Forget Hay-on-Way and Cheltenham (although actually Cheltenham’s not far away and its Festival is in October too!), we’ve got the Birmingham Book Festival and Warwick Words – a double-bonanza of writers, workshops, poetry slams, quizzes… in short, total bliss for bookworms, bibliophiles and whatever people who love writing are called.
Warwick Words Festival of Literature & Spoken Word: 1 – 9 October 2011
Thanks to their main sponsor, Tesco, (who stepped into the breach when Arts Council funding was withdrawn, and possibly saved the Festival from completely going under), it’s a whopping 9 days long this time! So there must be something there that appeals to you, if you live anywhere around the West Midlands (and even if you don’t – come to lovely Warwick for the weekend!).
While I have your attention, I have to give a little plug to the event that I’m involved in (if only because I’m seriously worried that no-one will turn up!), which is on Monday 3rd October, in the Ball Room of the Court House (no, I don’t have a clue where that is either – but we can find out!), at 7.30pm:
It’s only £5 – and that includes a glass of wine! Bargain! May I suggest a little itinerary…you could go to the ‘How to Publish A Novel’ workshop, with Jane Holland from 2pm – 5pm, (also on Monday 3rd), then grab yourself a bite to eat in one of Warwick’s many and varied eateries and then arrive, fully refreshed and ready for some poetry, at the Ball Room (if you can find it), for the Laureate event at 7.30pm? Jane Holland will be at that too, as she was the Poet Laureate after me.
Have a look at the programme and see what you think. I rather fancy ‘An Evening with Philippa Gregory’ (I love her books! NB: this one’s a ‘prelude’ event and it’s on 19th Sept), ‘How To Get Your Poetry Published’ and – if I were brave enough – the ‘Extreme Writing Workshop’ which involves writing for three hours, until midnight, in Guy’s Tower in Warwick Castle (reputedly haunted! Ooooooh!) under the guidance of two workshop leaders. (This used to be an all-night event! I wonder why they’ve reduced it. Too scary??)
Not to be outdone, The Birmingham Book Festival runs from 6 – 16th October 2011 and will be overlapping a little with Warwick’s.
I haven’t had chance to properly peruse their programme yet so I can’t say much about this one (I’ll do that another time), apart from that they have a competition to write a book review and win tickets to one event – here it is:
We are delighted to be featuring Jenn Ashworth’s second novel, Cold Light as our Festival Book. This means we will be featuring Jenn in the festival and talking about the book here. We’d love to know what you think of Cold Light.
We are offering you the chance to win tickets to meet Jenn and hear her talk about the book on 16th October 2011. To win, send us your review of Cold Light, (no more than 300 words, please) via email@example.com. The best two reviews will win a pair of tickets to meet Jenn at the event, get your books signed and ask her any burning questions you have about Cold Light! You have until 1 October 2011 to submit your review.