what we feel but cannot always say. They’re our comfort, our distraction, a way Read More

Video of the 2022 Lecture