Plans for Berwick book festival revived

Helen Stephens is among those lined up to take part in the festival.

Helen Stephens is among those lined up to take part in the festival.

Have your say

Berwick is set to host its first book festival this autumn after a new group was formed to take on a project which had been shelved.

The Berwick Literary Festival steering group is planning to hold the event on October 17-18 - the culmination of the town’s autumn festivals programme.

A number of renowned local authors and illustrators have been lined up to give talks, workshops and put on activities, as well as an exhibition in the Granary Gallery.

Christopher Smith, steering group chairman, said: “In February of this year, the group which had been planning a proposed Berwick Book Festival (The Berwick Events Group), announced that the festival was to be postponed.

“As a result of this announcement, I was contacted by several members of the community and the town council to see whether there was any possibility of still mounting such a festival.

“In March, therefore, an exercise was undertaken, aimed at discovering whether there was the will and/or the resources to continue planning a book festival for the town.

“The responses to the position paper were positive and most advocated proceeding with some sort of book festival - however modest - in 2014.

“In response to this encouragement, a new ‘stand alone’ charitable organisation has been set up.”

Among those who have indicated they would like to be involved are Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom, Helen Stephens and Gerry Turley, Gerry Paulin, Dr Richard Moore, Dr Nolan Dalrymple, Michael Cullen, Ann Coburn, Andrew Ayre, Barbara Morris and Jennifer Docherty.

“Other contributors are still being contacted but the list we already have has ensured that the festival is a going concern,” said Mr Smith.

“To attempt to put on such a festival at relatively short notice means that much is ‘in progress’ - this being the first such festival in Berwick,” added Mr Smith.

“However, we are confident that its success this year will provide a strong base for a literary festival in 2015 and the future.”

The town council’s events committee agreed to grant £2,500 towards the festival at its meeting last week.

Councillor Gregah Roughead said: “This is its first year and we want it to be successful.”

A Patrons of Berwick Literary Festival scheme is also being set up to broaden the membership base and provide the extra funding needed.

Back to the top of the page