‘Step through the magnificent gates into a magical woodland world …’ the Festival brochure said. And it wasn’t wrong.
On Sunday, children, parents, grandparents and godparents galore gathered in Malton’s ‘secret garden’, Castle Gardens, for the Ryedale Book Festival Family Fun Day themed around nature.
The day started off with artist and illustrator Matt Sewell teaching us all how to draw birds, in his Spotting and Jotting workshop:
Matt Sewell teaching us how to draw birds
Then storyteller Catherine Heinemeyer and I took to the stage to perform our Flying High show all about birdsong – ably assisted by members of the audience, young and not-so-young alike.
Catherine Heinemeyer and I performing Flying High, ably assisted by an audience member. Ryedale Book Festival, October 2015
And the entertainments kept coming! I had had a word with the Mayor of Malton on the previous Friday about securing us good weather for the day, and she didn’t disappoint. It was a beautiful sun-soaked Autumn day. So we were able to enjoy and explore the outdoor space with a book-cover trail, particularly fine face-painting …
Face painting by Sarah Corner of facepaintingcorner.co.uk
… freshly baked pizzas and coffee and cakes, all accompanied by exquisitely crafted book-themed songs written and performed by the fabulous Bookshop Band.
The Bookshop Band at Ryedale Book Festival
Waterstones was on hand to sell books, with a nice big space for us authors to sign and dedicate copies for our readers.
Signing copies of Buzzing! at the Waterstones bookstall
And whilst we were roaming the Gardens, Matt Sewell was at the boundary wall creating a wonderful bird-themed mural – a flurry of Long-tailed Tits:
Matt Sewell creating his mural at Castle Gardens, Malton
All in all a lovely, lovely day with a huge range of inspiring activities and experiences for all ages. If you missed it this year, then do put Ryedale Book Festival in your diary for next year.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the Festival brochure:
‘The Ryedale Book Festival is an inclusive, community-led, not for profit organisation run by a team of dedicated volunteers with a passion for books. If you would like to get involved, contact the Festival team: firstname.lastname@example.org‘
And … it even has its own beer!
Thank you to all the volunteers who put so much work into creating such a friendly and well-run Festival – especially Sarah Tyson, Audrie Woodhouse, Helen Lowdell and Pinelopi Bourke. It was a great pleasure to be part of it.
Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life