Dear Booklovers

Welcome to our shiny new website. Once this year’s festival is underway, this page will host a range of blogs posted from the festival site by a team of student journalists from Falmouth University and, quite possibly, from some of our visiting authors, so please make a note and keep in touch.

If by any chance you aren’t able to make it to the festival this year, we’re hoping to make several of this year’s choicest events available to you as podcasts from the podcasts page.

It’s always exciting to unveil a new North Cornwall Book Festival programme, if only because it means that we’ve survived for another year. To judge from the marvellous feedback we had from readers, writers and teachers last year, we seem to be doing something right…

As always our writers run the gamut from poetry to fiction to non-fiction, from tragic to funny, from Christian to Pagan to godless. Once again we’re offering an entire day for Cornish schools (which has proved so popular we’re aiming to offer them two days next year). Once again we’ve a mouthwatering sequence of workshops and some exciting music. And once again we’re daisy-chaining many of our distinguished authors, so that you’ll not only hear them talking about their latest work, but hear them speak with the unguarded frankness that arises when author talks to author.

Our programming innovation this year is Cream of Cornish: two free sessions to give you a chance to encounter the work of emerging writers before they become too famous to spare us the time!

We don’t aim to impose a theme on our festivals, as we want our bookish buffet to offer the widest possible range of flavours, but this year a rich, accidental theme has emerged of parenthood, inheritance and belonging. Linking the wildly varied work of Jackie Kay, Rupert Thomson, Katherine Norbury and Simon Grennan, it promises to fire some fascinating exchanges both on stage and off. I hope that you enjoy attending and becoming a part of the conversation as much as we enjoy putting it all together.

Festivals wither if they don’t grow. We don’t propose to increase our programme beyond the current intimate long weekend, but we’d dearly love to grow our audience. So if you belong to a book group, do have your group read the work of one or two of this year’s authors in advance then plan a joint outing. And if you have friends who don’t think book festivals are for them, feel free to persuade them to the contrary! We’re also entirely dependent on volunteers so if you’d like to become one of our happy team, either in the run up to the festival or during the three days of the programme, please e mail my lovely colleague Ronnie. You can reach her on operations@ncornbookfest.org.

Happy reading until we see you in October.

Patrick Gale