Literature Festivals: Why You Should Go
As an often over-zealous bookworm I have been known to seek out these events where upon I can go and track down my favourite authors. It is an opportunity for me to rub shoulders with other geeky types who have namely one thing in common with me – BOOKS!
Whilst others may spend their time seeking out the rich and famous of the entertainment and sports world, I have been known to spot an author at ten paces, meaning that when attending one of these events, not only do I enjoy the lectures and workshops but I also enjoy the social element. I have sat in many a beer tent, often with my poor husband in tow, reeling off authors and their books to my none-the-wise spouse.
How many people can say that they frequently get to spend time with their idols? Well, when visiting a literature festival this is often one of the biggest draws.
It is also a place to find up-and-coming authors; authors that you have perhaps never heard of or are unsure about. This is their opportunity to shine. Not only will you find them giving talks, taking part in panels but you will also find them promoting their latest work – sometimes with freebies attached.
I have lost count of the amount of free books I have picked up on occasions like this – if there is a goodie bag floating around I make a beeline for it, because, well quite frankly you just never know what gems might be inside.
During a trip to the Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate one year, I managed to snap up several proof copies of books, meaning that I was reading a potential best-seller before it ever hit the bookshops.
As a book junkie this alone is reason to attend a literature festival.
However, no two literature festivals are alike, meaning that, in order to fully experience the writing world you need to attend them all.
So, why should you attend the festival in York?
10 Reasons to visit the York Literature Festival
#1 2016 Set to be the Most Diverse Literature Festival Ever
Miles Salter, Festival Director, believes that 2016 is set to be the best literature festival to date. The programme contributors say that this year ‘there is something for everybody’, and from what I can see, they really have covered everything. From creative writing workshops, poetry recitals, theatre productions, comedy, thoughts on feminism, talks from many prominent writers and a fully interactive children’s programme I am struggling to see what they have missed.
#2 The VIP Festival Launch
York has always been an inspiring city for authors. Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, W.H. Auden, the Bronté Sisters and in more recent time Kate Atkinson, have all been influenced by their time spent wandering the historic, narrow streets.
This year, the festival has decided to explore this further, asking three different novelists how York has impacted on their writing. Join Linda Grant, Pamela Hartshorne and Leigh Russell for an entertaining evening of discussion, wine and canapés.
You never know, if you are a budding author, perhaps you too will grow in creativity whilst visiting the city.
(Event: Thursday 10th March, 7pm. Ticket Price of £10 to include wine and canapés).
#3 Wendy Cope
Known for her perceptive love poems and parodies, Wendy Cope’s poetry has become extremely popular in recent years. Since 1986, when her acclaimed poetry collection Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis was published, her dedication to uncompromising quality has meant that she is always at the forefront of the poetry scene, and is unequivocally seen as one of the UK’s most admired poets.
Do you fancy yourself as a poet? Why not enter the YorkMix Poetry competition – you could win £500.
(Event: Saturday 12th March, 3pm. Ticket Price is £11.90 when paying in cash, extra fees incurred when paying by card).
#4 Writing Workshops
Want to know how to become a successful writer? Then why are you not attending one of the many writing workshops available at this year’s Literature Festival. From poetry to Sci-Fi, to Comedy, several genres are being covered this year. There is even a workshop entitled ‘How not to submit your manuscript’, which for many promising authors is their biggest stumbling block.
Why not make this the year when you take the leap into becoming the author you have always dreamt about.
(Events include: Poetry workshop with Lemn Sissay – 27th February , 3.30pm; York Novelists Workshop: From Ideas to Publication – 12th March, 10.30am; How Not to Submit Your Manuscript – 12th March, 12 noon; We’re not in Kansas Anymore: Creating Engaging Worlds in Fiction Writing – 14th March, 10am; Writing Comedy: The Art of Stand Up – 14th March, 7pm; Sci-Fi Workshop with Adam Roberts – 16th March, 2pm. Tickets vary in price from £0-£25).
#5 Arthur Smith
Well-known playwright and countdown wordsmith, Arthur Smith is probably best known for his award winning plays An Evening with Gary Lineker
and My Summer with Des. He has also presented shows on both Radio 2 & 4, and openly describes himself as BBC Radio 4’s ‘bit of rough’. This is guaranteed to be a laugh-out-loud evening to remember.
(Event: 12th March, 7.30pm. Ticket £19.90 when paying in cash, paying by card with incur charges).
#6 Val McDermid
No bookworm with a thing for crime novels will want to turn down an evening with Val McDermid.
Known for creating many notable characters including, my personal favourite, Tony Hill, the nutty psychologist from the hit TV Series Wire in the Blood it is unsurprising that Val McDermid is one of the most successful crime writers out there today. Having published more than 27 novels which, after being translated into 30 different languages, have sold over 10 million copies; this woman is a world-renowned author.
(Event: 13th March, 7pm. Tickets cost £10 which includes refreshments and time for book signing).
#7 A Literary Walk
Why not take a guided walk around the city of York with a knowledgeable guide who is able to point out all the sites of literary merit. Discover more about your favourite authors, where they lived and what inspired them. Whether you prefer the classics or something more modern there is something included for everyone.
What better way to unearth the secrets of some of York’s most remembered writers.
(Event: 14th & 20th March, 10.30am. Tickets cost £6, £5 for York Card holders and Students – pay the guide on the day).
#8 A Book Quiz!
Who doesn’t enjoy a good quiz, and I am assuming that if you are thinking of attending a Literature Festival you like reading, right? So what better way to show off you knowledge, then pitting your brain cells against others in a bid to not only show them that you know more about great books but also for a chance to win £80 of book tokens.
Each team can have up to 4 members – so what are you waiting for, get your most knowledgeable friends together for an evening of fun and laughter, plus obviously a question or two about all things literature related.
(Event: 16th March, 8pm. Entry price is £3).
#9 Calling All Jane Austen Fans
With not one, but two events dedicated to possibly the most loved of all classic romance writers, any Jane Austen fan would be a fool to miss this Literature Festival.
Starting with an afternoon exploring the ideas behind the classic Emma, looking at Jane Austen’s response to an England in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars we move on to an evening of Austen’s women. This is a show where 13 of Jane Austen’s heroines come to life in order to revisit some of literature’s most celebrated works.
(Events: Austen Society Lecture – 19th March, 2pm. Ticket price £8 including refreshments; Austen’s Women – 22nd/23rd March, 7pm. Tickets cost £12).
#10 Fun For All The Family
To celebrate the success of many York writers, this year the Literature Festival is putting on a day of fun tailored towards families.
On top of this there will be many other things to keep your little munchkins happy throughout the day including Minecraft, Lego and Crafts whilst adults can seek sanctuary in the library cafe fully stocked with drinks and snacks to keep you going all day.
(Event: 20th March, from 11am – priced per event).
As you can see, this Literature Festival promises to be informative, entertaining and family-friendly.
Spread over 13 days, the York Literature Festival is jammed pack with Author appearances, theatre shows and workshops.
If you enjoy a city break with a literary twist, this is definitely the Literature Festival for you.
The only question remaining – which events will you be attending?
For a Full list of Events check out the York Literature Festival in connection with Baille Gifford website or use the hashtag #YorkLitFest on twitter to stay up to date with all the latest news.
How Can We Entice You Further?
Enter To WIN a Prize Worth over £100!!!
Why not enter our fabulous new giveaway for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Crime Writer Val McDermid at the York Literature Festival on the 13th March.
On top of this we will be throwing in 2 York Passes (worth £96) and £30 worth of Book Tokens.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
T & C: All participants must be in the UK on the date above in order to claim the prize, no cash alternative is available.
Competition closes: 6th March at 12am (GMT) – Good Luck!
We would like to thank VisitYork.org for providing all prizes for this giveaway.