Three days, twelve venues, over fifty events: Newark Book Festival 2019 is the biggest yet, featuring appearances from bestselling writers including Joanne Harris, Mark Billingham and Alison Weir. From 12th – 14th July, the town will be chock-full of culture, inviting authors, artists and actors from all around the world to perform, read and talk about their work. No matter how you like your literature served – in a calm, considered Q&A session with a bestselling author, read from a beanbag in a church, performed by actors in tights – Newark Book Festival is bound to have an event to your taste.

Literary enthusiasts will be interested in our events with bestselling and prize-winning novelists, including Joanna Cannon (The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie), Jo Baker (Longbourn, The Body Lies), Women’s Prize for Fiction nominee Diana Evans (Ordinary People), Alison Moore (The Lighthouse, Missing) and Gavin Extence (The Universe Versus Alex Woods, The End of Time). We’ll wrap up events on Friday with Chocolat author Joanne Harris and finish Saturday with bestselling crime writer Mark Billingham. Don’t miss the UK’s most popular female historian, Alison Weir, talking about her latest book Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets at 3.15pm on Saturday 13th July in Newark Town Hall.

If a whole evening with Mark Billingham isn’t enough crime fiction for you, you’ll need to hit our ‘Crime Around the World’ panel earlier that day, chaired by Festival alumnus Nick Quantrill. Nick will be talking to fellow bestselling crime writers Sarah Ward (A Patient Fury, The Shrouded Path), Abir Mukherjee (A Rising Man, A Necessary Evil) and Tim Baker (Fever City, City Without Stars) about their books. With novels set in India, Mexico, Texas, Japan, Russia, France, West Germany, and the Peak District, the writers will give us a globe-trotting tour of crime through fiction.

Children will be delighted by visits from Maisy Mouse and have a go at Paddington Bear crafts, in venues across the town. There will also be plenty of opportunities for children to have a go writing themselves in engaging workshops from children’s authors, Chris White and Troy Jenkinson. After using all that brainpower, youngsters can let off steam in Hula Hoop Street Shows, dance workshops and performances taking place throughout the weekend. Slightly older children will be interested in the Young Adult Fiction panel on Friday 12th July at 1.30pm in The Palace Theatre. Kim Slater (The Boy Who Lived), Sara Bernard (Beautiful Broken Things, Fierce Fragile Hearts) and Paula Rawsthorne (The New Boy) will join Library Manager Kate Hancock to discuss their work and pass on their secrets to success to young writers in the audience.

Adults will also have the chance to discover the inner-workings of the publishing industry. Addy Farmer is an editor at Manuscript Feedback and will be running one-to-one sessions in Newark Library from 10:15am on Saturday 13th July. She has offered to give independent feedback on any children’s picture book story or middle grade novel presented by festival-goers but, with only five slots available, early booking is recommended.

Poets will be able to network and spruce up their sonnets at 6.30pm in Carriages Café on Friday 12th July at ‘Wine and Words’, with readings from local poets Fiona Theokritoff and Jane Wyles. Euan Cameron will be talking to Nottinghamshire Reading Groups about the process of translating works of fiction and there will be copies of The Office of Gardens and Ponds available, which Euan has recently translated from French.

You like books? We’ve got them. You like dancers? We’ve got them. You like thrilling talks in atmospheric locations? We’ve got them and all. If you’re not in Newark from 12th – 14th July, you should be.

For more information and to view the whole programme of exciting events, head to the Newark Book Festival website: There, you will be able to read a detailed description of each event and buy tickets online.


See you in July!

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