Festival will be new chapter
Independent bookseller Debbie James hopes to spread her passion for reading across the county in May.
The owner of The Bookshop, in Kibworth, has launched Leicester's first book festival.
The Leicester Literature Festival will take place from May 16 to 19 and includes appearances from authors Sarah Gristwood, Iain Broome and Sam Mills, the Leicestershire Guild of Storytelling, poet John Gallas and publishers Persephone Books and Legend Press.
Events will be hosted by Leicester's Guildhall, The Crumblin' Cookie, in the city's High Street, and The Bookshop, with other venues yet to be announced.
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Debbie said: "There are lots of people like me out there with a passion for reading and authors, but no events which celebrate them like this.
"My hope is to establish an annual series of events to share stories in Leicester and Leicestershire, raise the profile of the world of books and encourage reading in entertaining ways with special guests."
Author Sarah Gristwood will be at the Guildhall on May 17 to talk about her new book Blood Sisters, an account of women involved in the War of the Roses – one of whom, Anne Neville, was the wife of Richard III.
Leicester-based poet John Gallas will also be launching an anthology of European poetry at an event on May 16 at The Crumblin' Cookie.
He said: "I'm very pleased this is happening because there hasn't been anything like this in Leicestershire in the past.
"Debbie's bookshop in Kibworth is doing very well and I think this will be a very good event.
"There's a good base of people involved to make it successful."
Other events include a free storytelling session and a Where's Wally competition around Kibworth for the younger ones.
Debbie said: "It's going to be interesting and lots of fun. Like Leicester's Comedy Festival which started small, I hope this just grows and grows each year. If anyone would like to hold an event or take part in any other way I'd love to hear from them.
"Whether they want to host something now or in the future, it all helps and will add to what we're trying to achieve.
"Books play an important role and their worth should never be underestimated.
"That's why the Leicester Literature Festival is very exciting."
The Bookshop has been shortlisted for the regional Independent Bookseller of The Year award 2013.
To contact Debbie, e-mail:
To find out more about the book festival and its various events, visit: