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Volunteers Needed: The UK’s First eBook Festival, Kidwell-eFestival

June 7, 2012

The UK’s first literary festival dedicated to digital publishing, the Kidwell-eFestival, is looking for some volunteers to act as ambassadors at the event.

Applicants should have excellent communication skills and an ability to think on their feet, as well as an interest in literature. Applicants will need to be able to react quickly to changes (timetabling, for example) and be able to provide help to those who need it. Travel expenses are negotiable, but applicants should ideally be within a sensible travelling distance to Kidwelly.

You will gain experience in helping the organisation and maintenance of the first ebook festival held in the UK (and, by extension, the first ebook award to be held in the UK).

The festival’s press release is below. Applicants should send their CV and a brief description outlining why they are appropriate for the task to, or they can phone directly at 01554 890775.


Taking place in the picture postcard-perfect coastal village of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, West Wales, on the weekend of July 28 – 9, the inaugural Kidwell-e Festival will feature best-selling and award-winning writers including Lesley Pearse, Alex Thomas, Martin Edwards, David Davies and Andrew Kirby.

Pearse, whose books have sold over seven million copies across the world, will be discussing her multi-genre writing in discussion with festival founder and Welsh author Julian Ruck, while high-flying legal partner and celebrated crime writer Edwards (The Hanging Wood, The Coffin Trail) will be laying down the law on how to write compelling crime fiction.

Irish author Thomas, whose best-selling 2011 début novel War & Piste is currently undergoing a film makeover, will be revealing the secrets of her success, naval historicals writer and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society David Davies (winner of the Samuel Pepys prize for his book Pepys’s Navy, is set to discuss “The Battle for History’s Soul” and A J Kirby (Bully) will give the inside track on taking an ebook to the top of the charts.

There will also be appearances by royal biographer and crime writer Tim Heald (The Duke – a Portrait of Prince Philip and Princess Margaret – a Life Unravelled), comedian Jools Constant, Japanese culture expert Yoko Kawaguchi — who will be sharing the delights of Zen gardens — and ‘accidental’ novelist Polly Courtney, whose work includes Golden Handcuffs, a semi- autobiographical exposé on city life, and who hit the headlines last year for breaking free from HarperCollins in protest at the “fluffy” titles and cover designs assigned to her books.

In line with the festival’s brief to be “INclusive, Not EXclusive” and support new writing talent, digital champion Courtney will be lifting the lid on how fledgling and self-published authors can make their mark WITHOUT needing to go through a major publisher.

For one talented new British writer that first step to stardom will come in the form of the Kidwell-e Ebook Award, with the winner of the £10,000 prize for the best unpublished or self-published ebook being announced at a glittering ceremony on the Sunday night.

There will also be a host of popular children’s authors at the two-day festival to keep the kids busy, including author/illustrator Nicholas Allen (The Queen’s Knickers), Adèle Geras (Dido, the Tutu Tilly series), Pippa Goodhart (You Choose — winner of Mumsnet’s Book of the Year for 3-4 Year Olds Award 2011), Carnegie Medal nominee Mary Hooper (At The House of the Magician, At The Sign Of The Sugared Plum) and Anne Rooney (Vampire Dawn series).

If that’s not enough, there will also be fire breathers, magicians, writing and circus skills workshops, stilt walking, Medieval minstrels and face painting. Even better, entry is free for all children under 14.

Unlike many of its rivals, the Kidwell-e Festival is a wellies-free zone — with all the activities taking place in the state-of-the-art Ffos Las Racecourse — and unashamedly popular in its focus and appeal.

Festival founder and best-selling Welsh author Julian Ruck (The Treharne Trilogy) said: “The Kidwell-e Festival is the first event of its kind within the UK to officially recognise, and celebrate, the ebook – the most innovative, exciting and empowering medium to hit the publishing world since Caxton and Gutenberg.

“The festival’s motto is “INclusive, Not EXclusive” and as such has a healthy mix of big names and future literary stars. If you’re after dry literary dissections of Proust or high-brow critiques of Joyce then this is not the festival for you, but if like most people you simply want a great day out with the family then Kidwell-e is perfect.

“For adults we have a wealth of fascinating talks and readings on all aspects of popular writing taking place in the stunning countryside of the Gower Peninsula, for fellow authors we can offer invaluable insights in how to make the most of the digital publishing revolution, and for kids we are putting on an unforgettable mixture of readings and entertainments by all sorts of mysterious and magical folk!”

He added: “Kidwell-e is about promoting literature and literacy to all in the digital age, giving new writing talent a chance, and most of all, having lots of fun.”

The Kidwell-e Festival takes place on Saturday, July 28, and Sunday, July 29. Tickets are priced £15 for one day or £25 for two days when booked in advance. Entrance on the day is £18. Children under 14 go free. For more information visit

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