Next up on the committee is Peter Walters who works as a PR consultant and is the Master of Ceremonies at the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards helping it to run smoothly on the night…
“For a few years back in the early 2000s, I ran a series of writers dinners at St Mary’s Hall, partly as a way of highlighting the literary heritage of a city that has produced its share of great writers, notably Philip Larkin and George Eliot. As a former journalist and a keen reader, it was something I loved doing and when Joy Court started the Coventry Inspirational Book Awards in 2006, I was delighted to be asked to compere it. I have done so every year since and it was a small step to get more closely involved in last year’s inaugural Literally Coventry Book Festival, one of the most exciting cultural developments in Coventry in a very long time.”
The next in our series of committee member posts is from Tracey McGeever, local Head Teacher and originator of the festival…
September 2011, new term, new school year and a booklet from Cheltenham festival of literature arrived in the post. Instead of flicking through and deciding what I may like to see, I thought why do I need to travel to Cheltenham? Why does Coventry not put on their very own festival of literature? And so the story begins! I contacted Joy Court and we decided that we’d give it a go, not quite expecting it to be such a huge success that we’d do it all again in 2013.
I have to admit that there were times last year when I thought “what on Earth am I doing?” It was hairy, worrying about finance but thanks to Coventry Schools and some support from local businesses and dedication from some excellent people we pulled off a great festival.
On a personal level, I am a firm believer that reading opens the door to opportunity, and it is important for our young people and their families to be able to access a festival that celebrates reading and literature. The team were very proud that we didn’t charge so the festival was open to everyone.
In between being headteacher of St Osburg’s Primary School and mother to 3 boys – which means engaging in their interests: Rugby, Tennis and acting so, little time is left for many personal pursuits – although I do enjoy going to the gym when I get a chance, so retiring to bed with a good book is a real treat (especially accompanied with a good glass of red wine) fortunately, my family share my love for reading, although we have very different tastes! I’m currently enjoying Victoria Hislop’s latest book ” The Thread” – having enjoyed “The Island” and “The Return”. I loved Maeve Binchy and her whimsical Irish tales, and was sorry to hear of her death this year.
Anyway, I am excited about Literally 2013, and can’t wait for the story to unfold!
Next up on our committee is me, Charlotte Reed – Primary English Consultant with Primary English Education Consultancy Limited.
I have been involved in the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards from the very start and as a team we have been helping to shortlist every year, which is a great honour and usually ends in a very costly book shop visit! As a team, we have been very proud to be involved and support such an important cause – reading for pleasure.
I can’t imagine a life without reading, it’s what moulds you and makes you who you are, it’s Continue reading
Our next committee member is Linda Colllingwood, Library Manager at Finham Park School.
“Coventry secondary school librarians are tremendously thankful we have such a proactive and supportive Schools Library Service, so when its head Joy Court asked us to attend a first meeting to discuss the inauguration of a new Coventry book festival, of course, we said yes.
Little did I know that several months later one or two of us would be experiencing just a few anxious moments and a couple of sleepless nights immediately prior to the start of a highly successful week of exciting book events which was Literally………Coventry 2012. Continue reading
We thought we ought to introduce ourselves…those of us on the organising committee for Literally 2013, first up is Joy Court, Learning Resources Manager at Schools Library Service, editor of Read to Suceed and National Coordinator: CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenway Medals.
“When Tracy McGeever – headteacher of St Osburg’s- approached me with her idea of having a book festival for Coventry I could not really say “No”. I had launched the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 7 years previously with the intention of inspiring “readers for life” and building a real community of readers of all ages. A book festival seemed like a natural progression of this idea. We already had a high profile event in our Book Awards ceremony in June and with more and more top authors wanting to come to the ceremony to collect their awards in person as our reputation has grown.What could be simpler than asking them to do events around the ceremony and “Hey Presto!” you have a festival! Continue reading