Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Lowdham Book Fair 2011

The Lowdham Book Fair is Nottingham’s largest literary gathering. This year it celebrated its 12th annual event. There was something for everybody at the fair, with national and local authors mingling with local actors and performers.

Our stall for The Nottingham Writers' Club, offered information about meetings, Scribe magazine, NWC’s website and a large variety of member’s work to read or purchase. Our neighbours in the wind-buffeted marquee were local publishers, second-hand book dealers, other writing organisations and the Society of Bookbinders. I gave into temptation and bought Phillip Larkin's Collected Poems and Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree.

Literary and musical talent were represented in many and varied forms. Travel writers, poets, writers of humour, biographies, fiction and children’s stories rubbed shoulders with musicians and story tellers from Southwell workhouse. Dressed in period costume, the actors told a story of hunger and deprivation in the 19th century. They even stayed in character whilst browsing our stall, which caused some hilarity as the actress pretended she couldn't read!

Elsewhere at the book fair, visitors could partake in diverse activities. A few examples of these were guided meditation with Ian Bramble from the Nottingham Buddist Centre. Also, singer Barbara Dickson OBE talked about her successful career, whilst crime writer Jasper Fforde was in conversation with Stephen Booth.

An exhibition of photographs and memorabilia celebrating the life and work of Alan Sillitoe was on show in the main building. One of Nottingham’s finest contemporary writers, Alan died on 25th April 2010. The Alan Sillitoe Statue Fund was set up to dedicate a statue to the much loved author. A raffle draw helped add to the target of £50,000. During the afternoon an announcement was made to reveal the winner of the Alan Sillitoe Short Story Competition and the raffle winners.

This year was the East Midland’s Book Award took place in Lowdham for the first time. The ‘surprise’ winner was Mark Goodwin with his poetry book entitled, Shod. (Nine Arches Press)
Many congratulations to him.

The late Alan Sillitoe

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