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News release - Issued by Make It York

York novelist revealed as Patron for York Culture Awards

Successful York-born Author, Andrew Martin, has been revealed as Patron for the 2017 York Culture Awards. In this, the second annual celebration of culture in the city, there are twelve awards to be won, which will be compered by BBC Radio York’s Breakfast Presenter Kay Crewdson, at a prestigious ceremony in the North Transept of York Minster on 23 November. The York Culture Awards were launched to celebrate and recognise talent across York’s cultural sector, raising the profile of the breadth and quality of work going on here.

Martin, who was born and grew up in York, has written a dozen novels, most of which feature scenes set in York. His father worked for British Rail, in the office on Station Rise that is now The Grand Hotel and Spa and he is best known for his award winning series of nine novels about Jim Stringer, an Edwardian Railwayman.

From the third book in the series onwards, Jim is based at York railway station, and the following titles feature many York scenes: The Lost Luggage Porter, Death on a Branch Line, Murder at Deviation Junction and The Last Train to Scarborough. He is also the author of The Bobby Dazzlers, a stand-alone crime novel set in York. All of these are published by Faber and Faber. This month, Martin’s latest novel, Soot, published by Corsair (Little, Brown), is being launched and is set in York in 1799; a historical thriller that tells the story of the murder of a Silhouette painter.

The inaugural York Culture Awards attracted an audience of two hundred artists, musicians, makers and creators, all with one thing in common; a keen interest in celebrating excellence in the arts and cultural sector and committed to innovation, creativity and quality.

Jane, Lady Gibson, Chair, Make It York, said, “We’re thrilled that Andrew has accepted our invitation to be Patron this year, following in the shoes of Mark Addy, who did the honours last year. It’s brilliant to hear about York-born success stories like Andrew and we hope his story will inspire other young people to follow their passions and believe in their abilities. These awards aim to help inspire, grow and build upon the huge pool of talent we have right here in York.”

Andrew said, “I was flattered to be asked to be Patron of the York Culture Awards. Most of my thirteen novels have been set in York and the city has had a big impact on my imagination and creativity. The city has given me so much and being Patron will enable me to give something back. York has such a strong sense of place and identity and its rich history is what makes it so very special. I’m also looking forward to discovering the budding novelists who are out there.”

York Culture Awards, covering every aspect of art and culture, will recognise achievements by individual practitioners, businesses, educational establishments, communities and cultural organisations. Jane added, “We want to shout about the sheer quality of creative talent working and living in our city, and we hope these awards, open to everyone, will inspire people to submit their work.”

Free to enter, there will be twelve Awards for the taking including; Best Community Project or Event, Excellence in Cultural Education, Excellence in Cultural Equality and Diversity, Best Cultural Event or Festival, Best Cultural Partnership, Excellence in Media Arts, Best Performing Artist, Best Production, Best Visual Artist, Excellence in Writing and Cultural Champion.
Added to this a new award this year, Rising Star, will go to someone under the age of 18 and new to the sector who is already showing great promise for a career in their chosen field. Entries will be open until 29 September 2017 for cultural activity which has taken place between October 2016 and September 2017.

The Awards will be judged by an independent panel including, Roger Lee, Director, York Festival Trust, Professor Chris Bailey, York St John University, Dr Fiona Thompson, York St John University, Colin Jackson, Owner, Creative Learning Partnerships, Charles Hutchinson, Arts Editor, The Press, Dr Damian Murphy, Reader in Audio and Music Technology, Marcia Mackey, Director, The Arts Barge Project, , Rose Kent, Creative Director, Accessible Arts & Media and Tom Higham, Creative Director, York Mediale. Entry Forms are live at today.


For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to editors:

Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs