• Judith Barrow Author

Ah, The End of an Era... Or Is It?

Well, yes it is. And although there is some sadness there is also a grain of relief. Because Thorne Moore and I have been organising the Book Fair for the last eight years (initially with Alex Martin; although we lost Alex to the delights of France) and we really need to concentrate on our writing now. It's been fun; we've met some wonderful people, both readers and authors but, for us, it really is the end of an era.

Leading up to each book fair over the years there have been good times... and times not so good - situations which have had us dissolving into hysterical laughter... and situations that almost had us banging our heads on our desks.

Persuading the authors to send us details of their books, images of themselves and a paragraph or two to promote themselves ( they are such a shy, reclusive lot, as everyone knows!) was occasionally ( like herding cats ) difficult. But we got there in the end and Thorne, our consummate website expert, managed to promote each and every one of them – on the site, on posters and on our brochures. A time-consuming task, I know.

And, as though it wasn't enough to have a book fair, we also decided there would be editor sessions for debut writers, talks and writing workshops.

Setting up the evenings before the book fairs was always a team effort by (anyone dragged in to help) - volunteers. A noisy, nerve-wracking time, when anything could - and often did - go wrong

But, on the day of the event - and, in the case of 2019, on the two days of the Narberth Book Fair: http://bit.ly/2SDRxqn , all was thoroughly enjoyed. This year, especially, there was an exceptional buzz - and we were glad for everyone; because we knew this was the last one we would be arranging.

Some of the authors have been with us from the start; we began as a small event with twelve writers, as part of the Tenby Arts Festival but, as the years passed and the numbers grew we moved to a more suitable venue, The Queens Hall in Narberth. And this year we had over fifty authors: http://bit.ly/2pL0gJR

We've been loyally supported by some lovely people in the background: beavering away at our press publicity has been Elizabeth Sleight, Carol Lovekin was our blogger and star Tweeter, Janey EJ Tulley Stevens, not only one of our sponsors but unstinting on social media. Numerous members of Thorne's family (and my husband, who prefers to remain anonymous for some reason!) helped over and above their remit. And a specific mention of a couple of authors' partners here -the sidekicks of Jan Newton and Cheryl Rees Price, Merve and Morgan - our leaflet distributors extraordinaires, who travelled the length and breadth of Narberth in all weathers,

And I really should give a shout out to http://showboat.tv/ who have filmed and shared every one of our book fairs around the UK ( even around the world!) on their website.

At the end of the weekend of the 28th/29th September this year, we announced our decision; this had to be the last we would organised and we were happy to hand over the baton. If someone (is mad enough) - would like take it on, there is a post I wrote some time ago on "Organising a Book Fair" - http://bit.ly/2YmKSiN.

As I said at the beginning of this rather rambling piece there is some sadness but there is also a grain of relief. I'm not sure how Thorne will fill her time (am keeping my head down for a while, having said that!) but, for me, not only will I have more time to write but I will be exploring new ventures and projects... watch this space - I might even have time to blog about them!

A Disclaimer: If there is anyone I have forgotten to mention I apologise and plead the "not yet recovered from the book fair yet, brain". But there are many photos all over social media - and I'm trying to share everything



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