READING fans can look forward to a packed programme of events at the fourth annual Ryedale Book Festival.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, with organisers already putting together another varied, vibrant and exciting range of activities that should appeal to everyone who likes books.

Sarah Tyson, festival director, said they had been delighted to find out that provided the festival can raise some money locally, it had qualified for nearly £10,000 of lottery money from the Arts Council.

“The money has been pledged in order to strengthen the infrastructure and secure the legacy of the festival,” she added.

“As a part of this, the festival has had a new website designed by Malton-based designer Ten Fathoms.”

Some of the names announced so far include Charlie and Lola creator Lauren Child, who will be at The Old Lodge; performance poet and BBC Radio 4 comedian John Hegley entertaining an audience at The Milton Rooms, and South Yorkshire artist Su Blackwell, who will create sculptures from books.

Also part of the programme this year will be Clare Morpurgo, daughter of Sir Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin Books, and wife of writer Michael Morpurgo, who attended last year’s festival.

Sarah said: “Clare’s visit is a jewel in the 2015 programme. She will be leading a fascinating luncheon event and speaking about her father, who established Penguin Books 80 years ago.

“This event will be in aid of the charity Farms for City Children, established by Clare with her husband, writer and former children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo.

“Michael attended last year’s festival and has continued to support it by sharing with his fellow writers the welcome he received and singing the praises of the high quality of the Ryedale audience.”

The festival will also include a number of writers speaking about their work, including Carnegie medal winner Melvin Burgess of Junk fame; Lucy Foley for a discussion of her bestselling debut novel The Book of Lost and Found; and Maggie Harcourt in a conversation about her book The Last Summer of Us with live performances by The Book Shop Band.

Crime fans can also look forward to meeting the creator of the Kate Shackleton mysteries presenting her latest whodunnit A Death in the Dales, set in North Yorkshire.

Younger members of the audience can also join Andy Seed and the P Factor finalists, and look forward to taking part in one of Marcia Williams’ interactive history workshops based on her most recent graphic novel The Tudors.

Dr Christopher Tadgell will be talking in Malton Town Hall about his series of publications about a History of Architecture, and former cricketer and sports journalist Harry Pearson will also be entertaining the audience with a whistle stop tour of Yorkshire’s Sporting Heroes.

Sarah said: “As a consequence of the local community contributing towards the programme there are plenty of other activities across the weekend including Goldilocks stories and biscuit decorating with the Camphill Village Trust, Penguin Classics Hide and Seek, Bible stories at the Methodist Chapel and bedtime stories in the story-telling tent.

“Ministers from local churches will also be debating the role of the bestselling book, The Bible, in modern society.”

Sarah said alongside arranging the October programme, school outreach work had been well under way throughout the year.

“The annual school story project, coordinated by artists Tabitha Grove and Libby Pearson and featuring ten local schools, will also be on display throughout the weekend.,” she added.

“The printed picture story book has been designed and published by local award-winning gift company, If. Quentin Blake has continued to support this creative writing opportunity enabling children to have their work published in a real book.”

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