Newark book festival 2021

Recently I had the pleasure of being part of the Newark Book Festival Literature village event, where I had a stall on Saturday, July 10th, and Sunday, July 11th. It is no exaggeration to express, how much I enjoyed being a part of this amazing event. I wish to convey my sincere thanks to Clair Robshaw and Sara Bullimore for their professional organization of the event.

Located in Newark Market Place, Newark, Nottinghamshire the event was set against the historical backdrop of the castle and surrounding historical buildings of this historical town on the River Trent.

The theme ‘Great British Village Fete’ was embraced by many stallholders, myself included. Flags and bunting fluttered in the light breeze and live music on both days set my feet tapping and my vocal cords tuning in to some well-known popular music.

Meeting the public and chatting to families about a subject close to my heart, lifted my spirit after months of not being able to attend live literary events due to Covid restrictions.

The highlight for me on both days was meeting fellow authors and networking with them to learn new ideas about the promotion and marketing of books in a world where celebrity authors dominate, and big-budget publishers take a large share of the market.

It was good to see a number of children’s authors and authors of teenage fiction. Wilf Morgan the author of The Arilon Chronicles was promoting his books about Arthur Ness and the secret of Waterwhistle. Suitable for age eight plus, these are delightful books to inspire the imagination of the pre–teens.

Izzy Wheeldon was promoting her illustrated book called Clarence the Cockerel for 3–5-year-olds which she felt inspired to write during a family trip to Crete while surrounded by some noisy cockerels.

Sounds like a familiar story, Izzy. I too was inspired to write my series of illustrated children’s books called Coop Chaos, after observing my own brood of hens that lived on my brother’s allotment plot.

There the similarity ends, as, unlike Izzy, I am not an illustrator. My good friend Derek Maguire came to my rescue and made an amazing job of illustrating the first in the series called Morning Mystery.

The most inspiring children’s author I met at the Newark Book Festival was Lesley Berrington, the author of the children’s series Hattie and friends. These books are being used to promote positive images of disability encouraging a consistent message of respect and acceptance for the differences we have. How amazing is that?

A day at the seaside features Hattie and her friend Lucy who is blind.

A day at the park features Hattie and her friend Toby who has a cochlear implant.

A day on the farm features Hattie and Nisha who wears leg braces.

A day on the farm features Hattie and George who uses a wheelchair.

Well done Lesley and well done to the illustrator Karen Middleton.


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