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First Ryedale Book Festival is a big hit
Ryedale Book Festival organiser Sarah Tyson with storyteller Ian Douglas outside the Milton Rooms in Malton
HUNDREDS of people visited Ryedale Book Festival in Malton last weekend to enjoy a celebration of the written and spoken word.
Organisers said they had received positive feedback from artists, writers and performers who contributed towards the festival.
Sarah Tyson, festival coordinator, said many of those involved had waived or reduced their fees to support this inaugural event.
“Their generosity together with the contribution from hotels, shops, bars and restaurants who didn’t charge venue hire, the local sponsors, town councils, North Yorkshire County Council libraries and youth services, who provided funding in kind, and the hard work of the volunteers made this event possible,” she said.
“The outreach work which has involved myself and local author Andy Seed visiting 11 Ryedale primary schools over the last few months was a huge success and resulted in a lot of children attending the festival on Saturday.”
Sarah said they were grateful to the teachers in the schools whose dedication to the projects resulted in their ultimate success.
“Andy Seed came up with a great concept that the children loved and the festival was lucky to have had a local writer who is so enthusiastic about young people reading for pleasure and the school story project is the process of being published,” she said.
“Teachers from different schools have expressed an interest in being involved in the future and that is wonderful news and all enquires are welcome. We hope to work with Ryedale secondary schools in the future, too.”
Sarah said the writing competitions had attracted entries from across Yorkshire and it was encouraging that writers in Halifax, York, Leeds and Hull had entered a competition in Ryedale.
“There has been a huge amount of work spent this year establishing a strong foundation for a community literary event which has proved to be inclusive, popular and well organised. Each event offered something different from Lucy Beckett to Lucy Robinson, Ian Douglas to Ian Balding,” she added.
“The Book Festival was devised by the people of Ryedale through their responses to questionnaires, created by Ryedale’s volunteers and was supported by Ryedale businesses, charities, town councils, teachers, librarians and other arts officers.”
Libby Pearson, Youth Arts Coordinator for Ryedale, said she had been pleased to have been involved in the festival.
“North Yorkshire County Council’s Youth Support Service is dedicated to opening up opportunities in the arts for all young people and helping them to develop new and existing skills,” she added.
“I recognised the importance of the festival immediately and wanted to ensure young people were included in the offering. The festival was totally inclusive – truly offering something for everyone. I was particularly pleased to have involved young people in making a sculpture of a tree which really provided a focal point”
Audrie Woodhouse of Woodhouse Theatre Connections, who told stories from the Telltastic Telltale Tent, said: “It was wonderful to be part of such a fantastically well organised event that looked and felt professionally run and involved the contribution of so many varied participants.”
Sarah said that several organisations and charities had benefited from their involvement, especially the Injured Jockey Fund, with nearly £1,000 raised at the Talbot Hotel on Sunday evening thanks to Ian Balding’s generosity.
“We hope that we have demonstrated our capacity to deliver a quality event that is accessible to the whole district, “ said Sarah.
“I am delighted that everyone I have heard from enjoyed a happy weekend and are pleased to have been associated with the Ryedale Book Festival and would like to be involved in the future. We could not have hoped for more.”