12 new titles have been announced as part of the 10th annual Read Regional campaign, which takes place in libraries across the North of England during spring 2018.
Read Regional is a celebration of brilliant new books from the North of England, which connect authors with readers in their local libraries. Founded by New Writing North in 2008 with the first events taking place in 2009, the campaign is funded by Arts Council England and is now produced in partnership with 23 library authorities.
Many North East authorities have been involved in Read Regional since its inception, including Darlington, where the Crown Street Library – one of only two public libraries in the authority – is currently under threat.
The campaign has previously promoted leading authors including Melvin Burgess, Ann Cleeves, Jack Mapanje and Annabel Pitcher. This year’s selection offers a wide appeal, including poetry, children’s books, nature writing, fiction and crime.
The titles selected for 2018 are:
Girl Zero, A. A. Dhand
Take This One to Bed, Antony Dunn
How Saints Die, Carmen Marcus
Fish Boy, Chloe Daykin
The Zealot’s Bones, D. M. Mark
An Honest Deceit, Guy Mankowski
News from Nowhere, Jane Austin
Fell, Jenn Ashworth
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, Kate Pankhurst
Basic Nest Architecture, Polly Atkin
A Sweet, Wild Note, Richard Smyth
The Companion, Sarah Dunnakey
Each library authority will stock the full Read Regional 2018 list and from March until June 2018 the authors will take part in 87 events in libraries across the region including workshops, book group discussions, events for schools and readings. Following the spring campaign, the Read Regional titles will remain in stock, adding to the wealth of new northern literature readers can borrow from their local libraries.
For the authors involved, Read Regional is not only an opportunity to meet readers and talk about their work, but also to celebrate the vitality of libraries as centres of creativity and learning for the whole community.
Kate Pankhurst, author and illustrator of Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, said:
“Every book we read as a child is a piece of the jigsaw of who we become as adults –having free access to books and learning wherever you live and whoever you are is such an important right.”
Sarah Dunnakey, author of The Companion, said:
“My local library is a safe and welcoming place that doesn’t have a dress code, doesn’t try to sell me anything, doesn’t care about my age, gender or sexuality. A place to sit and think. To read, to write. To think a bit more. Like a spa with words and ideas instead of steam.”
D.M. Mark, author of The Zealot’s Bones, said:
“This may sound a little obvious, but I like the fact that people can go to libraries and get books they want, for free. I mean, that’s brilliant, isn’t it? Books should be available. I’m also rather fond of librarians, who seem to me like the gatekeepers of a fabulous realm and who really shouldn’t have to spend any time persuading the accountants that their service is valuable. Of course it bloody is.”
Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North said:
“There has never been a more important time to support our local libraries. Read Regional is ten years old this year and over this period things have changed a great deal for libraries with the onset of austerity programmes for local authorities. These have been challenging times with many libraries undertaking great change. Through Read Regional our partner libraries have continued to support our campaign and authors, working hard to ensure that regional writers get great opportunities and that their readers can access wonderful books and events.”
Read Regional runs from March to June 2018 in libraries across the North of England. Find information about all of the events and download reading guides for each of the titles at www.newwritingnorth.com