Our army of 80 strong volunteers are now ‘booted’ (with 2017 t-shirts) and ready for action at this year’s Festival. We’ve held two briefing sessions over the past two weeks to familiarise them with this year’s programme, the volunteer roles, our policies and what to expect! We have a great mix of experienced and new volunteers and have had to set up a waiting list as enthusiasm has been so great to be part of the Festival.
Sold out events
We continue to have sold out events: this week Alan Johnson with Matthew Parris, the Afternoon Tea with Paula Byrne and Margaret Willes’ Gardens of the British Working Class, have all sold out. We anticipate that Dan Cruickshank, Derbyshire Noir, David Templeman on Mary, Queen of Scots and probably Laura Beers on Red Ellen will sell out in the next few days! Also selling well are Shappi Khorsandi, Tim Dowling and the Festival Book Quiz – we only need 4 more teams. Don’t say we didn’t tell you …
Alex Wheatle on Radio 4’s Saturday Live
In case you missed him, you can catch up on iplayer with Alex Wheatle’s interview on this weekend’s Saturday Live, hosted by another Festival author, Reverend Richard Coles. Winner of the Guardian Children’s Ficion Award 2016 for Crongton Knights, Alex will be joining us on Saturday 10 June in QUAD to talk about his young adult trilogy.
Here are some gems that you may have missed!
Last week we mentioned our debut authors, whose names may not yet be familiar to you, but could be ‘headlining’ next year’s Festival.
Here are a few more gems you may want to take a second look at:
You will almost certainly have seen Matt Sewell’s beautiful bird illustrations (see above) – just pop into Waterstones and you can see his work on notebooks, mugs, calendars and the full range of his books. Matt has been described as the Banksy of the bird world. He is probably best known for his wildlife murals painted on walls up and down the country but the urban artist is a country lad at heart – an avid ornithologist who brings to life caricatures of birds with chirpy personalities.
Matt has been featured on BBC Countryfile when Ellie met him at the Hollies Nature Reserve, a popular stop off for migrating winter thrushes such as redwings. While there, Ellie had a go at sketching in Matt’s unique style before heading to Shrewsbury to finish spray painting a mural dedicated to Shropshire wildlife.
Matt will be joining us on Saturday 10 June in Déda when he will be talking about his love of birds and his latest book A Charm of Goldfinches and other Collective Nouns.
Tony’s 60 year career as a TV and film producer has included working with great directors such as Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Roland Joffe. His work includes films such as Kes and Up the Junction as well as the ground breaking TV drama documentary Cathy Come Home. As a teenager I watched it in my school hall with the whole of my second year – and it has stayed with me ever since. It told of a family’s descent into poverty and homelessness – an issue with possibly even more relevance today. A 1998 Radio Times readers’ poll voted it the ‘best single television drama’ and a 2000 industry poll rated it as the second best British television programme ever made.
Tony will be talking to QUAD CEO, Adam Buss about his career and his critically acclaimed 2016 autobiography The Day the Music Died which recounts his remarkable life.