Well done Felicity, we hope you enjoy your detective book prize 🙂
What a wonderful weekend it was! There’s four of us on the social media team and we hardly saw each other over the weekend because there was so much fun to be had. Here’s a little bit from a couple of us to give you a taste of all that Felixstowe Book Festival 2017 had to offer…
“What is really lovely about having been involved with the Festival from its early days is the fact that the group of volunteers we have now accumulated feels like a big family – it’s great to see familiar faces during the Festival weekend each year, but I also thoroughly enjoy getting to know new helpers during a shared slot on the door or information desk. My personal highlights from this year have to be Louis de Bernières and A. L. Kennedy – two wonderful writers, very different in style and demeanour, but both at ease in front of their Festival audiences and both ready to share all sorts with us, reaching far beyond their latest literary output. This is what I enjoy the most about the weekend: those brilliant surprises and insights which you would never have considered or imagined otherwise.”
“As I am also the Young People’s Programme Coordinator I spent most of my weekend at Felixstowe Library making sure all of the children’s and teen events ran smoothly. What a time we had! This is definitely the most fun, vibrant part of the festival (not that I’m biased…) All of our authors were an absolute delight, but real highlights have to be a packed-out Teddy Bear’s picnic with Jane Hissey the author of my childhood favourite Old Bear, laughing along with adults and children at A F Harrold’s event and our Famous Five celebration on Sunday which saw us all meeting the characters and becoming detectives to solve the Felixstowe mystery!”
Post-festival blues? We recommend starting on that pile of deliciously scented new books you inevitably purchased from our book stall 😉 We’ll let you know our dates for 2018 as soon as they’re set in stone so watch this space. But for now the festival team are off to put our feet up… probably with a good book.
bookish best wishes,
The festival team
The rather ‘old timey’ and evocative experience of an author performing reading two balladic poems, accompanied by an eclectic selection of string and wind instruments, including flutes, double bass, hammered dulcimer, border pipes and bass recorder.
Very tough but here goes Charles Dickens, Peter Ackroyd, Joan Wyndham, Keith Richards, Edith Nesbit
Go to that Underwoods Ironmongers, go to Felixstowe Ferry and buy some fresh fish, take the Bawdsey Ferry, walk around the sidestreets in the centre looking at the late Victorian Edwardian houses and have a mildly naughty weekend in that lovely hotel we played at last time.
I didn’t learn to read till I was nearly seven, then I went straight from Janet and John Book 6 to Black Beauty and Oliver Twist. I struggled a bit though.
Housman’s A Shropshire Lad, Betjeman’s Collected Works, Hugh Walpole’s Rogue Herries, James Woodforde’s Diary of A Country Parson and Peter Akroyd’s London the Biography.
Only a week to go! Have you got your tickets yet? Now is definitely the time to do so as they are selling like hotcakes this year. Stella Rimington is just a few tickets away from selling out and all tickets for our Teddy Bear’s Picnic with Jane Hissey have now gone.
Sadly we have had to cancel Stephen May’s event due to circumstances beyond our control. Anyone with tickets for this will be contacted and offered a refund or exchange.
The Book Trail has commenced! Get your trails for this fun family activity for only 50p from Felixstowe Library. It will be running until Sunday 2nd. Make sure your completed trail is handed into the library by 4pm on the 2nd July to be entered into a prize draw.
Stuck for ticket inspiration? Want to try something a little different? These are our top picks:
An Afternoon of Romance featuring Julia Jones chatting about Jane Austen as chick-lit, Kate Hardy revealing all about the world of Mills and Boon and Jan Jones talking regency novels and the Romantic Novelists Association. Of course there will be complimentary tea and scones!
Robert Colvile chatting about his book The Great Acceleration: How the World is Getting Faster, Faster. Robert explains how the cult of disruption in Silicon Valley, the ceaseless advance of technology and our own fundamental appetite for novelty and convenience have combined to speed up our daily lives.
Brenna Hassett talking about her fascinating book Built on Bones. Brenna examines skeletons to find out how people have lived and died. Her book is an upbeat, wisecracking attempt to trace the development of cities through thousands of years of human disease, violence and misery, all the while asking: “If cities are so great, why are they full of things that kill us?”
Jemma Wayne is a marvellous up and coming novelist. Her second novel Chains of Sand is set between London and Israel amidst the turmoil of war. It is driven by the powerful love stories of young Israeli Jews, Arabs, and Brits alike, each battling to forge their own identities against the hopes, fears and prejudices of their families, and the societies they find themselves trapped within.
Don’t miss out on these brilliant opportunities!
Passion, insight and argument about the biggest issues facing the country right this very minute. The Knives is a novel about the dramas and moral dilemmas of politics, and these affect all our lives, whether we wish it or not.
What would be on the menu?! It would need gender balance, so counting me I’d like Lucia Berlin, Anne Sexton, Edna O’Brien, Norman Mailer and Seamus Heaney. If the weather was good I’d cook something out of Ottolenghi.
I love Suffolk though this will be my first time in Felixstowe. I fancy a look at the Seafront Gardens and the Martello Towers. I’ll be wanting fish and chips, and a pint of Adnam’s. And even without the excuse of my children I might build a sandcastle.
Very little that I can remember – though I liked being read to, certainly. But I didn’t really read avidly for myself until I was 9 or 10.
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky, The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, Victory by Joseph Conrad, Auden’s Collected Poems and The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis.
Thanks Richard! Have you got your ticket for this fab event yet? Get on it now!
Hello Booklovers young and…erm… not so young!
This week we have had the spotlight on our young people’s programme and haven’t we got some treats in store for you all this year. I say all because lots of these events have such broad appeal – after all, age is just a number!
The Book Trail is back and this year we’re extending it so that you can get into the festival spirit from 24th June onwards. Simply collect a trail for 50p from Felixstowe Library (or the Orwell Hotel during the festival) and hunt for the clues hidden in town centre shop windows to discover the children’s book titles.
Then on Saturday 1st July we’re getting arty and crafty from 9am with the Top That Publishing team and their character Arty Mouse. This is a free drop-in session for ages approx 3-6. At 10:30 we have fantastic fantasy author Alwyn Hamilton joining us. Alwyn’s Rebel of the Sands series is seriously addictive. I could not put it down and the books have been hits with teens and adults alike. Come and hear her speak about creating a whole world from scratch.
Felixstowe Library is definitely the place to be on Saturday lunchtime of the festival. We have Jane Hissey author of the beloved Old Bear series of picture books joining us for a teddy bear’s picnic! Bring your teddy and a picnic blanket – we’ll provide the food and fun.
Saturday afternoon brings two awesome and highly acclaimed junior fiction authors Piers Torday and A.F Harrold. Local school book groups have been reading both of their books and will help interview them. Piers will be particularly talking about his newest book There May be a Castle, but will also speak a bit about his popular The Last Wild series. A.F. Harrold will be treating us to poetry and laughter as well as talking about his latest book The Song from Somewhere Else.
On the Sunday of the festival we kick off with an event which is more aimed at adults. Simon Couchman and Dan Graham from Top That Publishing join us to talk about writing and publishing picture books. Come along and be inspired! Meanwhile Gary Northfield will be introducing Julius Zebra and having tons of cartoon fun – this is definitely not to be missed if you enjoyed our Comic Book Masterclasses last year.
We close our young people’s programme with another one of our homegrown events. Once again we’ve teamed up with Rapscallion Theatre Company to produce lots of interactive fun. Five have Fun in Felixstowe celebrates 75 years since the publication of the first Famous Five book and also 5 years of your favourite Book Festival. Come along to meet George, Dick, Julian, Ann and Timmy and help them solve the mysterious Felixstowe mystery.
All of our young people’s events are in Felixstowe Library – this is truly where the most fun is had during the festival weekend 😉
Young People’s Programme Coordinator
Top That Publishing are joining us for two fabulous events this festival. Come along to their free, drop-in arts and crafts session on Saturday morning and then learn about writing and publishing picture books on Sunday morning. Dan Graham from Top That kindly answered our five, five-themed questions…
An honest and interesting introduction to the world of children’s publishing and writing picture books, and probably a bit of nervous laughter!
Too many to choose from but John Dos Pasos, Aldous Huxley, Alice Walker, Brett Easton Ellis and JK Rowling would all be very welcome at my dinner table.
Surf, swim, picnic, walk & relax.
I think I was a late bloomer and was probably still on word cards! However, I distinctly remember Pots and Pans by Patricia Hubbell and the Meg and Mog series of picture books that are still around today.
Under the Volcano – Malcom Lowry
USA – John Dos Pasos
Midnight’s Children – Salmon Rushdie
Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman
The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
And my top five children’s books for good measure …
Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
Little Rabbit Foo Foo – Michael Rosen
Paper Dolls – Julia Donaldson
We’re Going on a bear hunt – Michael Rosen
Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss
Thanks Dan! Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the Writing Picture Books event!
Did you know the Festival is five years old this year? We can’t believe how quickly it’s gone either! To celebrate we’ve been asking our authors five, five-themed questions. As we’re focussing on our young people’s events this week, it’s a perfect opportunity to share answers from junior fiction authors Piers Torday and A.F. Harrold…
Piers: In a post truth, fake news age, understanding the true power of stories is more important than ever, and I will be discussing with children just how central stories are to their lives, for good and bad, which is why I made stories themselves the subject of my latest book, There May Be A Castle.
Piers: E Nesbitt, one of the great original children’s authors as well as a socialist and feminist, Roald Dahl, who made children’s books part of mainstream popular culture with his wicked humour and outlandish imagination, J K Rowling, who elevated children’s books to cultural and social phenomenon, Philip Pullman, who advanced what is possible intellectually within children’s literature, and Eva Ibbotson, who I simply wish more than anything was still alive today.
Piers: Do they still do donkey rides? *editor’s note: sorry no… :(*
Piers: Beatrix Potter, Babar and the Moomin picture books!
Piers: Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust – got to read it one day, Chronicle of the 20th Century – addictive and always something to think about every day, The Complete Tintin, if such a thing exists – never get tired of those adventures, The Count of Monte Cristo – the best story in the world and A survival manual.
We know many of you will be on tenterhooks waiting to find out the results of our adult and children’s short story competitions, so here’s a little update…
“The sun was shining, and so was the talent. We were thrilled by the standard of the entries, which covered such a wide scope op topics. We had humour and history, pigs and dogs, and visited Suffolk from Southwold to Mistley.”
Having agreed on a shortlist of 10 entries, these have now been sent to Jayne Lindill editor of Suffolk Magazine, and Rosy Thornton, novelist and short story writer, who will chose the three winners. The shortlist and the winners will be announced at the book festival, at the short story event, on Sunday July 2nd.
The young people’s competition also saw a very high standard (and amount!) of entries. Felixstowe Library staff anonymously read through all of the entries to create longlists of ten entries for each of the four categories. Then our judges, Literacy Ambassador for Suffolk Libraries Matt Shenton, junior fiction author Ruth Fitzgerald and retired teacher David Leney, decided upon the three winners for each category. We will be contacting these talented young writers over the next few weeks and inviting them to an award ceremony in His Lordship’s Library, The Orwell Hotel, 5-6pm on Friday 30th June. At this event we will announce who won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize for each category.
There certainly is a lot of local creative talent!
Hannah and the Festival Team
It’s the day you’ve all been eagerly waiting for…
Simply head over to the Programme Page and scroll through the pages of events or filter them by category. The Wolsey Theatre is once again our ticket provider and so clicking on the ‘Book Here’ link at the top of an event will take you to their website to buy the tickets. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to give them a ring (they’re wonderfully helpful!) on 01473 295900.
Don’t want to buy your tickets online? Not a problem! You can ring the Wolsey on the number above and they can do it over the phone and post you the tickets. Or visit Felixstowe Library any Tuesday between 10am – 1pm from 25th April where we will have a volunteer-manned desk for cash only ticket sales.*
Not sure which of our delights to choose just yet? Never fear, your social media team will be blogging all about the events over the next few months. Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter to get these straight to your inbox.
The Festival Team
*Please note you will not be able to purchase tickets from Felixstowe Library outside of these times.