This summer is the third year of the Derby Book Festival, and this year I have been lucky enough to both attend one of the events and work for the festival too, on a placement organised by my university to help organise one of the events.
I received my placement through the School of English at university, and it was a brilliant opportunity. When I got the news that I had received the position, after going through the application process at uni, I was so excited to start – particularly working at a book festival, which seems such a unique experience! I was partnered with a fellow English student, and we were given the task of creating the Children’s Book Trail along one of the streets in Derby centre. It felt like such a huge amount of responsibility (and still does): not only were we organising an entire event by ourselves, but it was also the first event of the festival!
We worked once a week in Derby, communicating with the shops and buying materials for the event, all the time aware of our very fixed timeframe. I learnt a lot, and developed lots of skills in my time working for DBF. It was also fascinating working alongside the creators and organisation team for the festival, being able to see everything develop for myself and how much work goes into creating something so big.
We successfully launched our finished Book Trail a few weeks ago now, including inviting a year group from the local school to be the first to try the trail. We even dressed up as book characters from our favourite children’s book, and got interviewed by BBC Radio Derby! Overall, a lot of fun.
I also received the opportunity to see one of the events: Virago Press: Changing the World One Page at a Time. It involved publisher, and now chair of Virago, Lennie Goodings in conversation with her author Rachel Seiffert. As someone interested in going into a career in the publishing industry, I found it particularly interesting. Overall, it felt like a very well conducted event (and I know all about how much organisation it takes!).
It was a very enjoyable evening, but I also really enjoyed my time working for Derby Book Festival too. I learnt a lot by working here, and has made me all the more interested and enthusiastic about working in a literary sphere.
Photos by jaktphotography.