The Festival is run by a permanent team year round who are joined by around 25 freelance staff at Festival time:
Rachel has been at ILF since 2003, having worked in touring theatre as a writer and director in a previous life. She is responsible for the overall running and programming of the Festival which gives her lots of opportunities to meet her favourite authors.
She loves books by Rose Tremain, Kate Grenville, Maya Angelou and George Eliot and spends her spare time playing as much music as possible and wandering round art galleries.
Judy has been an Event Manager at ILF for over 10 years but joined us as a permanent team member in 2014, and is now responsible for securing our sponsors and looking after them during the Festival.
In her spare time, the chances are you can find Judy up on Ilkley Moor with her little dog Gripper, or rummaging around medieval ruins, castles and cathedrals. Her favourite author is Sarah Dunant, who really brings to life what it was like to live in 16th Century Venice.
Dawn has been a self – employed arts professional for the past ten years. Her areas of experience and interest include audience development; research and evaluation; leadership development; development of community engagement strategies; personal and organisational development; and creative approaches to cultural diversity.
Dawn’s worked with clients from across all art forms and across England, Scotland and Wales. Prior to becoming self – employed, Dawn was Chief Executive of a media centre and before that development manager of a housing association. She’s attained Masters Degrees in Sociology and Social Policy and in Creative Writing.
After completing a Masters in Children’s Literature at Newcastle University, Alex worked at Harrogate International Festivals for a number of years, before joining ILF in 2014.
Her favourite book is probably Matilda, but this changes depending on the day of the week. She also knows a lot about 1950’s British pony stories. She likes knitting and is inexplicably a fan of Welsh Rugby despite not being Welsh.
Laura Beddows started working for the Festival in 2009 as an intern and stage manager while still studying English Literature at the University of Leeds. After graduating in 2010 Laura returned to the Festival and over the years has worked in the box office and an admin assistant before becoming a permanent member of the team as the Festival Administrator.
One of Laura’s favourite Ilkley Literature Festival events (and also one of her first) was with Yorkshire writer of the Red Riding series David Peace. Aside from books Laura enjoys baking cakes for the office, heading off on city breaks and buying ugly 1970s furniture.
Nigel joined the ILF team in November 2016. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School, he enjoyed 10 years on stage prior to moving into commerce. With undergraduate and post graduate study in maths and accounting, he has held finance positions in industry prior to lecturing in accounting and corporate finance.
Nigel still maintains his interest in theatre and performing arts researching choreographers Kenneth MacMillan and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for their choreographic innovation and is particularly interested in De Keersmaeker’s collaborations with young people. In his spare time, he has been a Board member of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance for 11 years and is a member of his village book club; currently reading The Fire People by Alexander Cordell.
Kate has worked in events management for over 12 years and joins the festival as Volunteers Coordinator. She has worked on many kinds of events, both in the UK and overseas, including food & wine, arts and fashion festivals.
Having grown up in the Wharfe Valley, Kate currently lives in Ilkley. When not working on the festival she runs her own home ware and interior design business. She studied English literature at A’ Level and History at University so its little surprise that Bryce Courtney features as one of her favourite authors, along with Louis de Bernieres and Maya Angelo.
Press – Anita Morris Associates.
Technical Director – Richard Speight of Spot-On Theatre Services.
Graphic Design – Richard Honey of dg3.
Web Site Development – Johnathan Kendall of vitamin K.
Book sales are handled by our local booksellers, The Grove Bookshop, an independent book shop run by Kevin Ramage, who also owns the award winning Watermill in Aberfeldy.