Wednesday 20 June 2012

Literary Festival, anyone?

*NB June 2015: One of my first blog posts, back when I was persuaded by fellow Twitterly writers that I really had to have a blog...  I'm amazed I had to be persuaded now, it's like a fifth limb!!*

One of my lovely new online writer friends suggested to me that we might meet up some time at some Literary Festival or other, as we are, at the moment, only friends via Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and email.  I thought this was a most excellent idea; I'd love to meet in person some of my fellow Twitterers!

I mentioned this idea to my husband.  He said. "A Literary Festival?  What happens at one of those, then?  Do you all sit around on the grass, smoking dope and swigging cider while someone reads from 'Jane Eyre'?  Do you stand in your wellies in the mud, holding up your cigarette lighter in the dark, during the first chapter of 'On The Road'?

You can just see it, can't you?

"I missed the last half of 'Great Expectations' because I was chucking up after eating some under-cooked lentils I bought from one of those veggie food stands."

"I'm getting too old for these gigs, I'd rather listen to 'Catcher in the Rye' on audio book than wade around in the mud for three days"

"I thought 'A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu' was rubbish live.  Didn't enjoy it half as much as I did the book."

"Aye, but you were pissed when the fella was reading it.  You were trying to chat that bird in the denim shorts up.  The one with the lemonade bottle full of vodka, remember?"

"Nah, Sebastian Faulk's 'Birdsong' ain't half as good as it was last year.  Anyone want a bang on this?  It makes it sound better, honest."

"Who's headlining this year?  Some dude in glasses reading the best of W Somerset Maugham?  Far out!" 

Can't wait, sounds like a blast!

...and let us look at Glastonbury, 1970 style and then... 2014


  1. Haha "where were you? I was waiting at the quill-sharpening tent!"
    It sounds like a BRILLIANT idea! I'm up for it hun x

  2. The quill sharpening tent!!! Ha ha, that's brilliant - yes, very 'you'!!! This one can run and run, I think!! x

  3. I was down the front for the new William Boyd, just before the headliners, and it got really nasty when they started throwing the urine bottles. I'm staying up the back and watching him on the monitors next year.

  4. Oh, and ps, Karen Aminadra above writes Jane Austen continuation novels, should anyone care to check her out on Amazon - they're in paperback, too.

  5. I shall be hiding from the literary giants, in case they trample me! (along with my bottle of Marlborough Sauv Blanc naturally!). Who's bringing the plastic cups?

  6. I don't think I'll come. I'm the kind who likes to sit in comfort. Maybe I'll listen in though. And have a sip of fruit juice. If you have some. Don't go to any bother if you don't.

  7. Let's hope they get the amplification right - though it was fun watching Anne Enright out-shouting Ian McEwan in the next-door tent last year.

  8. I don't know about you but my ears are still ringing from that "Pride & Prejudice Rock Opera." They had the sound up way too loud. Ah well, I'm off to get my picture taken with William Shakespeare.

  9. Ha ha ha ha! - Francene, Jo and Kate! So, there's definitely an audience for this sort of thing, right? Thanks for reading and commenting :)

  10. Thanks, Glynis! Happy to amuse! :)

  11. Hi Terry,
    I'd love to meet up with indie authors at a lit fest - not sure about the kind you're describing though :) xx Jo

  12. I've been to the Los Angeles Times UCLA literary festival a number of times and then it was moved to USC and I've been to that one once. They turn out is about 150,000 people and there are publisher, author tents everywhere with author lectures and author panels numbered in the 100s.

    Earlier in June of this year, there was the 1st Bay Area Lit festival held in Berkeley, California and the venues were scattered all over downtown Berkeley instead of holding the festival on the UC Berkeley campus.

    The author lectures and panels had lines for seats that curled around the block and the downtown Berkeley sidewalks were crammed with people with lit fest maps in hand fast walking from one lecture event to another.

    My wife was invited to be on an author panel at a lit fest in India that was billed as the biggest lit fest in the world. She said the crowds were thicker than she'd ever seen before.

    In fact, there are lit fests all over the U.S. and the world. I've heard of lit fests in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Indonesia, one of the United Arab Emirates, etc. The U.S even has a national lit fest held across the from the White House, and it's hosted by the President's wife---more than 100k turn out to attend the author lectures and panels.

    1. That's interesting, Lloyd, thans for the comment. They're a bit smaller in England, though, and this post was just a bit of fun!