Newark Book Festival 2020 planning has already begun after a 66% rise in audience figures this year
Planning has started on the 2020 Newark Book Festival after this year’s successful event, which saw audience figures rise by 66%.
The festival, held in July in venues around Newark such as the market place and castle, welcomed more than 5,000 visitors.
That number included 1,200 children as part of the festival’s first free primary school programme sponsored by Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Festival organisers will continue working with schools to expand what is described as a wonderful event that saw eight children’s authors’ engage with nine local schools to increase reading for pleasure and reading and literacy skills.
The festival boasted sell-out events with Mark Billingham, an illustrated talk with Alison Weir, Writing for Mindfulness with Katie Sone at Gannet’s Bistro and many more.
The Literature Village welcomed 45 stallholders from children’s authors, to writing groups, booksellers, museums and artists and saw an increase in visitors and business connections taking place.
Highlights of the festival included Joanna Cannon, Joanne Harris, Chris White, the Dorothy Whipple talk by Rowena Edlin-White and the hula-hooping of Angie Mack.
It opened Our Greatest Show in Newark Market Place, with Newark-based singer Zuzka, as the Greatest Showgirl, and dancing by AJs Dance with guest appearances from Newark College and the Robin Hood Theatre.
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our supporters, funders, sponsors, artists and audiences for helping us to enjoy and bring such a lovely festival to Newark,” said the festival’s Sara Bullimore.
“It is a great honour to be able to work with everyone in our community and to provide a warm welcome for all of our guests and residents — on to 2020 and future ideas.
“We are already engaging with publishers, authors and venues in preparation for the next book festival, which will be held from July 10-12, 2020.
“As well as Arts Council funding, the festival relies on sponsorship and festival friends’ memberships to continue to expand and grow this exciting and popular local event.
“Our volunteers are an integral part of the festival, with our 2019 team including 40 fabulous people plus our core team, their family and friends volunteering extra hours.”