Lowdham Book Festival: 20 Years of Excellence

Carol Williams
Mon 10 Jun, 2019

The Lowdham Book Festival is back, and to celebrate two full decades of attracting writing talent - and many thousands of book fans - to the beautiful village. We find out why this year is a bit special...

An impressive array of events are going on in the village of Lowdham in Nottinghamshire this month, with the Lowdham Book Festival, now in its 20th year. This is a big festival in a small location, and every year writers and speakers come from around the country to take part.

The festival grew from a collaboration between the Bookcase bookshop in Lowdham, run by Jane Streeter, and Ross Bradshaw, who was then Literature Officer for Nottinghamshire County Council. Occasional events became a week long festival, and the very first event, in 1999, involved Nottingham writer Alan Sillitoe. Jane now organises the main festival events, while Ross, who runs the successful Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham, masterminds the final Saturday (29th June this year), with a bookfair and a range of speakers and events at Lowdham, all for free. The festival now overflows into monthly talks and film events in Lowdham throughout the year.

The festival is already in full swing, but there are plenty of events still to come, and tickets available. Highlights include:

  • An Evening with David Almond and Julia Green on Thursday 20th June at 7PM. These two leading writers for young people will explore the nature of creativity, how they write, why they write for the young, and their own childhoods. At the Minster School, Nottingham Road, Southwell NG25 0LG.
  • Reading Group morning with Diane Setterfield and Fanny Blake. Replete with folklore, suspense and romance, Once Upon a River opens on a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. A fantastic opportunity to meet Diane, the bestselling author of The Thirteenth Tale and Bellman and Black, and to discuss her spellbinding novels. (No need to belong to a reading group!) Saturday 22nd June, 10.45 am at Lowdham Village Hall.
  • On Wednesday 26th June, debut novelists Richard Roper and Libby Page will talk about themes shared between their two books: community, friendship and loneliness; as well as the modern pressure to fit in and appear to have the perfect life. 1.45 PM at Southwell Road Community Hall in Lowdham

There is plenty going on for children, including:

  • Father’s Day Stories and Crafts -two sessions to make a card/gift for dads everywhere! Bring your little ones along for a fun afternoon of card making and storytelling! Friday 14th June at 2PM, Southwell Road Community Hall.
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt with Nicky Rafferty - celebrate 20 years of this classic picture book with an interactive storytelling, bear-hunting, swishy-swashy event. 28th June, at 1.30 PM at Southwell Rd Community Hall.
  • And the final Saturday book fair has lots for the family with craft activities for children of all ages, an Alice in Wonderland themed treasure hunt led by the White Rabbit himself, and magical storytelling with Joy Pitt who appears regularly at Glastonbury Festival - visit her beautiful story tent where she and her puppets will transport you to other worlds. Four 30 minute story sessions on the hour starting at 11am.

You can find details of the whole festival at

Tickets can be booked at the Box Office on 0115 966 3219

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festival Lowdham

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