Edwinstowe Pop-Up Festival

On Saturday 3 September we are bringing Newark Book Festival to Edwinstowe with a full programme of events, trails and walks in locations across the village.

Tickets will be available to buy very soon.

The day’s programme of events includes:

10am – 4pm: Literature Village
Join us in the Village Hall car park to browse for books and gifts and meet authors.   FREE

10am-4pm: Edwinstowe Church                                                                                                  70 Years of Books                                                                                                                                       In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, our exhibition celebrates 70 years of books. We showcase some of our favourites from 1952 and explore the stories that captured our imaginations and hearts. FREE

All day: Where’s Barry Trail
Have a wander and see if you can spot where Barry is hiding! You can collect your trail leaflet and drop it off at Edwinstowe Library.

10.30am-12noon: Saturday Night, Sunday Morning Film by Alan Sillitoe  DH Lawrence Room, Edwinstowe House.

Why not join us for a film morning celebrating the work of Nottingham-born Alan Sillitoe in this 1960 British kitchen sink drama . FREE 

10.30 – 11.30am:  Lottie Loves Nature                                                                                      A Brand New Eco-Adventure Series for Young Readers by Jane Clarke and James Brown.   Event at Edwinstowe Library. Tickets £2 per child / adults free.

Action-packed and humorous stories to inspire young readers to help save local wildlife and look after planet Earth.

Meet illustrator James Brown who will introduce the book series, do a draw-along session, help demonstrate a wormery and how you can survey your local wildlife!

11 – 12noon | 1-2pm : When The Trees Talk
Helen Cresswell’s stories were full of magic, local landscapes and special places and, inspired by her work, Nicky Rafferty and Alistair Littlewood will be telling tales in Sherwood Forest.   ‘When the Trees Talk’, we will listen, shhhhh. Suitable for the whole family. Meet in the entrance to Sherwood Crafts Centre. The walk will finish at the craft centre for refreshments. Tickets: £2 per person. Limited capacity.

12 – 12.30pm | 1.30 – 2pm: Ugly Bugs Wingding – Ampitheatre, Sherwood Forest                                                                                                                                                    Hurrah Hurray oh fabulous day, the Ugly Bugs Wingding has flown into town! What a mesmerising jubilee for your eyes and ears! Come into a magical miniature world to meet an array of enticing insects and colourful creatures on their way to an un-bee-lievable party!
The Ugly Bugs Wingding is an entrancing puppetry show where you can follow the musical big Ugly Bugs in a fantastical tale for all the family, brought to you by Enter Edem. FREE

12.45-1.45pm : The Historic & Heritage Trees of Sherwood Forest with Ian Rotherham. DH Lawrence Room, Edwinstowe House.
Join us at Edwinstowe House for an illustrated talk paying homage to Sherwood Forest and its remarkable trees, tracing their history and answering questions about their fates. Ian is Emeritus Professor at Sheffield Hallam University and has a recent book on the historic trees of Sherwood. He has written extensively on Sherwood and the Dukeries and on many aspects of ancient trees, woods, and forests. Books will be available to buy at this event. Tickets: £2

1 – 3pm: A Wordy Walk with Leanne Moden
Take a walk around Sherwood Forest with a pen and a notebook, and see where your creativity takes you! This gentle walk – beginning at the visitors’ centre and taking the Major Oak Trail through the forest – is a chance for you to explore the forest in a new way, observe the beauty of nature, and use it as inspiration for writing and drawing! Suitable for all ages and abilities, this workshop will be a calming and restorative antidote to the daily grind, with plenty of prompts to get you thinking about how you relate to the forest. Whether you’re a budding storyteller, an aspiring poet, or an epic doodler, you’ll find inspiration in this workshop! (Please note that anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at this event.) Meet at Sherwood Forest Visitor CentreTickets £5. Book here


10 – 4pm: Our Travelling Tales & Music
Look out as you wander Edwinstowe High Street, from Edwinstowe House near the Co-op, past Fables to the RSPB Sherwood Forest, take in your route via The Library, Village Hall and Church as you never know what you may discover on the day…

Newark Book Festival at The Hopbarn

Join us at the HopBarn in Southwell on Saturday 1 October at 7pm for a fantastic talk and reading by author Jon McGregor.


Born in Bermuda and raised in the UK, Jon McGregor is an award-winning author and short story writer.

At this event, Jon will be talking about his latest novel, Lean, Stand, Fall. When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching – for the men involved and for their families back home. Robert “Doc” Wright, a veteran of Antarctic fieldwork, holds the clues to what happened, but he is no longer able to communicate them. While Anna, his wife, navigates the sharp contours of her new life as a carer, Robert is forced to learn a whole new way to be in the world.

Jon McGregor returns with a stunning novel that mesmerizingly and tenderly unpicks the notion of heroism and explores the indomitable human impulse to tell our stories – even when words fail us. A meditation on the line between sacrifice and selfishness this is a story of the undervalued, unrecognised courage it can take just to get through the day.

Jon McGregor has been nominated for the Booker Prize for three of his novels, including his 2002 debut If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, which also went on to win the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. So Many Ways to Begin followed in 2006. His third novel, Even the Dogs (2010), earned McGregor the International Dublin Literary Award in 2012, whilst his 2017 work Reservoir 13 scooped up the Costa Book Award.

Jon will be speaking at The Hopbarn, Hopyard Farm, Hockerwood Lane, Upton Road, Southwell, NG25 0PZ on Saturday 1 October.

Doors at 7pm for a 7:30pm start. There will be a one hour talk followed by time for questions from the audience and book signings. The event will end at 9.15pm.

Tickets are £5 (£3 Festival Friends) – BOOK TICKETS ONLINE

Newark Book Festival at Cat Asylum Brewery

Join us in the gorgeous barn at Cat Asylum Brewery on Saturday 17 September at 7pm for an evening of hilarious, witty, and magical poetry from incredible spoken word poet, Mark Gwynne Jones.


Well known for mind-altering poetry with an almost music hall edge, Mark Gwynne Jones mixes humour and poignancy with great skill.’ (Ian Daley, Route).

Winner of four festival fringe awards for Best Spoken Word, Mark has published five collections of poetry and appeared in numerous anthologies. Reviewing his collection PsychicBread, Vicki Holman declared it ‘contagious, gritty, and sometimes startlingly sensitive.

As resident poet for London’s parks, Mark explored what is meant by ‘common ground’ in 21st century Britain. In 2015, he toured Southern India and later the UK with Indian poet and playwright, Mamta Sagar.

Currently, Mark is commissioned to create a soundscape of his native Peak District, recording the voices, stories, weather, and wildlife of this landscape of contrasts.

Inspired… one of the most accomplished performance poets in the land…drawing the audience into a world where things are not quite what they seem.’ (The Guardian).

Mark will perform at the Cat Asylum Brewery, 12 Besthorpe Road, Collingham, Newark, NG23 7NP.

Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start. 45-minute performance; 20-minute interval; followed by 30-minute performance.

Tickets £5 (£3 Festival Friends) – BOOK TICKETS ONLINE

The National Holocaust Centre and Museum Pop Up Festival

Join us at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum for a series of events on Wednesday 17 August.

Workshop with Sarah Dale
10am – 12pm, Ronson Learning Centre

Join us at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum for a fabulous writing workshop exploring family, identity, and community with Sarah Dale. Sarah is a writer and occupational psychologist, who has self-published two non-fiction books, Keeping Your Spirits Up, and Bolder and Wiser. Her fiction has been published in Bandit Fiction, the Mechanics Institute Review #15Fiction Pool, the Letters Page, and Nottingham Writers’ Studio journal. This writing workshop will give you a chance to explore your creativity, express yourself in a safe and welcoming environment, and reflect on what family, identity, and community means to you. The workshop is suitable for all ages and abilities. Admission to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum applies. No further
charge for the talk. Book online.

Author talk with Lucy Adlington
1pm – 3pm, Memorial Hall

Join us at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum for a fascinating talk by author Lucy Adlington. Lucy Adlington is an author, presenter, and clothes historian. Her bestselling book ‘The Dressmakers of Auschwitz’ is the extraordinary true story of Jewish prisoners who sewed for the camp commandant’s wife in an elite fashion salon. Lucy will be talking about the book, her research, and the ways in which friendship and resilience triumph even in the darkest of places.
Admission to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum applies. No further
charge for the talk. Book online.

Southwell Festival Day

Join us for a Southwell story spree!

We are pleased to share our next pop-up Festival taking place in Southwell on Saturday 13 August.

Events taking place include:

Literature Village, Teenage Market & Music, 10am – 4pm, Palace Gardens at Southwell Minster.

Where’s Barry? 1 – 19 August
Collect a Where’s Barry entry form from Southwell Library  – have a wander and see if you can spot where Barry is hiding! Drop off entry forms at Southwell Library to be in with the chance of winning a lovely book prize.

Author talks and storytime programme, 10.30am – 5.30pm, Southwell Library. Events and booking links below:

10.30am: Storytime with Gareth Peter, £2 per child / adults go free – BOOK TICKETS

Join author Gareth Peter for a fun, family-friendly session, filled to the brim with stories! Gareth is the author of the picture books, My Daddies, Forever Star, and Who Will You Meet on Dinosaur Street?

Doors open at 10:15am, for a start at 10:30am.

1pm: An Interview with Rhiannon Ward & book signing, £5 (£3 Festival Friends) – BOOK TICKETS

Best-selling crime writer Rhiannon Ward joins us to talk about her writing and her latest book, her second gothic historical thriller, The Shadowing. She is also the author of four DC Childs novels set in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives. Her first historical thriller, The Quickening, was a 2020 Radio Times book of the year and The Shadowing was a Daily Express critic’s favourite of the year. Rhiannon has also written Doctor Who audio dramas and is a Board member of the Crime Writers Association, Derby Book Festival and Friends of Buxton International Festival.

4pm: One lump or two? with Mildred Freeman, Lady Historian, £6 (£4 Festival Friends) – BOOK TICKETS

The history of afternoon tea encompasses dangers and scandals unknown to the average tea slugger of the British Isles. An innocent afternoon spread of tea, sandwiches, cakes and sweet treats for many in history bought war, addiction, poison, slavery, dept, death, female liberations and fashionable rivalry. Join Mildred Freeman, The Lady Historian to discover the true story of our afternoon feast. The humble afternoon tea will never seem the same again!

Doors open at 3:30pm, for a start at 4pm.

Bilsthorpe Book Festival

Newark Book Festival presents Bilsthorpe Book Festival

Join us for a Bilsthorpe Book Bonanza on 23 & 24 July, featuring heritage walks, exhibitions, stories, crafts and fun for all the family!

The History of Marching Bands
Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum, 23rd & 24th July, 10am-4pm

Explore the history of the two Bilsthorpe Village Bands – the Applejacks and the Legionnaires – and their Coal Queen Parades and competitions throughout the 1960s-80s in this effort to keep Bilsthorpe Heritage alive and accessible.

Literary Stalls, Tea & Cake, Stories & Crafts
Bilsthorpe Museum Garden, 23rd & 24th July, 10am-4pm

Explore the work of local authors and experience the magic of stories brought to life with children’s author Gareth Baker and crafts. Accessible and enjoyable whatever the weather.

Bilsthorpe Mining Heritage Walk & Talk with Author Chris Matthews
Meet at Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum, 24th July, 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 3pm

Join author Chris Matthews for a fascinating Bilsthorpe mining heritage walk and talk based on his recent publication Model Villages of the Nottinghamshire Coalfield (commissioned by the Miner2Major Landscape Partnership Scheme, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund) documenting the evolution of mining colliery villages in North Nottinghamshire.

Walks will take an hour and a free copy of the book and fold-out map/guide will be provided. Booking Required

Book Swap
Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum, 23rd & 24th July, 10am-4pm

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Bring along a copy of an unwanted book to swap for that title you’ve been desperate to read — or if you can’t bear to be parted from any part of your literary collection, bring a small donation to exchange for a brand-new addition.

Writing Bilsthorpe Workshop
Bilsthorpe Library, 23rd July, 11am-1pm

Using simple exercises and inspiration, this lively writing workshop will help explore the atmosphere, history and heritage of Bilsthorpe and your memories within it. Led by Fiona Theokritoff, local poet and experienced creative writing tutor, all are welcome to explore, whatever form of writing you’re interested in creating. Booking Required.

Coal in the Blood with David Amos and Guests
Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum, 24th July, 2pm-3pm

Experience the poems of “Coal in the Blood: An East Midlands Coal Mining Anthology” to their fullest potential and understand some of the stories and history behind them. Copies of the Anthology can be purchased from Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum.

Fancy Dress Competition – 5-12 years
Bilsthorpe Museum Garden, 24th July, 12pm

Dress up as your favourite book character and come along to the Garden at 12pm on the 24th July to win a prize for the best costume!


Nick Quantrill tells us more about Mark Lewishon, Tuning Into The Beatles

Statues of The Beatles

Nick Quantrill tells us more about what to expect when he interviews Beatles world authority Mark Lewisohn on Saturday 9 July at Newark Palace Theatre. This is an event not to be missed!

No band has had so many words written about them as The Beatles, and no one has written them with such skill and insight as Mark Lewisohn. Us Beatles fans are more than blessed with countless works that detail their genius and what they continue to mean to the world, but Mark’s ‘All These Years: Tune In – Volume 1’, which takes us to the end of 1962, stands apart as both a musical biography and a social history. It’s the first part of his bestselling and groundbreaking trilogy.

If you need an example of Mark’s commitment to his work and to The Beatles, this isn’t the first time we’ve shared the stage. Back in 2016, we spoke during the Beverley Book Festival, exploring those formative years of the band, but off stage, we went further. Driving to Goole, thirty miles west of Beverley, we found the spot where George Harrison crashed the band’s van in February 1963 on their way home from a gig in Hull. It also happened as they hit number one in the charts for the first time with ‘Please Please Me.’ It’s a minor footnote within the bigger story, but indicative of the band’s daily life at that point in time, and Mark simply had to see it with his own eyes.

I’m delighted and looking forward to talking to Mark again, this time in Newark. The night promises to be something really special. Using a series of rarely-seen images covering the entire 1960s, Mark is going to take us on a journey through their decade, as it happened to them, sharing the level of detail we’ve come to expect. If you glance at Mark’s Twitter feed, you can’t help but notice the clamour for Volumes 2 and 3 of his trilogy from fans. Kicking us off in 1963, another hugely exciting year for the band, I’m eagerly awaiting them too.

But for now, we have the opportunity to enjoy a rare preview of what’s to come via this event. Be sure to join us if you can.

Tuning into the Beatles with Mark Lewisohn
Saturday 9 July, 7pm
Newark Palace Theatre
Tickets: £13.50 / £11.50 for Festival Friends
Buy Online or Call the Box Office on 01636 655755
Sponsored by Stokes Tea and Coffee