There are just three weeks until the fourth Finchley Literary Festival.
Each year the festival has been a bit different. Last year we had extra funding and sponsorship so we really pushed the boat out. This year's festival was intended to be a smaller affair. However, we all know that intentions don't always work out the way we expect, and so we have far more events than originally planned owing to the enthusiasm of members of our local writing community! A few events are popular repeats from last year but most are new.
There are workshops galore on all sorts of aspects of writing - designed for beginners and more experienced writers alike. They are about whetting the writing appetite and maybe encouraging participants to try writing in genres they don't usually tackle.
There are author events with fiction and non-fiction and even zombies, thanks to the star event with Mike Carey, author of The Girl With all the Gifts. Books about zombies aren't usually my thing, but this book is many cuts above what I suspect is the norm. A fascinating read even if, like me, zombies don't generally appeal! The festival also has music and performance poetry and literary walks - something for everyone.
There are lit fests everywhere these days so was another necessary? Rosie Canning and I thought there was and instigated Finchley's festival because there was very little going on in the arts world in our part of north London. Our near neighbours, Highgate and Hampstead, have a rich literary history and regular literary events but we felt our patch was distinctly lacking. When setting up FLF (originally Greenacre Writers Lit Fest) we discovered that Finchley has plenty of literary endeavour, past and present, and that Finchley is name checked in more than a few works of fiction including the aforementioned The Girl With All the Gifts!
Our first festival in 2012 was the first literary festival to be held in the borough of Barnet. We started a trend because Middlesex University's festival, which was originally at the Cat Hill site in Enfield, is now based at the Hendon campus in the borough and this year Barnet libraries had their own festival - a week of events with author readings and similar activities. We maintain, of course, that FLF is the best, focusing at least a couple of our events on literary talent local to Finchley.
For details of all events and workshop bookings see Finchley Literary Festival. Hope to see you at some of them.