Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lit Fest open discussion - Tuesday November 16

If you're free this Tuesday night, why not pop along to Douglas Library. I've been invited by the Isle of Man Literary Society to their monthly meeting to lead an open discussion on the potential for a literary festival in the Island.

It's the same night as our Skeealleyderyn writers' group meets, so members will be joining forces with the Lit Society for this gathering - but it's also open to the public to come along and give us your thoughts.

It's been a bit of a soft launch so far for the Manx Lit Fest - BBC Isle of Man featured us, and we've slowly been gathering followers on facebook and twitter. But expect to see that change very soon. There's an interview with Manx Radio lined up late next week following Tuesday night's meeting and this blog, along with facebook and twitter, will start to see the activity cranked up.

The steering committee met a couple of days ago and there's plenty to feed out to everyone over the next week or so.

Stayed tuned, folks.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Start spreading the news...

An Isle of Man literary festival.

It has a certain ring to it, that's for sure. A coming together of fine British writing talent on an idyllic island in the middle of the British Isles.

It's a dream that a small group of book lovers in the Isle of Man want to see come true - but we need your help.

There was a small annual literary festival held in the Isle of Man seven or eight years ago, but it was fairly low-key, operated on a very tight budget and ran for a few years. We're aiming higher than that, but how high exactly will largely depend on you fine people out there.

One of the main issues with any kind of festival is that, when getting it off the ground, you're in a catch-22 situation - you need to guarantee good crowds in order to attract the big names, but in order to attract good crowds, you have to guarantee big names for them to see.

Provisionally, we are looking at the first festival being held sometime in 2012. That's not too far off, to be honest. We are going to have to move fast, and with no faffing around.

Rather than commit ourselves to particular dates and size of festival, we're spending the next few months seeking YOUR feedback. We want to hear from all lovers of literature, reader and writers, in all genres and forms, be it novels, children's books or poetry.

Tell us what kind of writers you want to see - more importantly, that you would pay to see - and what kind of events interest you most; would you prefer talks, recitals, Q&A panels, workshops etc...?

The awareness and research campaign will take place on three fronts - this blog, which will be updated regularly, twitter and facebook. You can follow us on twitter and the FB page will be live very soon. We'll blog/tweet about it when ready.

We're also talking to authors, publishers and festival organisers elsewhere to obtain advice, information and feedback.

If you love books, please do get involved. We're committed to giving a Manx literature festival every chance possible to get off the ground. If it's going to happen, we need your support and input. So comment on these blog posts; follow and engage us on twitter; and get involved with our Facebook page. And most importantly, spread the word, to family, friends and work colleagues. Hell, even tell those people you don't like.

Keep checking back here for updates - even better, if you blog and have links to other sites, then add this one. Pretty please. We'll love you for it.

So, till next time. Start spreading the news...

John Quirk