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Stroud Book Festival hoping for best year yet as it welcomes authors to the town

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 09:00

Ian McEwan is one of the festival's headliners Ian McEwan is one of the festival's headliners

The Stroud Book Festival is still a reasonably new event, especially when compared to some of the other festivals held around the county.

But despite this it has quickly become one of the most anticipated and popular weeks of the year not only in Stroud, but Gloucestershire as a whole.

“The first Stroud Book Festival ran in 2016,” said Louise Brice, head of marketing at the Festival.

“It was founded by Stroud Festival and directed by author Jamila Gavin. The current team got together at the beginning of 2018 and last year’s festival finished its run with record ticket sales and a line-up widely praised both for its variety and broad appeal.”

Last year the festival welcomed authors and personalities including Mary Portas, Prue Leith and Oz Clarke.

And the 2019 programme is set to impress again, with over 50 events across the five days.

“It’s our largest and most diverse programme to date,” continued Louise.

“This year’s festival is headlined by Booker-winning author (and Stroud Book Festival patron) Ian McEwan, along with much-loved, best-selling children’s author Julia Donaldson.

“As well as a wonderful line-up for families – including Aardman Animations, Nell Gifford and Sophie Dahl – there’s an entire strand of ‘Feel Good’ events, with Nina Stibbe, Katy Brand, Fitness guru Annie Deadman and Katie Fforde.”

The festival has this year brought in events under the category of ‘Sustainable Stroud’, to encourage more eco-friendly living.

Louise said: “We have introduced a Sustainable Stroud event badge, which supports Stroud District’s aim of being carbon neutral by 2030.

“For our opening night we’re delighted to present the culinary talents of Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, authors of ‘BOSH!’ – the highest-selling vegan cookbook ever. For our finale, we’re thrilled to be welcoming renowned nature writer Richard Mabey, dubbed ‘the father of modern nature writing in the UK’.”

There are also a number of events on offer for local schoolchildren, in the hope to encourage more kids into reading.

“We are thrilled to host our second Schools’ Day,” said Louise, “a programme of events and workshops on Thursday 7th November dedicated to primary schools across the Five Valleys. We are committed to making these events as affordable and accessible to as many children as possible.”

The festival runs from Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th November, with events in venues around Stroud including the Subscription Rooms, The Museum in the Park and Lansdown Hall.

Louise and the rest of the team behind the festival are hoping this year will build on the success of the previous three years.

She added: “Our aim is to build on the growing reputation and success of the festival and to host an entertaining, inspiring and accessible programme of events. We hope you’ll find all these qualities at Stroud Book Festival 2019.

“Stroud Book Festival is a community interest company. We run on a shoestring budget and as such, we are indebted to the support of generous individuals and organisations, such as Arts Council England. And of course, we are sincerely grateful to everyone who supports the festival, both by buying tickets and by helping us spread the word – thank you!

“We’ve had fantastic feedback from visitors over the years, which has helped make Stroud Book Festival a firm fixture amongst the amazing line-up of festivals that Stroud has to offer.”

For more information and the full line-up visit www.stroudbookfestival.org.uk

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