We'll be holding our AGM on Wednesday 25 March at 1.30pm in the Wilton Room at Prestwich Library. We're actively looking for people who are passionate about books, reading and writing to help develop and run the festival and to raise funds to support our activities. So if you've got some time on your hands, come along and learn how you can get involved.
Our Bookwormz/Hazel Townson book review contest culminated in a fantastic awards ceremony this week. More than 30 winners, parents,carers and teachers came along to Bury Art Museum to hear the judges sing the praises of our young contestants. Our guest of honour was author EM Powell who presented the prizes and certificates.
The full list of winners is available here.
Judging for our Bookwormz Book Review contest for 10-13 year olds is now underway. Our judges have been locked into a secret location with only a plate of biscuits for sustenance - and will not be let out until they have agreed the winners for each category.
In the meantime, we can exclusively reveal the books that our 10-13 year-olds most enjoy reading, from this year's entries. In no particular order, Bury young people's favourite books are:
After last year's success, our book review contest for 10-13 year olds is back. You can win £30 in book tokens for a review of your favourite book. The competition is open to all in school years 6,7 and 8 across Bury. Deadline: 1 November. Visit this page for full entry details.
Well, the Prestwich Book Festival is over for another year, and though it was small it was perfectly formed.
Check out lovely pictures from the marquee - a day of childrens' events on May 18 at Prestwich Clough Day, via Emma Farrer's Flickr photostream.
Meanwhile there's a great write up of our readers' day on June 1 by blogger Molly of A Place In Prestwich. There were many highlights to the day, but I only just noticed, from the picture in this blog, how fabulous Emma Jane Unsworth's shoes were.
Finally, the lovely Park View Primary School ran a short story writing competition among its 600 or so pupils: and local author Sherry Ashworth went along to award prizes to the very best of them.
This year's authors: Sherry Ashworth, EM Powell, Dominic Berry,Tony Walsh, Emma Jane Unsworth, Vanessa Lees, Honor Giles andPaul Neads.
2014 has been a roller coaster year for the Prestwich Book Festival, and for me personally. At the end of January we had our first AGM and were formally constituted as a community group. One of the big advantages of doing this is that we're now eligible to bid for various funding streams that were closed to the festival in the past.
I left the meeting buoyed up with the enthusiasm and support of everyone who'd turned out, and bursting with plans. I was awash with half complete funding bids and grand ideas for building on the success of last year's festival.
Unfortunately life had other plans. The next day my dad was taken seriously ill, and died soon after in hospital. In the following weeks, family became my first priority, and lots of Prestwich Book Festival business didn't happen. Funding bids weren't completed or submitted.
However the lovely people on the newly formed committee rallied round. When I was ready to start thinking about the Book Festival again, Sherry Ashworth and Sarah Howells presented me with their fabulous plans for a day of author events at Prestwich Library on June 2 (it's called Booked Up). David Stanley quietly offered support for our ideas to run a mini children's book festival at Prestwich Clough Day on May 18. Sheila Mottershead sold some of her own books and raised more than £100!
Apart from that though, our coffers were empty so we decided to try an online 'crowdfunding' campaign to raise cash. It was a bit of a gamble as crowdfunding - or online fundraising - is a relatively new thing, and none of us had any experience. But Emma Farrer made a video for the campaign (you have to have a video for crowdfunding!) and we were ready to go.
I launched the campaign - to raise £1000 for a mini children's book festival on May 18 - on the evening of Saturday 5 April. In 24 hours, people had donated more than £250. As I write on Tuesday 8 April, we've just reached £500, and the amount is steadily climbing. I've been really overwhelmed by people's generosity.
Today the kind people at the Oak St Cafe Bar have made supporters of the Prestwich Book Festival a lovely offer: if you donate £30 to the crowdfunding campaign, they will give you a free meal for two up to the value of £30. it's available to the first 5 people to claim this perk. To claim this perk, visit the crowdfunding site and donate £30: http://igg.me/at/pbf14/x/6766474
The first ever AGM of the Prestwich Book Festival will take place on Thursday, 30th January at 8pm at the Church Inn, Prestwich. We're holding the meeting to approve the Book Festival's new constitution, and elect a committee. Once we're officially a constituted community group, the Book Festival will be able to bid for council funding to help support our work.
The AGM will also be a good opportunity for anyone who wants to get involved in the festival to learn more about it. We'll be outlining plans for this year's activities, as well as our fundraising strategy. All ideas and anyone who is able to help, welcome. Hope to see you there.
AGM, Thursday 30th January, 8pm, The Church Inn, Prestwich M25 1AJ
I'm very pleased to announce Bookwormz - the Hazel Townson memorial book review contest. Open to all 10-13 year olds in Bury (in school years 6, 7 and 8) and the surrounding area, this competition offers some great prizes: £30 book tokens for first prize winners, £15 book tokens for runners up, and the chance of publication on Raring2Go! Bury magazine's website!
All details of how to enter are here, plus a great tipsheet on book review writing.
We're running this competition in conjunction with the good people at Bury Libraries and Raring2Go! magazine. Good luck to all entrants!
Well it's been an enormous pleasure to run this year's Prestwich Book Festival. I'm just putting the final touches on a report to the Arts Council, whose Grants for the Arts programme generously funded the festival, and made it possible to bring some fantastic writers and poets to Prestwich.
I've been going through the feedback that you've given: there has been an enormously positive response to the festival as a whole - people have been telling me that the Prestwich Book Festival has made our area feel like a community, where individuals really can make a difference. And that's fantastic. Others have reported how much they liked being able to interact with the writers - as well as encountering books they would never otherwise have read. A substantial number of you also experienced performance poetry for the first time, and are now poetry converts! Yay!
I've had loads of suggestions too: first, to have more childrens' events - because the Paul Cookson morning at Prestwich Library was so good. Well, we'll shortly be launching a children's book review writing contest in conjunction with Bury libraries and local schools for kids in years 6,7 and 8. It's going to run in the autumn months - more details soon.
The other suggestion that has come up a lot is to make more noise about the festival - we did what we could to market the Prestwich Book Festival this year, but there are always more ways to make people aware it's going on. I'll be thinking about how to do that too over the coming months. I also want to keep the festival going in the other eleven months of the year - so watch out for events in the mid winter months. Again, more details soon.
Finally, I'm looking for a clone! Yes, I'm looking for someone who'd like to help support and organise the festival. It's an unpaid role, suitable for someone who'd perhaps like to get some experience in arts administration. If you're interested, email me via the contact form on this site for a chat.