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It is with great sadness that we have to announce the postponement of the 2020 book festival until 7-10 October 2021. The current social distancing measures are likely to remain in place until well into the autumn and we feel that the festival would lose much of its charm and celebratory atmosphere if our wonderful audiences had to be two metres away from each other at all times. A socially distant festival would also be financially unviable.

The good news is that the amazing line up of writers, artists and performers we were to have presented this year have all agreed to come next year instead. (See the slideshow above for some tantalising names.) Added to which an Arts Council Emergency Fund grant is enabling us to shoot NCBF At Home, a series of interviews and readings which we’ll be releasing over the coming months on social media. So do please follow us on Twitter or Facebook as well as joining our mailing list in order to not miss out. What better way to keep our morale up during the virus crisis than getting glimpses into the private working lives of favourite writers?

We’re not overlooking younger readers either and are proud to be collaborating with the amazing children’s teams at other festivals, including Bath’s, on Reading Is Magic, an autumn online festival for younger readers, fronted by that powerhouse Cressida Cowell. Full details can be found at www.readingismagicfestival.com.

To make NCornBookFest 2021 as incredible a festival as possible we are looking to improve anywhere we can and one key aspect of this is purchasing new lighting, sound and staging equipment. To do this we are currently in the running to receive £5000 from Calor Gas as part of their £85,000 rural grant initiative but need your help to be able to achieve this.

Which projects get funded is decided by a judging panel from Calor Gas, based on a points system. Every organisation taking part has to create a Crowdfunder page; for every page share of this page we receive one point and for every donation to it – however small or large – a huge ten points. On 4th July 2020, the projects with the most points will be judged to see who receives a share of the fund. Please visit here for details.

And don’t forget you can build up momentum for the next festival by joining our festival book club. Inevitably this will be happening online until further notice but we promise it will be lively. If you’d like more information, e mail Ronnie on bookclub@ncornbookfest.org.

Like every festival, we rely heavily on volunteer person-power for everything from putting up posters or helping direct traffic to checking tickets and looking after authors. We’re especially interested to hear from volunteers who would be available for two of three days before the festival and from volunteers with special skill sets to offer throughout the year, like social media or IT. If you’d like to become involved please use our contact page to let us know.

All photographs © Giselle Hyam (2019) © Don Kirkup (2019 & 2018) © Daniel Hall (2017 & 2016) or © Julia Powney (2017).