A best-selling children’s author has been announced as the first patron of the St Austell Festival of Children’s Literature which will run again this summer.

AF Steadman, the author of the Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling Skandar series has agreed to take the role.

As patron, the author will support the festival in fulfilling its aims and vision of "making a difference to young lives through the power of reading".

Festival director Simon Pollard said: “We are extremely grateful that AF Steadman has agreed to be patron of our festival.

“The Skandar series captivates readers of all ages. Her appearance at our first festival is still talked about by many and the time and encouragement she gives to her readers is wonderful.

“We look forward to working together to continue to inspire children to read for pleasure and connect readers with authors and illustrators.”

AF Steadman said: “I’m really honoured to be the first patron of the St Austell Festival of Children’s Literature.

“The work Simon Pollard and his team are doing is simply vital at a time when encouraging reading for pleasure has been more important than ever.

“It's a privilege to be supporting a festival with both improved literacy and book-filled fun at the core of everything it does.”

The festival will welcome more than 25 children’s authors this June for what promises to be a family-friendly and fun-packed three-day celebration of reading for pleasure.

The line-up will include authors Hannah Gold, Onjali Q Rauf, Louie Stowell, Tola Okogwu and Craig Barr Green.

The cost of attending a festival event has been set at £1 with the aim of making each one accessible to everyone who wants to experience an author session or illustrator workshop.

Events will be held at venues across the town, including the White River Cinema, the Unit 4 studio and various pop-up locations.

The festival will be held on June 28-30. The schools day on Friday, June 28, will host events for more than 2,000 students.

The festival aims: to celebrate the fact that choosing to read improves a child’s life outcomes; to enable children to experience a live author event; to support families in choosing to read together; and to inspire a community that embraces reading for pleasure.

The full programme is available to view online and tickets will be on sale in mid-April. See www.staustellfestivalofchildrensliterature.com

Partners of the festival are the White River Cinema, White River Place and Reading Rocks. The festival is also backed by the Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT).

AF Steadman grew up in the Kent countryside, getting lost in fantasy worlds and scribbling stories in notebooks. Before focusing on writing, she worked in law.