This would normally be our What’s On page, however the pandemic has obliged us to postpone our 2020 festival to October 2021. In its place we wanted to offer you something you wouldn’t get in any festival marquee. Therefore we proudly present North Cornwall Book Festival At Home, a series of short films in which we’re granted glimpses of authors in their natural habitat, lockdown hair and all, talking about what they’re writing, how the pandemic has affected them and sometimes reading from their latest books. We’ll be adding films each Friday at 5pm as the summer and autumn progress. Most of the authors featured will be appearing at our 2021 festival, when we can meet again and pretend the intervening year never happened.

We want these to be enjoyed as widely as possible, so if there’s one that especially delights you please feel free to share it on social media.

Paul Mendez

Debut novelist Paul Mendez has scored an instant hit with Rainbow Milk. It tells two wildly contrasting stories which seem to have no connection at first: how a young Jamaican couple come to sail to the UK on the Windrush to make a new home in the Black Country and, in the present day, how a young gay man of Jamaican heritage is “disfellowshipped” by his Jehovah’s Witness congregation and family and loses then finds himself in London. Paul talks engagingly about the book, about how its publishing coincided with the great wave of Black Lives Matter marches and of his hopes for a bright new future for black voices in UK writing. He also talks about an early passion for Cornwall! (We just knew he was a good choice for the festival.)

Credits: Edited Dan Hall. Music: Love Birds on a Train by Helen Porter

Patrick Gale

The festival’s artistic director introduces the series by walking us to the Richard and Judy shed to talk about his novel-in-progress: an evocation of Charles Causley and his mother. You can find out more about Patrick on his website

Editor: Giselle Hyam
Music: Chance to Cheat by Barb Jungr & Michael Parker (

Petroc Trelawny

When the BBC Radio 3 presenter chaired two memorable events for the North Cornwall Book Festival in 2019 it was a delightful surprise to learn he was writing a memoir about trains and his Cornish boyhood. Here he takes us on his bike ride to the studio, talks about lockdown and gives us a sneak preview of that memoir.

Editor: Giselle Hyam
Music: Chance to Cheat by Barb Jungr & Michael Parker (

Amanda Craig

Amanda Craig’s funny-ouch fiction has drilled down into the tensions and ambiguities around second home ownership and incomerdom, and she knows whereof she writes. Soon after the triumphant publication of her latest, The Golden Rule, which begins as a Cornwall-based female retelling of Strangers on a Train, she speaks to us about lockdown in her North Devon hideaway, her deep love of Cornwall and her concern for its rural communities in the wake of Brexit. Find out more at

Editor: Giselle Hyam
Music: Miner Jolly by The Rowan Tree (

Rachel Joyce

This film focuses on novelist, actor and dramatist Rachel Joyce who talks from her shepherd’s hut in Gloucestershire about her latest novel, Miss Benson’s Beetle, what led her to write a proper adventure story about women and the strange experience of seeing a novel published during a global lockdown.

Editor: Giselle Hyam
Music: Smoking Chimney by The Rowan Tree (

This film series was made possible by grants from Arts Council England’s Emergency Fund and from FEAST. The editors are Giselle Hyam and Dan Hall and the credits were designed and animated by Matilda McMorrow. We’re also indebted to the following musicians associated with the festival for letting us use tracks of theirs on the films. Just click on their names to visit their websites and learn more: The Rowan Tree, Barb JungrTom HickoxHelen Porter.