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A Town Built on Stories

Updated: Feb 1

Film documentary project telling the extraordinary story of a town's 60+ bookclubs and the role reading plays in the darkest of times.


'This is a town

built on stories

This is a town

full of tales'

Ian McMillan


In September 2020, Doncaster was named as The Booker Prize for Fiction's partner for regional events. The partnership with Doncaster Creates, an arts programme set up to nurture creativity in the town, saw a series of literary events taking place intended to bring a positive and lasting legacy for book lovers and writers. Members of Doncaster's 60+ bookclubs read the Booker shortlist and contributed questions to the shortlisted authors, in a special live online Q&A chaired by Sheffield-based poet, Helen Mort.


I am thrilled to be making a short documentary film about the project, to be narrated by legendary Yorkshire poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan. As well as profiling the Booker initiative, the film will tell the story of the town's 60+ reading groups, many of which continued to meet during lockdown.


"Doncaster has a strong tradition in inspirational creative writing and reading initiatives with people from all walks of life," says Juliet Farrar, executive director at Doncaster Creates. "The Booker events have built on the fantastic work of our partners Doncaster Libraries and the National Literacy Trust’s Doncaster Stories campaign, bringing the transformative power of reading and high-quality writing to communities.”


Ian Macmillan

A Booker book tree, created by artists Sacha Gray and Anton Hecht, using books for sculptural works, and displayed in the large windows of the Cast Theatre in Doncaster.




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