Guest written by Ellen Lavelle a freelance writer and copywriter working in partnership with Newark Book Festival.


Newark Book Festival

Make sure you read till the end to find out about an awesome Facebook competition, Visit Newark & Sherwood are running.

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.

Joanne Harris 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 Versues Alex Wood, 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.

The Boy who lived by Kim SlaterChildren 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 opportunties for children to have a go writing themselves in engaging workships 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, Fierve 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 avaliable, early booking is recommended.

Newark Book FestivalPoets will be able to network and spruce up their sonnets at 6.30pm in Carriages Cafe 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 avaliable, 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.

Now for competition time! Over on the Visit Newark & Sherwood Facebook page we are hosting a very special giveaway – we are giving away 4 tickets to the Robin Hood and The Monk event at St Mary Magdalene Church! Robin Hood & The Monk, presented by Ezekiel Bone, is a family promenade performance that takes place in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary Magdalene Church. To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize just follow the link to our Facebook page. Good luck!

See you in July!


Previous Blog Posts 2019

Who’s Ready for some Outdoor Theatre? Jun 9, 2019

A Weekend of the Very Best of Music – Newark Festival, Jun 3, 2019


Joyful June – A Weekend of Festivals, May 28, 2019

Summer Festivals 2019, May 20, 2019

Fun for Everyone in Newark & Sherwood this May Half Term, May 13, 2019

Shopping in Southwell this Spring, May 7, 2019


Early Bank Holiday Fun, Apr 29, 2019

The Adventures of Robin Woof, Apr 8, 2019


Time to Escape? Mar 18, 2019

The History and Culture of Newark & Sherwood, Mar 4, 2019


Half Term Fun in Newark & Sherwood, Feb 11, 2019


Combat Blue Monday in Newark & Sherwood, Jan 21, 2019

Shop Independently in the Picturesque town of Southwell, Jan 14, 2019