In our own Mad March of festivals and events, it’s interesting to look at what’s happening in other parts of the world. Literary festivals have become increasingly popular, drawing crowds of enthusiastic readers – perhaps this is something to point out to the doom-and-gloom sayers who seem to relish predicting the death of the book? Perth’s festival, held at the University of Western Australia, preceded ours and the Sydney Writers’ Festival will be held in May. You can listen to a range of podcasts from Melbourne’s most recent writers’ festival, with topics ranging from ‘Life stories in the Age of Terror’ to ‘The Twenty-Second Century Bookshop’.
Literary Festivals UK lists dozens of writers’ festivals, which makes me wonder if British authors ever get time to stay at home and write. The cream of this crop seems to be the week-long Oxford Literary Festival, which boasts writers like Vikram Seth, Peter Carey, Anne Tyler and David Hare. The programme also includes creative writing workshops, walks around ‘literary Oxford’, chocolate and coffee tastings and a festival dinner called ‘Alice’s Banquet in Wonderland’.
I’m just trying to work out how to get on a plane and be in the UK by March 23rd..