Literature Festival

North Notts LitFest Trail

More than 2,500 people took part in LitFest’s First Chapters Trail during September 2020, which aimed to encourage local people to visit town centres across North Nottinghamshire and engage in socially distanced fun.
 |  Jon Rogers  |  Books

Managed by Liz Carney-Marsh on behalf of Bassetlaw District Council and funded by North Notts BID, LitFest offered free virtual workshops, live online interviews and readings with a variety of different authors, and the First Chapters Trail to encourage people to participate outdoors.

The trail required participants to hunt for special bookcases that hid secret ‘Artcodes’ and were placed in businesses across Retford and Worksop – many of which were partnered with North Notts BID. Once scanned, these codes led participants to footage of different authors – both international and local - as they read chapters from their favourite published books.


Sally Gillborn, chief executive at North Notts BID, said: “We’re so happy we could support LitFest again, even if things had to be done slightly differently this year. We wanted people to be able to enjoy the workshops and live streams from the comfort of their own homes, while still being able to participate in an element of the event outdoors.

“It was great to see local businesses getting involved this year and we’re happy that we were able to invite people to visit these businesses, while still taking all the appropriate measures to keep them safe. LitFest is an event that we look forward to every year and it’s an amazing way to encourage young people to take more of an interest in reading and writing as schools begin to reopen.”

Liz Carney-Marsh, North Nottinghamshire’s literary ambassador, said: “We had a lot of fun designing new ways for people to participate in the festival this year by giving them a reason to explore the local area in a safe and fun manner. The First Chapters Trail enabled us to do all of those things at the same time, showcasing not just international bestselling writers, but also our wonderful community of local authors.

“We also worked with local author Charlie Mackesy to drop over £500 worth of his book 'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse' at different locations across Worksop and Retford while the festival was running, which was a great way to encourage young people to get outdoors to track them down and get reading as the new academic year begins.”

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