Monday, 25 May 2015

Day two of Finchley Literary Festival

What a packed few say I'm tired would be an understatement but I'm also exhilarated from a feast of literary stimulation.

I didn't get to Allen Ashley's poetry workshop on day two, but by all accounts it was an interesting and enjoyable workshop.

Antonia Honeywell
Antonia Honeywell's talk on Thursday was full of insight about the writing process as well as telling us about the inspiration for her book, The Ship, along with an extract. If I hadn't already wanted to read it, I would have been persuaded by what I heard.

Antonia is one of those generous writers who was happy to give advice about writing and the perils of trying to get published and she answered more questions as she signed books. If you get the chance to attend any of Antonia's events - do go. You won't regret it.

Jen Campbell
Thursday evening was the turn of Jen Campbell, who gave us a witty and entertaining talk about her books. She explained how her blog about the daft things people said in the bookshops she worked at was the starting point for a book deal. Weird Things People Say in Bookshops was followed by another. Then she began research for her wonderful The Bookshop Book. Stories of eccentricity and inspiration fill its pages and I stayed up far too late dipping in and out of her books. Another author not to be missed!

The panel debate:
Alasdair, Polly, Keith, Laura, Barbara and Adam.
Jen's talk was followed by The Library Debate organised by Keith Martin, in Friern Barnet Community Library that was famously rescued from closure by the community and is now run by the community. It houses thousands of great books, a few of which you can see here behind the panel, all donated by local people.

The panel was formed of people who are enthusiastic and committed to upholding libraries as public resources and necessities. I'm pretty sure the audience was too so the panel members didn't need to justify their views but some positive plans for actions were hatched to keep our libraries where they belong. Taking part were Alasdair Hill, Polly Napper, Keith Martin, Laura Swaffield and Adam Tipple - who used to co-ordinate the reading group I belonged to in North Finchley library. Thank goodness for people who take action.

See also Rosie's account.


1 comment:

Joanna said...

I so wish I could have attended, Lindsay. What a fantastic and inspirational day. I'm enjoying your posts about it very much. x