Barnsley Book Festival celebrates successful launch

Barnsley Book Festival 2024Barnsley Book Festival 2024
Barnsley Book Festival 2024 | Barnsley Book Festival
New chapter opens as first-ever Barnsley Book Festival runs until Saturday, March 23, 2024.

Barnsley Book Festival's debut is proving to be a best selling first edition - and most of its events are free, writes Graham Walker.

BOOK NOW: To help manage audience numbers, booking for events is required, to avoid disappointment - CLICK HERE.

PROGRAMME: Check out the full Barnsley Book Festival 2024 events programme online - CLICK HERE.

Hundreds of people attended events in the town centre to celebrate the opening weekend.

Barnsley Book Festival, now running to Saturday, March 23, has an ambitious and diverse programme of events, showcasing local and national authors, storytellers, artists, and speakers, all celebrating the power of literature and shared love for reading.

The launch saw the Bard of Barnsley himself, local poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, joined by British artist and designer Patrick Murphy for a special event at Library @ the Lightbox, to invent lost writers, do some creative writing and design book covers.

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Mama G hosted two completely packed story time sessions.

Barnsley Book Festival  Story Time with Mama GBarnsley Book Festival  Story Time with Mama G
Barnsley Book Festival Story Time with Mama G | Barnsley Book Festival

The Civic hosted its first-ever Zine Fair, featuring over 20 local and national zine makers, writers, and illustrators, which has also been very well received and attended.

Barnsley’s Millie Johnson launched her new book The Happiest Ever After with a sold out event last night at Library @ the Lightbox 

Poet now author Andrew McMillan, son of Ian McMillan, will be in conversation with Helen Mort o the launch his debut novel Pity at Library @ the Lightbox tomorrow, Sat, Feb 17, 11am to 1pm.

Other forhcoming highlights include:

A special screening of The Shining at Parkway Cinema followed by a Q&A session with Craig Oldham, Tues, March 5, 7pm. 

Novelist Catherine Curzon in conversation at Cannon Hall Museum on her latest novel Inside the World of Bridgerton, Sat, March 16, 2.30pm.

The country’s leading military historian, Richard Van Emden, will be talking about his new book Volunteers: The Incredible Story of Kitchener’s Army Through Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Own Words, at Library @ the Lightbox, Sat, March 23, 2.30pm.

Barnsley Book Festival is supported using public funding by Arts Council England as part of Barnsley Libraries’ National Portfolio Organisation activity.

Barnsley Book Festival Authors Philip Ellis, Nicole Spencer-Skillen and A.J.WestBarnsley Book Festival Authors Philip Ellis, Nicole Spencer-Skillen and A.J.West
Barnsley Book Festival Authors Philip Ellis, Nicole Spencer-Skillen and A.J.West | Barnsley Book Festival

Ian McMillan said: “Barnsley Book Festival mines the deep seam of language that runs through the borough, celebrating the written and spoken word with writers from near and far converging on Barnsley and underlining its importance as a hub for poetry, prose and performance.”

Jemma Conway, National Portfolio Organisation Programme Manager, said: “We tasked ourselves to organise something that is engaging and accessible to our residents and visitors on a scale, that’s never been seen before in Barnsley.

“The launch weekend was a huge success, and we cannot wait to welcome people to the various events in the coming weeks.”  

Coun Wendy Cain, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “We are delighted with the response and feedback we received from the public so far.

“The festival showcases the diversity and innovation of contemporary literature, and we hope that events across the next seven weeks will inspire more people to read, write and create.”

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