Newark Book Festival

11 - 14 July 2024
The Power of Play

In 2023, the Newark Book Festival returned with a theme celebrating Our World.

Our programme was filled to bursting with curiosity, creativity, and community. We hosted four days of author talks, panel events, writing workshops, creative crafts, theatre performances, music, poetry, and dance! The Literature Village in our beautiful market place featured over 60 stallholders selling books, gifts and lovely wordy treasures!

Our diverse programme included the wonderful Bookshop Band, talks from nationally-renowned writers including Jarvis and Mike Gayle, plus a partnership with Made in the Midlands, who recorded a live episode of their podcast series with Nottingham-born poet Henry Normal. We loved StarLincs Planetarium, who joined us in the Palace Theatre on Sunday 9th July, and it was wonderful to give the WEMterms, a group of young writers from Writing East Midlands, a stage for our first ever poetry and spoken word open mic at the library too!

We also welcomed 46 Young Ambassadors to our festival for the first time. Young people aged 7 to 21 helped by telling their friends about the festival, attending the events in their Young Ambassador T-shirts, and volunteering to support the festival behind the scenes. It was so lovely to see so many new young people enjoying the festival, and we hope to expand the Young Ambassadors’ programme for 2024!

Prior to our main festival, we organised fourteen fabulous schools visits in the Newark and Sherwood area. Children and Young People aged 5 to 18 enjoyed a variety of author visits, creative sessions, and workshops with the Young Journalists Academy. We also invited local schools to join us for our Schools’ Day on 6th July with talks by established children’s authors Aisha Bushby and Alasdair Beckett-King, and YA author Sara Barnard.

 “The organisation of the visit was as friendly as it was thorough, and I particularly enjoyed interacting with the pupils.. The programme is wonderfully varied, with truly something for everyone.’

 Our Sunday Funday at Newark Castle attracted over 1,000 children and their families for crafts, storytelling, pop-up theatre, relaxing yoga, and the Arts Awards with Barry the Bookworm! Congratulations to everyone who joined us and got their Arts Awards certificate!

We had over 150 writers, artists and creatives who were warmly welcomed to the 2023 festival and made the event a fantastic success!

“Thank you for a really lovely weekend. Thank you so much for all the hard work you and the team have put in behind the scenes.”

A huge thank you to all our festival audiences, staff, volunteers, sponsors, funders, Festival Friends, and partner venues. We hope you enjoyed the festival, and we look forward to your continued support for 2024!

Made in the Midlands Podcast — recorded live at the Newark Book Festival

Listen to the Made in the Midlands Podcast episode, recorded live at the Newark Book Festival, featuring renowned poet Henry Normal.