Please vote for our Aviva funding bid

27th October 2017

Have you (literally!) two minutes to spare?  Derby Book Festival needs your help!

Although it is still a long time until the 2018 Derby Book Festival, the team are working hard to secure funding for the various projects that we run as part of the Festival. At the moment we are bidding for funds to help support one of our engagement programmes, Shared Writing, which we run with disadvantaged children and young people in Derby schools and with learners at Derby College, who have English as a second language.

One of the funds that might help us is the Aviva Community Fund, but for our project to be considered by the judges, we need your help – and your vote. Only projects that receive the highest number of votes go forward to the Aviva panel of judges.

All you have to do is register to vote on the Aviva Community Fund site and cast your vote for our project anytime between now and 21 November. There are just a few simple steps, which will only take a couple of minutes:

  1. Go to the Aviva Community Fund page at
  2. Click the ‘Login/Register Now’ button at the top right of the page (or connect with Facebook at the bottom of the page)
  3. Follow the simple 3 step process – fill in your name and email. You will then receive an email to confirm your email address.  You can then complete the final form.

You have ten votes and can use all of them to vote for the Shared Writing project.  Please do encourage your friends to vote for us too!

Shared Writing is a project that the Festival has run for the last two years.  We already work with schools across Derby with our comprehensive Education programme. However, Derby is a very diverse city and the Festival feels passionately about working with as many different communities as possible to help them engage with English writing and literature. Last year, as the culmination of a six month project, we published two books: a book of short stories written by twenty five 11 to 12 year olds attending Bemrose School, and one entitled ‘Stories from Home’, written by 28 young people attending the Lexis programme at Derby College, many of whom had only recently arrived in the UK, often with little or no English.

The success of the Shared Writing projects in 2017 means that the Festival would like to run these programmes again in 2018, and extend them where possible. This year we are planning to add an activity to include adult English language learners at Derby College. However, we need funds to help us provide this ambitious programme and we are hoping that our bid to the Aviva Community Fund will go towards the production and printing of our books, which you will see for sale at the 2018 Derby Book Festival, which will run from 1 – 9 June.

If you would like more information about the Festival’s engagement programmes, please contact the Festival office on and we will send you an information sheet (or keep an eye out for the new pages about the projects which will appear on our website soon).

We had hoped to send you the information about our Aviva bid on Tuesday (as mentioned in last week’s eshot), but the Aviva website was struggling to cope with the volume of people trying to vote!  We therefore delayed sending you the website link as we wanted to ensure you were able to vote easily – and it now seems to be working again.

Many thanks for your continuing support for the Festival – and please do spread the word about this funding bid!

Photo:  Bemrose School pupils with author Richard O’Neill – Bonbon Photography

Derby Book Festival

31 May – 8 June 2019

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Derby Book Festival is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales Number 1159763