Literally Bookmarks

Last year we had Cash’s silk bookmarks made with Alex T Smith’s fabulous Godiva logo on it to give to each visiting author.  It was a special gift to say thank you.  This year we are offering the community the chance to buy one of these special keepsakes to support the festival.

Read the Coventry Telegraph article via the link below to find out more…



Introducing Author Iain Broome

On the 1st August 2012 Iain’s first novel A is for Angelica hit the virtual bookstores and I downloaded my copy onto my lovely new kindle to take to Alaska.  Iain wrote a blog about his dream and I thought you might be interested in the inner turmoil of being something but wanting something else, maybe there’s a moral there…don’t judge a book by the cover.  Although the cover of A is for Angelica is rather splendid!  So, how did Iain become a writer?


‘I played my first competitive, 11-a-side football match when I was seven years old. It was on a full-size pitch and my team needed special permission from the league, because the minimum age was eight. The age limit was there for my safety, but I didn’t care because I was big and tall and really good at football.

Many kids have trials with professional clubs and some stay with the team for a couple of years. I played for Notts County until I was 16. I was team captain three out of the seven years I was there. I won trophies. I travelled the country. It was both a pre- and post-pubescent sporting career.

But something happened in that final year. When asked about it, I’ve sometimes said that the problem was that I’d become more interested, like most teenagers, in girls and underage drinking. But that was never the truth.

The real problem was that I was supposed to be a professional footballer, but being a professional footballer was not what I wanted to be.

Then, on one blustery Nottingham evening after training, I was taken to one side, along with my Dad, and told that, unfortunately, I wasn’t going to make it.

It was hard to hear. But also a blessed relief.

By no chance or coincidence, roughly a year before I left Notts County, I wrote my first batch of poetry. It was nothing special, and it was part of my regular schoolwork, but the feedback I received lit something inside me.

A new, entirely different dream began to emerge. I wanted to be a published author.

It’s about creating a world, having something to say, and telling a story. It’s making people laugh. Making people cry.

And that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To move people by creating something that no one else has ever created and by putting words in an order that no one has or ever will again. That’s the crux of all of it.

I was supposed to be a footballer. But I’m not, I’m an author.’

For Iain’s full blog please go to

To follow him on Twitter

Or visit his author page on facebook

And what did I think?  It’s a well written book, with a fast pace and short chapters that keep you turning the pages even when you know you should be doing something else.  Some of you know that Stroke has affected my family last 12 months and I found the portrayal of being a carer to a loved one who has suffered a Stroke both acurate and sensitive and yes, quite emotional at times.  It had a subtle dark humour that I rather enjoyed.  You never do really know what is going on behind those closed doors of your rather nice suburban street…

Read it, you won’t be disappointed.  Iain will be speaking about A is for Angelica at the newly refurbished Central Library as part of Literally Coventry Book Festival.

Charlotte Reed, Literally Committee Member

Coventry Inspires Writing Competition


In conjunction with the Coventry Telegraph we are once again running our Creative Writing competition linked to our Book Awards. Sarah Crossan won the Read It Or Else Award for her book The Weight of Water and she has donated this intriguing story starter:

Karen thumped the vending machine, but her can of Coke didn’t appear. The machine simply gurgled and asked for more money. Which she didn’t have.

“Stupid,” Karen hissed, and grabbing her bag from the floor, stomped off down the empty hallway. 

“Is this yours?” someone called after her.

Karen started and turned to see a boy next to the vending machine holding out a red can. He had long hair pulled into a ponytail and dark circles beneath his eyes. He smiled and stepped closer.

Karen hadn’t seen him before, but for some reason, she shuddered and wished she hadn’t bothered with the vending machine at all.

New writers have 250 words to complete the story!

There are 5 categories:

Under 10; 11-13; 14-18; adult and 60+

The Winners and Highly Commended in each category will be invited to the Book Awards Ceremony in St Mary’s Hall on June 13th 5.00 p.m. to receive their prizes from Sarah Crossan herself. The Winners will each receive a £20 book token sponsored by Hays Education and both Winners and Highly Commended will receive certificates.

Entries should be submitted by email to or by post to Catherine Vonledebur, Features. Coventry Telegraph House, Canal Basin, Leicester Row Canal Basin Coventry CV1 4LY

Closing date: 24th May

Nb electronic entries do make circulating entries to judges much easier and ensures entries are legible!


A successful strategy from last year, where the whole class was involved, is for the class to hear all the stories and judge for themselves the best 10 to submit from their class!