Scarborough Literature Festival to go ahead: star names on way

Author and TV star Lucy Worsley
Author and TV star Lucy Worsley

Scarborough Literature Festival will go ahead after all with famous names including TV historian Lucy Worsley and Joanna Trollope.

Former broadcaster Kate Adie, radio presenter James Naughtie and top-selling author Margaret Drabble have also been booked to appear.

New to the festival, which will now called Books By The Beach, will be broadcaster James Naughtie and military historian Alan Mallinson.

For the first time, the Fringe has been incorporated into the main festival under the name of Scarborough Flare.

It was feared that a lack of funding would spell the end of what was called The Long Weekend – four days in April – which had been running for seven years and was based at Scarborough Library.

Now regular festival host Peter Guttridge has teamed up with literature festival programmer Heather French to provide a programme of nationally known authors.

Scarborough Flare – which includes local authors Tony Howson, Felix Hodcroft, David Lewis and publisher Jamie McGarry – will offer a platform for local artists, writers, poets and playwrights.

“This will be a true Scarborough festival in that it is supported by North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Council, Scarborough Museums Trust, and a number of local business, including The Scarborough News,” said Peter.

“It’s great that everybody is working together to produce a festival of which the whole town can be proud, Other big names will be announced in due course and the full programme will be announced in the new year,” he said.

Books by The Beach and Scarborough Flare will run from Thursday April 24 to Sunday April 27 and be based at the library in Vernon Road and other venues across the town.

Chief curator of the Royal Palaces Lucy Worsley will be talking about Victorian murders, Kate Adie on First World War Women and Joanna Trollope will be talking about Jane Austen and the reworking of one of Austen’s novels.

The organisers of Scarborough Flare are holding a meeting at Woodend Creative Workspace, The Crescent Scarborough, tomorrow from 11am.

“We are looking for some bright ideas to make next year’s literature festival in Scarborough a real page-turner,” said Tony Howson.

“Local writers and literary organisation are encouraged to come up with ideas for the festival and bid for a place in the programme of events.

“We want Scarborough to stand apart from other book festivals, and the key to that is its local talent. This is a chance for local writers and organisations to showcase what they do and involve the local community at the same time.”

He said it was important to involve the community at as many levels as possible using drama, prose and poetry.

“Scarborough already punches well above its weight as a centre for creative activity. We want the festival to play a bigger part in encouraging this, becoming a more striking feature of the town and to encourage the public to enjoy and join in with what’s on offer on its own doorstep.

“We’re very keen to get local wordsmiths working in partnership with local musicians, artists or other creative practitioners during next year’s festival.”

The Long Weekend ran for seven years and attracted best-selling novelists, broadcasters and performers. These included crime writers Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Lee Child and David Hewson. Scarborough-born Susan Hill, Barbara Trapido, Jodi Picoult,and Kate Atkinson and David Nobbs all appeared at the festival. This year’s line-up included William Sitwell, actor Gordon Sinclair, Susanna Gregory, Karen Maitland, Michael Jecks, Joanne Harris, David Lodge, Lucy Worsley and film director Mike Hodges.and top-selling author Margaret Drabble have also been booked to appear.

New to the festival, which will now be called Books By The Beach, will be broadcaster James Naughtie and military historian Alan Mallinson.

For the first time, the Fringe has been incorporated into the main festival under the name of Scarborough Flare.

It was feared that a lack of funding would spell the end of what was called The Long Weekend – four days in April – which had been running for seven years and was based at Scarborough Library.

Now regular festival host Peter Guttridge has teamed up with literature festival programmer Heather French to provide a programme of nationally known authors.

Scarborough Flare – which includes local authors Tony Howson, Felix Hodcroft, David Lewis and publisher Jamie McGarry – will offer a platform for local artists, writers, poets and playwrights.

“This will be a true Scarborough festival in that it is supported by North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Council, Scarborough Museums Trust, and businesses including The Scarborough News,” said Peter.

“It’s great that everybody is working together to produce a festival of which the whole town can be proud. Other big names will be announced in due course and the full programme will be announced in the new year,” he said.

Books by The Beach and Scarborough Flare will run from Thursday April 24 to Sunday April 27 and be based at the library in Vernon Road and other venues across the town.

Chief curator of the Royal Palaces Lucy Worsley will be talking about Victorian murders, Kate Adie on First World War Women and Joanna Trollope will be talking about Jane Austen and the reworking of one of Austen’s novels.

The organisers of Scarborough Flare are holding a meeting at Woodend Creative Workspace, The Crescent Scarborough, on November 29 from 11am. “We are looking for some bright ideas to make next year’s literature festival in Scarborough a real page-turner,” said Tony Howson.

“We want Scarborough to stand apart from other book festivals, and the key to that is its local talent. This is a chance for local writers and organisations to showcase what they do and involve the local community at the same time.”

He said it was important to involve the community at as many levels as possible using drama, prose and poetry. “Scarborough already punches well above its weight as a centre for creative activity. We want the festival to play a bigger part in encouraging this, becoming a more striking feature of the town and to encourage the public to enjoy and join in with what’s on offer on its own doorstep.

“We’re very keen to get 
local wordsmiths working in partnership with musicians, artists or other creative 
practitioners during next year’s festival.”

The Long Weekend ran for seven years and attracted best-selling novelists, broadcasters and performers. These included crime writers Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Lee Child and David Hewson. Scarborough-born Susan Hill, Barbara Trapido, Jodi Picoult,and Kate Atkinson and David Nobbs all appeared at the festival. This year’s line-up included William Sitwell, actor Gordon Sinclair, Susanna Gregory, Karen Maitland, Michael Jecks, Joanne Harris, David Lodge, Lucy Worsley and film director Mike Hodges.