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Stroud Book Festival awarded Build Back Better grant from Gloucestershire County Council

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Stroud Book Festival is thrilled to announce its successful bid for a Build Back Better grant from Gloucestershire County Council, writes Louise Brice.

The grant means that the Festival – which is run as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and on a shoestring budget – can pay fees to all its author contributors, while also securing its immediate future in the wake of the pandemic.

Whilst this year’s Festival, which runs from 3-7 November, will stage over 30 live events in Stroud venues, reduced numbers of tickets will be sold for each event compared with in 2019, in order to help keep audiences, authors, volunteers and Festival team safe.

Now in its 6th year, the Festival is also celebrating a nomination for SoGlos Event of the Year. Its 2021 programme has been curated to challenge, inform and even alter our perspectives, but also to entertain, comfort and raise a laugh as we celebrate the vital role books and their authors play in our lives. 

The Festival will continue to highlight global concerns and promote powerful personal stories, with Mary Portas, Jay Griffiths, Hassan Akkad, Kate Mosse & Madeleine Bunting and Anita Sethi all headlining events at the Festival.  We are also honoured to welcome Stuart Lawrence, brother of Stephen Lawrence, for an inspirational family event (ages 12+) based on his book “Silence is Not an Option: You Can Impact the World for Change”.

There are over a dozen events for children, including Michael Morpurgo, Lydia Monks, Andy Seed, workshops and free storytelling sessions in the library to celebrate Maisy Mouse’s 30th birthday!  The Festival is delighted once again to stage its annual Schools’ Day for local primary schools on 4th November, with both in-person events and a virtual programme for those schools unable to attend.

In line with the Festival’s commitment to support creators who live and work in the Five Valleys of Stroud, one-quarter of the authors in the 2021 programme live locally. Notable local authors include award-winning local business owner and coach Clare Honeyfield, rising star thriller writer Melanie Golding, debut novelists Sarah Edghill, Dan Glaister and Hannah Persaud and historical novelists Tessa Harris, Mandy Robotham and Sarah Steele.  The Festival programme wouldn’t be complete without Stroud Short Stories, whose 22nd event ‘WILD’ will be held on Sunday 7 November at the Cotswold Playhouse.

Tickets and line-up: www.stroudbookfestival.org.uk

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