A hectic four days at the Yeovil Literary Festival, last Thursday through Sunday, moving from one venue to another. I clocked in to nine sessions in all, stayed one night in Yeovil, made three one-hundred-mile round trips between home and the Festival, meeting with friends well known and authors unknown, to me.
First, and foremost for myself, I launched with some success my book of short stories – PEBBLES – (don’t let the waves reclaim them), a collection of twenty-three stories some of which have won prizes. Every session visited around the venues brought the temptation to purchase a book, sometimes the first and the second in a series. I’m pleased to say I managed to sell more books than I bought.
The events that stood out for me were Kirsty Wark’s interview with Victoria Hislop and the hour spent listening to Vaseem Khan, East London born of parents from the Sub Continent, a frequent visitor to and sometime resident in, India, introducing his Inspector Chopra series. It starts with the Inspector’s retirement from a career with the Mumbai police and his inheritance of a baby elephant, Ganesh, bringing into existence The Baby Ganesh Agency investigations.
This has been the fourth Yeovil Literary Festival; it has exceeded previous events in terms of both tickets sold and the wealth of literary talent to be seen.
You kept that quiet Chip 🙂
I should try and visit Yeovil lit fest next year.
Taunton lit fest has a very lacklustre line-up this year. Almost zero fiction. Very disappointing. Does Yeovil still have the Waterstones connection? making it much easier to book talent and they probably pay them. Authors are rightly resentful of invites for unpaid appearances at the plethora of lit fests around the UK.
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Yes, Yeovil ‘Litfest’ is building a sound foundation. Its strength is that it is backed by the Octagon Theatre, Waterstones and the YCAA with The Manor Hotel. Together these provide large and smaller venues, two in the theatre (plus box office), a room in the Manor that can be divided depending on ticket sales and in the Library. There is a reasonable fiction presence and they highlight winners of the annual Yeovil Literary Prize (novel, poetry and short stories). I should have dropped the brochure off at an earlier WA evening. Chip
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Taunton needs to take note. Obviously Waterstones is a competitor so not an option, but support from a local business would be good. Sounds like a great event.