Born out of Ip-Lit, which brought a wide range of authors to Ipswich as part of the bi-annual Ip-Art Festival, BooksEast Festival is the brain child of festival director Assis Carreiro and creative programmer Sarah Newman. Together with associate director Susannah Burke and marketing consultant Andrew Burton, and working closely with Jayne Gould from the Ipswich Children’s Book Group which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, the team assembled an extraordinary mixture of events for its first Festival which took part in May 2016.

Watch this space for news of upcoming events, and details of the Festival planned for the summer of 2018.

Come and join us on this fantastic adventure, share your thoughts with us via our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and let us know what you think.



Festival Director


While Assis is best known locally as the driving force behind DanceEast and the creation of the internationally renowned Jerwood Dancehouse, she also has had a life long passion for books. English being her third language, she was a slow starter but by the age of 10 was simply devouring books. House moves across the world has meant shifting thousands of books. She now wants to share her passions through the creation and development of bookseast. As an ex-pat, Assis loves collecting and reading Canadian literature and travel fiction and her desert island book would be The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell.


Creative Producer


For eleven years Sara programmed literary events within the annual Ip-art festival and developed the strand Literary Ipswich which brought high profile authors to Ipswich, including award-winning writers such as Michael Murpurgo. Building on the success of Literary Ipswich’s pioneering work, Sara has joined forces with the BooksEast team to lead on programming this inaugural BooksEast festival.


Associate Director


After almost 14 years of working closely with Assis at DanceEast, her passion and drive to deliver cultural projects has well and truly rubbed off on Susannah! BooksEast is just the latest one of those passions and, as part of the team, Susannah intends to help bring a top quality book festival to the residents of Ipswich, Suffolk and beyond. Susannah’s desert island book would be The Magus by John Fowles.


Marketing Consultant


Natalie is a Business Marketing Consultant and qualified Business Coach. Business owner of Grow My Small Business and Ipswich Town & Waterfront, Natalie has a passion for all things Ipswich, especially arts and culture, independent businesses, and anything quirky and original. Natalie has been providing digital marketing services to the local arts & theatre community for some time, and her involvement as part of the core team ensures that BooksEast continues to champion all things literature for the county.


Ipswich Children’s Book Group


Founded in 1976, Ipswich Children’s Book Group has been spreading the word that books are fun and reading is enjoyable in the local area for the past 40 years. As a member of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups we also help to encourage the availability of books for children of all ages, from first picture books to young adults, working closely with publishers, bookshops, libraries, schools and other national organisations.

Our committee members aim to share their passion for books and reading through a variety of activities including author visits, story based events and quizzes, as well as providing information about all aspects of the children’s book world. My personal desert island book would be the Old Kingdom sequence (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen) by Garth Nix – a spellbinding fantasy adventure. If I could only choose one it would beLirael, for its depiction of a heroic librarian with extraordinary powers discovering her true destiny!