Get­ting ready for BOOKMARK 2017

Chil­dren en­joy au­thors’vis­its be­fore the main fes­ti­val

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Clare Damodaran 210917Book­markFes­ti­val_01

Ex­cite­ment is build­ing for the 2017 BOOKMARK fes­ti­val, which takes place in less than two weeks time.

The Blair­gowrie, Rat­tray and the Glens book fes­ti­val gets un­der way next Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 6 and fea­tures a range of well­known and es­teemed writ­ers, in­clud­ing award-win­ning nov­el­ists Christo­pher Brook­myre and Rachel Crowther, Bloody Scot­land crime writ­ing fes­ti­val co-founder Lin An­der­son, for­mer MP Alan John­son, Great Bri­tish Bake Off con­tes­tant Flora Shed­den, Martin Bell OBE and for­mer Ed­in­burgh Makar Ron But­lin.

And as part of the build-up to the main event at Blair­gowrie Com­mu­nity Cam­pus, a pop-up shop has opened on the High Street in Blair­gowrie.

The shop will be open un­til the fes­ti­val it­self and will be sell­ing tick­ets for all the events as well as some books from pre­vi­ous BOOKMARK events such as the James Jauncey event in Au­gust.

Dis­plays have also gone up in Blair­gowrie Li­brary and shop own­ers in the town are be­ing en­cour­aged to ‘paint the town red’ in cel­e­bra­tion of the pop­u­lar an­nual event.

Chair of the BOOKMARK fes­ti­val, Janey Lam­bie, says that ticket sales for this year’s events are go­ing well.

She said: “Alan John­son is a big seller, closely fol­lowed by Martin Bell, so we would en­cour­age peo­ple to get their tick­ets for those events in par­tic­u­lar as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We are re­ally pleased with our new part­ner­ship with Horsecross this year, which has proved to be an easy and ef­fi­cient way for peo­ple to buy tick­ets to the fes­ti­val through our web­site and also at the Con­cert Hall in Perth.

“And we were de­lighted when Gwilym Gib­bons, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Horsecross Arts, an­nounced last month that they would be happy to con­tinue this part­ner­ship next year as well.”

As part of the run up to this year’s fes­ti­val, the BOOKMARK com­mit­tee is host­ing a vol­un­teers’ evening at Blair­gowrie Li­brary for the team of helpers who en­sure that the event runs smoothly ev­ery year.

Janey went on: “The part­ner­ship we have with Blair­gowrie Li­brary is just bril­liant as well.

“They have had dis­plays of the au­thors’ books that they have avail­able and are pro­vid­ing the venue for our vol­un­teers’ evening.

“We are ob­vi­ously in the same busi­ness of pro­vid­ing a ser­vice to peo­ple who want to learn and de­velop their own imag­i­na­tion so it is a nat­u­ral part­ner­ship and hope­fully it is en­cour­ag­ing more peo­ple to use the li­brary.”

The fes­ti­val’s au­thors in schools pro­gramme is also well un­der way in the run up to the fes­ti­val, with three pop­u­lar chil­dren’s au­thors lead­ing ses­sions with hun­dreds of pri­mary school pupils from across east Perthshire this month.

In the first event, held last week, pupils in pri­mary three and four classes at four east Perthshire schools heard from Ed­in­burgh­based Mike Ni­chol­son, who won the Kelpies Prize for new Scot­tish chil­dren’s fic­tion in 2005.

He chat­ted to the chil­dren about his Mu­seum Mys­tery Squad se­ries and signed al­most 130 copies of his books for ex­cited young­sters.

Liz Ma­son is the au­thors in schools co­or­di­na­tor for BOOKMARK.

She said: “Mike is a re­ally lovely chap and gave a very en­er­getic and in­ter­ac­tive pre­sen­ta­tion with colour­ful graph­ics.

“The chil­dren thor­oughly en­joyed the event and were all re­ally good, ask­ing in­ter­est­ing ques­tions, and were de­lighted to get their new books signed by the au­thor.”

BOOKMARK favourite Lari Don was back at the fes­ti­val as part of the au­thors in schools pro­gramme, speak­ing about her Spell Chasers se­ries to pupils in pri­mary five, six and seven, and on Thurs­day Emily Dodd - one of the screen­writ­ers for CBee­bies sci­ence pro­gramme Nina and the Neu­rons - will speak to chl­dren in pri­mary one and two about her new pic­ture books.

Liz added: “This year, around 750 chil­dren in east Perthshire will have the op­por­tu­nity to meet a real live au­thor through this pro­gramme, which is just fan­tas­tic.

“We are very grate­ful to the Ro­tary Club of Blair­gowrie for sup­port­ing the au­thors in schools pro­gramme this year, it is such a worth­while ini­tia­tive and one that we will cer­tainly be look­ing to run again next year.

“Thanks must also go to Ja­clyn Meikle and her team at Blair­gowrie Com­mu­nity Cam­pus, and to all the teach­ers and helpers from the par­tic­i­pat­ing schools for mak­ing it all pos­si­ble.”

The BOOKMARK fes­ti­val takes place on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 6 and Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 7 at the Blair­gowrie Com­mu­nity Cam­pus.

Tick­ets are avail­able now from Blair­gowrie Li­brary, phone 01250 871305, on­line at­mark­, or from the shop at 17 High Street, which is open six days a week from 10am un­til 4pm un­til the fes­ti­val starts.

Pop­u­lar Au­thor Mike Ni­chol­son and Liz Ma­son, BOOKMARK au­thors in schools co-or­di­na­tor, with pupils from Kirk­michael, Ne­whill, St Stephen’s and Rat­tray Pri­mary Schools. Pic­ture by Richard Wilkins

Dis­play Blair­gowrie Li­brary

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