|Just one of the sensational decorations created
by our stylist Cristina Colli
It would be terribly crass of to review one’s own literary festival, but as the last six months have been pretty much dedicated to organising it, I can’t let Chipping Norton Literary Festival pass without a small acknowledgement.
Chipping Norton has a population of around six thousand, so to sell nearly two thousand tickets to literary events over the course of a weekend is no mean feat. Seeing our lovely market town filled with visitors clutching ChipLitFest programmes made all the hard work worthwhile, and the whole festival passed without any major hitches.
When I first thought it would be a nice idea to have a literary festival in Chippy, I had visions of all the fabulous events I’d be able to drop into; all the authors with whom I’d hob-nob. Of course, rather like being at one’s own wedding, I barely had time to say more than two words to anyone, as I dashed between venues. Thank heavens for superb fellow-committee members and a whole host of volunteer stewards, who made sure the whole thing ran smoothly. The photos below give a flavour of the event, but if you missed it (shame on you) take a look at the #chiplitfest hash tag on Twitter to see what people have been saying about it.
If you’d have asked me a fortnight ago whether the literary festival would be an annual event, I’d have muttered darkly and rolled my eyes. But how could we not start planning next year, in the face of feedback like this..?
“I’ve been speaking at literary festivals for twenty years and this is the best one I’ve ever been to.” Author.
“So friendly, so fantastic to see my favourite authors having coffee around town.” Visitor.
“We were so busy – it was like the pre-Christmas rush!” Local business.
So watch this space for dates for 2013.
But for now… I have a book to write.
|Jill Mansell outlines her plotting technique to fellow authors
Katie Fforde and Jane Wenham-Jones
|Peter Guttridge chairs a lively Crime Writers’ Forum with authors
S J Bolton, Dan Waddell, Sophie Hannah and Mark Billingham
|Broadcaster Sue Cook interviews Joanna Trollope about
when real life crosses over into fiction
|One of more than 70 volunteers who gave up their
weekend to make the festival a success