Monday, 11 July 2011

We need more literary festivals

I was at Noadswood High School in Hampshire today.

Day one of the Wessex Schools Literary Festival, four schools working together to bring authors to meet children.

They are hosting author events with Ali Sparkes, Chris Bradford, Andy Mulligan and many more. All listed in a festival programme.

There is a festival read: I am Number Four.

Also: quizzes, a book v film debate, book crossing and other projects.

They have attracted support from Costa, Asda, Waterstone's and the local council. And many others.

I think this is a great scheme. To attract big name authors to come to four schools that are very close together is a great achievement.

The idea of a festival is powerful. It appeals to everyone. Publishers. Booksellers. Authors. Libraries. Readers. The media.

I think this is because when you focus a lot of activity in one place in a short period of time it creates a buzz in among all the players listed above.

When I worked at Bradford Library, putting on author events, I found it much easier to attract authors to the Bradford Book Festival that we created than for regular events during the year.

There is sometimes cynicism that there are too many literature festivals. I disagree. I think there need to be more.

No comments: