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Newark Book Festival: Events on offer

Newark Book Festival is arriving this weekend celebrating and showcasing a world of books through an exciting and engaging programme that will get everyone involved.

The annual event that brings tourists to Newark will take place in beautiful venues across the town and offers the very best in literature and the arts.

Internationally acclaimed authors, illustrators and poets will flock to the historic town from July 12-14 as part of the festival's biggest year yet, with more than 55 events taking place across 12 venues including Newark Town Hall, the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Newark Castle and even the waters of the River Trent.

Newark Book Festival arrives this weekend. (13576377)
Newark Book Festival arrives this weekend. (13576377)

Sara Bullimore, organiser at Newark Book Festival said with just a few days to go until the festival that she is extremely excited to welcome people from near and far as they embark on three days of discovery.

She said: "There’s so much for people of all ages to explore, from stalls in the Literary Village filled with books and crafts and amazing street theatre performances to inspiring talks and workshops from some of the world’s finest authors.

“I can’t wait to be amongst all the fun. Seeing people getting inspired and involved is always a great feeling, and this year is set to be the best year yet! It’s going to be incredible.”

Here is a breakdown of some events on the weekend:


Our Greatest Show - 12pm

Make sure you are in the Market Place at 12pm as the festival is kicked-off with a spectacular launch of Our Greatest Show, with songs from performer Zuzka as The Greatest Showgirl and choreography by AJ's School of Dance - it will no doubt be an event to remember.

Cost: Free

YA Fiction for schools - 1.30pm-3.30pm

Schools are invited to a special event at the Palace Theatre with multi-award-winning author Kim Slater who will be taking about her new book, along with best-selling writer Sara Barnard as part of a free event aimed at getting Newark and Sherwood schools into the art of storytelling.

Cost: £2 per pupil and teacher for other school bookings

The Letters Page: The Lost Art of Letter Writing - 2pm-4pm

Held at the Carriages Café by Newark Castle train station, there will be a chance to fall in love with letters again in an interactive writing workshop, which in the world of social media and texting, is almost a lost art. The Letters Page, a letters-based journal edited by the University of Nottingham's Jon McGregor, takes submissions entirely through the post - so make sure you're there.

Cost: £10

Wine and Words - 6.30pm

Local poets Fiona Theokritoff and Jane Wyles are welcoming people to enjoy poems from their lively repertoire at the Carriages Café on Friday where a £10 ticket will get you involved in popular poetry bingo, bucks fizz, nibbles and the chance to create an audience poem in the evening. This one is definitely for the adult literary-lovers.

Cost: £10

An Interview with Joanne Harris - 7.30pm

Award-winning author Joanne Harris MBE will be talking about her compelling new novel, The Strawberry Thief, at the Palace Theatre on Appletongate from 7.30pm. The novel published 20 years after the original global seller - also adapted into the 2000 film starring Juliette Binoche and Jonny Depp - will be explored in detail with interviewer Rosalyn Palmer.

Cost: £10

Newark Book Festival arrives this weekend. (13576379)
Newark Book Festival arrives this weekend. (13576379)


Angie Mack Hula Street Show - 11am/12.30pm/2.30pm

Located in the Market Place the always colourfully-costumed and energetic Angie will be handing out a large stack of hoops to get kids and adults involved in some fun exercise and funky tunes. She is expected to wow everyone with her hula-hooping performances that will take place at three times throughout the day.

Cost: Free

Meet Maisy Mouse - 9.30am/12.30pm/3.30pm

Taking place at the Newark Library throughout Saturday children will have a chance meet and say hello to Maisy Mouse as she comes to Newark for her summer holidays this year. Make sure your little ones are there to give her a big welcome!

Cost: Free

Fairy Tales for Under 5s - 9.45am-10.45am

Younger children are also invited to get involved at the weekend event with a fairy tale story event for under five's that will fly them off to a different land. Stories filled with amazing creatures, unusual heroes and magical events will be explored at St Mary Magdalene Church where kids will also be encouraged to do some crafts with Reverend David Pickersgill.

Cost: Free

Hull Noir Presents Crime Around the World - 10am-11.15am

Back by popular demand, Nick Quantrill will be chairing a new panel of best-selling crime writers Sarah Ward, Abir Mukherjee and Tim Baker, who between them have books set all around the world in India, Mexico, Texas, Japan and Russia. Together they will be taking us on a truly international crime spree.

Cost: £5

Music for Market concert: Peter and the Wolf - 11.30am-12.15pm

At the St Mary Magdalene Church there will be a symphonic fairy tale on offer for children narrated by Tony Roberts MBE, accompanied at the organ by Mike Dutton.

Cost: Free

Robin Hood and the Monk - 3pm-4pm

Ezekial Bone presents Robin Hood and the Monk in an early medieval ballad crafted for young minds with storytelling, verse and sword-play. A promenade performance will take place at the beautiful setting of the St Mary Magdalene Church.

Cost: £6

An Interview with Mark Billingham - 7pm

On Saturday the award-winning author Mark Billingham will be welcomed to the Newark Library to talk about his brand-new Thorne and Tanner thriller, Their Little Secret which will be explored and questions asked by interviewer Nick Quantrill.

Cost: £7


Literature Village - 10am-3.30pm

Join everyone for fun a day at Newark's Market Place where the book festival will have stalls and family fun where you will find a treasure trove of all things literary, including crafts, authors, books, poetry and street theatre. The Newark Royal Market will also be providing food and drink, children's seaside activities and Artisan Craft stalls.

Cost: Free

"Roll Up, Roll Up!" Tales from the Circus - 10.30am/12pm/1.15pm

Can-Do theatre returns for this year's book fest with a brand-new storytelling show. "Roll Up Roll Up" tells tales of the times when the travelling circus came to Newark and audiences will hear how the famous Barnum bought his three-ring circus to Newark from America. Don't miss it!

Cost: Free

Travelling to Find Home: Mahsuda Snaith & Gavin Extence - 11.45am-1pm

The novel How to Find Home is an inspiring, vibrant and invigorating story of a homeless woman who goes on a Wizard of Oz style adventure from Nottingham to Skegness. Mahsuda will be discussing his new novel journey and the importance of finding a place to call home.

Cost: £5

In the Top One: The Life of Brian Clough - 1.30-2.30pm

Held at Tudor Hall, National Civil War Centre, great memories of Brian Clough will be at the top of the fixture list as author and journalist Marcus Alton takes a journey through Cloughie's life, with colourful stories and classic quotes about the most charismatic figure football has ever known.

Cost: £4

Tickets are selling fast, with only a few tickets remaining for a number of events, but some are still available to buy from Newark Palace Theatre ahead of next weekend.

For the full festival line up, visit newarkbookfestival.org.uk or visit the Newark Book Festival pop-up stall in the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Newark.

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