Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival

Monday October 1st – Sunday October 7th 2018

Borderlines Book Festival aims to promote an annual celebration of the written and spoken word in Carlisle, Cumbria.

We aim to establish the festival as a focus for literary excellence by attracting high quality speakers, nurturing and showcasing local writing talent; providing new opportunities for local people to experience literature in direct, accessible and dynamic ways; and helping to foster literary skills within the community.

We will strive to promote literacy and a life-long love of reading across all sections and ages of the community.

We would like to create a sense of occasion and identification with the Festival, raising the profile of Carlisle nationally and stimulating economic opportunities for local businesses.

Borderlines Book Festival has been developed through partnership working between public and private enterprise by

Cumbria County Council's Library Service
Tullie House

Borderlines is a not-for-profit organisation – every penny goes back into the festival – and has a fully constituted steering group.

The steering group members are:

  • Chair: Anna Smalley (Tullie House Museum & Gallery)
  • Vice Chair: Helen Towers (Cumbria Library Service)
  • Treasurer: Terry Towers
  • Secretary: Jenny Bank
  • Barrie Day
  • Simon Douglas
  • Serena Field
  • Gwenda Matthews (Bookends Carlisle)

Our media partner is Cumbria Life who offer invaluable support and who promote the festival extensively in their monthly magazine. We appreciate the importance of the support shown by all the staff, including that of the editor, Richard Eccles

The Honorary President of Borderlines is Hunter Davies, a Carlisle lad, and one who has offered us great encouragement over the years. His contribution to the world of journalism and literature has certainly helped put Carlisle on the map!

We have an amazing band of volunteers who also help us out – too many to mention here but you all know who you are, and thank you all. We are also very fortunate that Roger Bolton, presenter of Radio 4’s Feedback programme, supports us at Borderlines every year with expert interviewing and chairing., along with all our other hardworking chairpersons

The success of the festival always relies on the financial support of our sponsors and funders. We appreciate and acknowledge their support which ensures the continued viability of the festival.


Event of the Year Finalist at Cumbria Life Culture Awards 2015 and 2016 and Finalist Culture City 2015 at Carlisle Living Awards.

Borderlines Book Festival is a not-for-profit organisation that has been developed through partnership working between public and private enterprise.
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