Are you ready for this year’s Book Festival?

If you’ve been soaking up the glorious sunshine recently, you’ll know that summer has definitely arrived and not far behind it is festival season.

But while some festival goers are ticking off checklists including sleeping bags, waterproofs and ear defenders, visitors to the Newark Book Festival don’t have such extensive equipment requirements.

And although others may still be trying to choose where to go depending on their favourite music style, be it heavy metal, country or pop, there’s no need for fans of various literary genres to compromise…

Because the organisers of the festival that runs from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 July have events covering everything from crime to romance, children’s books to current affairs and history to speculative fiction.

So just what do you need to do to be Newark Book Festival ready?

  • Book your tickets – The festival programme includes many free as well as paid for events. And although some tickets may be available on the door, it’s always advisable to book in advance to ensure your seat. Newark Palace Theatre can help with that on 01636 655755 or online via the website.
  • Make a plan to not miss out – Many festivals have multiple stages with acts performing simultaneously and the Newark Book Festival is no exception, using numerous venues across the town over the four days. So pore over a printed programme or head over to the festival website here for a bit of bedtime reading over the coming days to ensure you’ll be in the right place at the right time.
  • Headliners – When you’re making that schedule, don’t forget to add in a few of the showstopping headliners to make sure they get a warm welcome when they arrive in town. KJ Maitland, Elly Griffiths, Gill Hornby, Milly Johnson and Louise Candlish are just some of the bestsellers getting ready to visit Newark.
  • Festival fashion – There’s no need to update your wardrobe – tassels, body glitter or flower crowns are not necessary, although they’re perfectly acceptable of course! Just make sure you accessorise with a bag that’s big enough to take home your own mini library of signed editions.
  • Hit the right note – There may not be any crowd surfing required but there’ll still be a lot of mellow melodies to drift into summer on, given that this year’s festival has a musical theme. West End performers Glyn Kerslake and Elaine Glover will both perform famous songs inspired by literature, Mark Lewisohn will be talking all about The Beatles and the Palace Theatre will host An Evening With The Kanneh-Masons.
  • Come armed with questions – Audience participation is much encouraged, not only during the workshops on offer but also when there’s a chance to quiz the authors in Q&A sessions at the end of their talks and conversations.
  • Bring sun cream – You might not need a tent to enjoy this festival but it’s still worth lathering on the lotion as there are lots of events taking place outside as well as inside, with the Market Place, St Mary Magdalene Church Gardens and Newark Castle all providing backdrops for street theatre, live music and alfresco story times.

If there’s anything else you’ve found essential at a previous Newark Book Festival, just get in touch through the social media accounts @newarkbookfest and #NewarkBF or tell one of the team in person at the festival stall in the literature village in the Market Place throughout the festival.

A once in a lifetime opportunity for artists of all abilities

If you’re a regular listener to Girls Around Town, you’ll know that guest Susi Wright unfortunately wasn’t able to join June on air last weekend.

Plans are already being made to get her into the studio as soon as possible but in the meantime here’s the information she was going to share about two events she’s bringing to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum next month, aimed at artists of all abilities, whether professional or leisure painters.

Art promoter Susi of Meander and Mooch Gallery has joined forces with local artist and art teacher Lynne Whitfield to work with the Centre in the run up to Come Back To Colour

An exciting exhibition which takes its name from this year’s Big Draw Festival involving more than 28 participating countries, highlighting the rediscovery of mental and physical health, vitality and vibrancy, and cherishing joy, freedom and survival.

Totally original and inspirational in their content, the two special events hosted by Lynne and Susi at the Holocaust Centre will form part of a major exhibition and potentially a national tour later this year.

Taking place on Sunday 24 July, the first event starts with a tour of the Centre, its beautiful rose and sculpture gardens, the museum and exhibitions.  

The tour will be followed by a talk by professional artist and holocaust survivor Ruth Schweining, who decided to show her parents’ lives through her art. She does this through all mediums from paint and charcoal to fused glass, the latter because, in her own words, “it is fragile and can shatter easily, as did their lives”.

After a break for lunch, Lynne and Susi will be running a workshop aimed at further inspiring those taking part in the event to plan out their art for the forthcoming exhibition.

Then on Tuesday 26 July the second event is en plein air, set among the 1,000 scented roses and the sculpture gardens, giving participants chance to absorb and be inspired by the wonderful and peaceful memorial gardens.

There is a small fee of just £20 for each event, which includes free entry to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and all its events for one year, together with submission into the art exhibition.

To book a place or find out more, just click on either of their names here to email Susi Wright or Jill Robinson.

Sharing skills at Newark’s Fun Palace this autumn

If you were listening in last Sunday, you’ll have heard June talking about the return of the Newark Fun Palace event, which comes to town on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October.

There’ll be plenty of information about it on Girls Around Town over the coming weeks but if you have a skill you’d like to share during those two days, the organisers would love to hear from you!

They’ll be holding another Meet & Greet from 10am to 11.30am on Saturday 11 June, this time at Newark Library

Just get in touch with Sara by email here to let her know you’ll be dropping by to find out more about how you can be part of this year’s celebration of skills.