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.

Getting ready for a fortnight of festivals

Are you feeling festive?

Don’t panic, you don’t need to be thinking about Christmas for a while yet – but the festival season is just around the corner and here in the East Midlands it’s time to get ready for festival fortnight!

Not one but two well-known events are in the final stages of preparation right now and if you’re into reading or gardening – or both! – mid July has plenty to offer for the whole family.

First up, from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 July, the Newark Book Festival returns to various venues across the town…

And it’s closely followed by the Belvoir Castle Flower & Garden Show, which takes place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July.

Want to find out a bit more about what to expect? You need to join June next week, when she’s back behind the mic chatting to Andy Tudbury and Becky Goddard-Hill between 10am and 12 noon.

Andy will be on the phone just after 10.20am with the latest news about the Flower & Garden Show in the grounds of the magnificent Belvoir Castle.

Be prepared for a weekend of colour and inspiration for those with a love of gardening, featuring everything from sculpture artists, tools, garden furniture and crafts retailers to live music and a range of food and refreshments…

Along with the opportunity to get your gardening questions answered by expert horticulturists in the Lets Talk area.

Then at 11.10am it’s Becky’s turn to ring the studio to talk about one of the many activities taking place when the Book Festival comes to town once more.

If you’re a mum, a dad or a grandparent, you’ll want to hear what she has to say about Create Your Own Kindness, her latest book that’s packed with fun activities to inspire kids to be kinder to themselves, others and the planet.

Find out how they can take part in the event she’s running on Saturday 10 July – an hour of activities available both online and on the large screen at the National Civil War Centre – and how to get tickets to join in the fun.

Make sure you’re tuned in to 107.8FM or listening online for all this and more when you Put On Your Sunday Best again next weekend!

A new chapter for Newark Book Festival

If like June you’re a bit of a bookworm, you’ll probably remember this weekend’s guest from previous interviews over the last few years…

The organiser of the Newark Book Festival since summer 2017, Sara Bullimore will be on the phone during the second hour of show to share news of various book-related events, taking a look back at some of the past highlights and, more importantly perhaps, looking ahead to what’s on the cards for the coming weeks and months.

First up she’ll have details of the final chapter in the festival’s 2020 series, some online events for children, young people and families that will be taking place on Saturday 27 February.

And she’ll have news too of a month-long window trail around the town, an opportunity to add a little extra fun to your daily exercise and essential shopping trips with the help of the festival’s mascot.

Preparations are already well under way for this, with lots of local shops, cafés and other businesses signed up to take part, and if all goes to plan, you and your family will be able to go out and start the search for Barry The Bookworm from Monday 1 March!

For all the latest updates, together with news of a special new schools programme and more, make sure you’re tuned in to Girls Around Town on 107.8FM or listening online from 11.20am this Sunday to join fellow booklovers Sara and June…