Breaking world records…

It was a busy week: I finished the last of 19 local school visits to promote the Ryedale Book Festival, I did a bit of work for BBC Children in Need, gave my comments on some page proofs for a new book on the Winter Olympics, wrote a few pages of my new children’s book for Bloomsbury, gave three performances of The Reading Show and broke a world record. Sort of.

I’d better explain that last bit. I’ve been touring the country with author Alan Gibbons to encourage children to read for pleasure with our Reading Show for schools. We were in Bristol on Friday, at the Central Library performing the show for kids from ten schools, and in the morning we were at Clifton College Prep in front of a large, enthusiastic audience. One of the highlights of the presentation is where we feature the Guinness World Records book and have a go at breaking a record – well, getting a couple of children to do so.

The record is for the number of spoons balanced on a person’s face, which stands at 17. An enormous cheer went up when two KS2 children from the school did no less than 20! Okay, so we cheated a bit… (you’re not supposed to lean your head back) but it was a great moment, all the same, and raised a huge cheer in the hall.

20 spoons!

The show was great fun to perform and we must thank enthusiastic Librarians Jenny Jones and Margaret Pemberton at each venue for inviting us and for their hospitality. We also performed the show at Churnet View Middle School in Leek on Monday, where the children were tremendous too.

Other recent events have included a fun ‘Blooming Words Cabaret’ evening with poet Kate Fox, writer Miles Salter and singer Pip Mountjoy at the excellent White Rose Book Cafe in Thirsk. If you live nearby and haven’t been to one of these regular evenings then I really recommend them – authors, music, entertainment and a glass of wine.

Sue Lake, Pip Mountjoy and Kate Fox at the White Rose Cabaret

I’ve also been scootin’ round Ryedale primary schools over the last month getting thousands of local children fired up about the P-Factor, the poetry performance competition which will be taking place at the Ryedale Book Festival in Malton on October 19th. The Grand Final is at 4pm in The Milton Rooms and 19 groups, one representing each school, will be on stage under the lights, bringing their chosen poem to life in front of the judges (me among them) and a big audience. It promises to be a memorable event.

Events coming up

Saturday 19th Oct
Tales from the Dales – three authors, including Andy Seed, talk about how the Yorkshire Dales has inspired their books. Venue: Milton Rooms, Malton: details at http://www.ryedalebookfestival.com/Readers.html

Saturday 19th Oct
Grand Final of the P-Factor schools poetry performance competition. Open to all, free event – at the Milton Rooms, Malton: details at http://www.ryedalebookfestival.com/Children.html

Wednesday 30th October
Wetherby Festival Literary Lunch at The Bridge Inn, Walshford 12 Noon – enjoy a 3-course lunch and hear authors Andy Seed, Val Wood and Chris Perry talk about their work. Details at http://www.wetherbyfestival.co.uk/events.php

Saturday 30th Nov
Book signing at the Guisborough Bookshop – come and get a signed copy of one of Andy’s funny memoirs at this fine indie bookshop. 11am-1pm

Friday 6th Dec
Ripon Wakeman Lecture, details at http://wakemanlectures.btck.co.uk/

Monday 9th Dec
Rossett Lecture, Harrogate details http://www.rossettschool.co.uk/pages/community/adultlearning/programme.htm#lectures

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