Posts in Events

Making the sandwich: putting on successful author events

Posted Wednesday 13 December 2017 by Ian Anstice in Events, Training

Public libraries are superb places to host author events. There’s thousands of them, for a start, with a wide geographical spread. They often have large amounts of floor space when compared to book shops. But, in this age of increasing competition for people’s time and limited staff resources, how does a public library ensure that writer visits can be as successful as possible? That’s the question Time To Read posed. The answers that came back all pointed to the conclusion that simply offering an author, except if they’re really famous, is not enough.

Making the SandwichIn fact, what came through loud and clear is that the library needs to think of how to package the event. Perhaps the best way to explain this is by analogy. Think of it like trying to sell a sandwich, where the author is the main filling and the library is the bread. Well, that may not be enough to get people to buy the sandwich, especially as there are many other fantastic lunch options out there. So it may be better to add in some refreshments as extra fillings  and  -  to improve the packaging, as it were -  theme the event. Oh, and make sure you don’t serve it at the wrong time of day. Perhaps add some music in there as background too. And, voila, you get a really nice sandwich . Or author event.

This guide is intended to share the best practice out there and to share the hard-won experience of experts so you don’t have to learn on the fly. But it’s not intended as prescriptive. To take the food analogy still further, choose what you want from the buffet of ideas and perhaps come back later to try something more adventurous. Oh, and let us know your ideas too so we can improve for next time.

Download the "Making the sandwich" guide here.

Rochdale Lit Festival - first names revealed

Posted Tuesday 4 July 2017 by Ian Anstice in Events

The first names on the line-up for this year’s Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival have been revealed.

The seven-day festival in October will feature talk show legend Sir Michael Parkinson, comedian and novelist Jenny Eclair, and Manchester poet Tony Walsh aka Longfella.

Michael Parkinson will be looking back at his life and career interviewing many of the most important cultural figures of our time. With his son Mike, he will show highlights from the Parkinson archive, and provide an opportunity to get an entertaining and informative look at his remarkable journey from a pit village in Yorkshire to the top of the famous stairs on his chat show set, while re-living the best moments from a show which defined Saturday night for millions of viewers over many years.

Jenny Eclair, who performed a sell-out show at Middleton Arena during last year's festival and vowed to return, will be back in more intimate surroundings talking about her new collection of short stories -'Listening In,' based on the BBC Radio 4 Series 'Little Lifetimes.' The book comprises tales from the mouths of many different (mostly furious) middle aged women!  In 1995 she became the first female solo winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival's prestigious Perrier Award. A regular on radio and television ever since, she voiced the thoughts of Grumpy Old Women for years and is also the author of another 6 books including 'Life, Death and Vanilla Slices'. 

Tony Walsh, one of the UK's most renowned performance poets, is also on the line-up and will be writing a new poem especially for the festival.  His poignant reading of 'This is the Place' in Albert Square after the Manchester bombing is being turned into a book for charity. Tony, or 'Longfella' as he is also known, is quite literally a giant of the performance poetry scene. His work has been published internationally and he's a multiple award-winner. A regular on television and radio, his trademark mix of intimacy and controversy, comedy and tragedy has been stunning audiences from poetry gigs to international literature festivals for the last 15 years.

The festival will run from Tuesday 17 to Monday 23 October 2017 and we're promising another packed week of exciting arts for all ages.

Events will cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children's shows. For young people aged 14 to 25, another 'Generation Z' programme is being put together.

Councillor Janet Emsley, our Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture said:

"5 years in, our wonderful festival continues to inspire and entertain, attracting some fantastic guests. It brings together so many genres and really makes you think. We're going to be taking the festival to different places around the borough too, showcasing more great venues. I want to thank our sponsors for their continued generous support of the festival which helps us to deliver a fabulous event we can all be proud of."

The festival will include guest speakers and writers and is aimed at celebrating and promoting the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage with books and ideas. Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

'our wonderful festival continues to inspire and entertain, attracting some fantastic guests'

Further details of the programme will be announced next month and tickets go on sale from 10am on 7 August 2017 from the festival website

For festival updates on Twitter connect with @RochdaleLitFest

The festival is organised by us, supported by the Maskew Bequest and sponsored by The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre and creative digital media company - JGM Agency

Read Regional events in North West libraries

Posted Wednesday 8 March 2017 by Clancy Mason in Events

New Writing North are bringing some excellent authors to North West libraries this spring. Be sure to put these dates in your diaries...

RR2RR 1

Time To Read joins LITFEST programme

Posted Tuesday 7 February 2017 by Clancy Mason in Events

Longbourn

Austen’s Secret Stories: Jo Baker in conversation with Clancy Mason

Friday 24th March 7:30pm 

Pride and Prejudice was only half of the story… In Jo Baker’s bestselling novel Longbourn she explores the privileged world of the Bennet family through the hidden lives of their servants. For housemaid Sarah, the predictable world of the servants’ hall is about to be changed forever.

Join Time To Read's Clancy Mason for an evening of conversation as Jo discusses the process of breathing new life into Austen’s world.


Venue: The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster LA1 1TH

Tickets: £12 Full /£10 Concession Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways:

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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