Sunday, 28 June 2015

My Saturday at Lowdham Book Festival...

The Lowdham Book Festival has been running 16 years. It started small and has built on its success, and the final Saturday is a must visit place for anyone living in Nottinghamshire.

I've been attending for about 10 of those 16 years with the writers club, and now I'm the one who co-ordinates, from booking the stall, confirming which members have promotional material to display alongside the club's, and who is going to be available to help on the day- and making sure they know where to park and other essential information.

On the day I'll be there with one or two others to set up, and the last to leave with all the gathered equipment/leaflets.

This year I was very fortunate to have extra volunteers (I thank them all) - especially a couple of members who hadn't attended the festival before and wanted to come along for a few hours to see what it was like as well as help out.

They resisted the book stalls, unlike the regulars who went home with more than they arrived with!:D

Ready for opening time...
It was wonderful to meet a writer who I've known online for many years, but never met in person;
Ana Salote was launching her book 'Oy Yew' and doing a talk with her publisher (Teika Bellamy of MothersMilk Books) and her illustrator Emma Howitt.

Later in the day I had an opportunity to talk to Teika Bellamy to find out what she was looking for, and there are opportunities available.

Have a look at their submission guidelines which will tell you more...

Early afternoon I was able to get to an interesting talk by author Nigel McCrery on his book 'Silent Witnesses: a history of forensic science.'

The audience were entertained by this retired police officer who had an interest in forensics, though his many writing credits include: Silent Witness, Born and Bred, and New Tricks among them...

Promotion opportunity
I came home with four second-hand books. Basically reference works, though one, a wonderfully illustrated hardback is extremely large, but I'll never have a problem knowing what sort of furniture my historical heroes and heroines will be sitting upon.

My flask of coffee just about lasted out the day, and I limited myself to one piece of lemon sponge late morning so I could eat my packed lunch after the lunch-time rush.

Fortunately the hall was a comfortable temperature with the doors into the hall, and the back door open. It was very bright and hot outside, and even my camera had a problem with how bright it was- I'm going to have to darken the outdoor shots!

Well that's it for another year. I'll be suggesting what worked and what didn't this year, as will my fellow volunteers, so NWC will be ready for next June.

I never stop learning on days like this....


  1. How nice to meet up with an online buddy. Sounds like it was a great event all round.

    I do like your scarf - very impressed you co-ordinted with the furnishings! Did you plan that, or was it just coincidence?

  2. It was lovely to meet Ana after knowing her online for some time.

    I have lots of scarves in different colours, thickness's, both plain and patterned.

    Well I realised after I bought the skirt. :D In fact I had two covers, one blue, one white, so I would have co-ordinated either way!

  3. Sounds like a great event - and yes, always nice to meet 'virtual' friends.

    1. The final Saturday is a fun day all round, Susan. And it's good to be able to meet up with 'virtual' friends. :)

  4. It sounds like you had a lovely time and it's so nice to meet other writers in real life, isn't it.

    1. It's a fun day, Wendy, and usually the one time I see lots of writers I know, all in one place, and can chat with for a few minutes in the lulls while talks are taking place. :)

  5. I've got a soft spot for Lowdham now. There were authors of a calibre that you would pay to see elsewhere, but the scale is intimate. Well worth the work, Carol.

  6. Pleased you enjoyed the Lowdham experience, Ana. :-)

    The Saturday is a wonderful way for writers from the region, and beyond, to get together and meet readers, and generally spread the word about small, and independent publishers whose books they might not have found through regular channels.

    It's hard work for everyone, but as you said, it's worth it.

  7. You obviously enjoyed your day, and that book looks great. Even if you seldom use it, a book that size could be useful in other ways - pressing flowers, for instance!

    1. Or batting a burglar around the head with, Lizy. It's heavy enough to stun someone. :-)

  8. Sounds a brilliant day, Carol - I completely understand your need to buy those books!

    1. Thanks, Rosemary.

      There's one book stall that specialises in old Batsford volumes- many of their early 20th century books are ideal reference works;the authors did extensive research into their subjects, and the illustrations they included are still very good and from the time they were writing about.


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