Welcome to Elaine Roberts and the first in her new monthly series ‘Festivals and Workshops’.
This month I have interviewed Geraldine D’Amico, Spoken Word Curator, from the Folkestone Book Festival. Welcome to the RNA blog, Geraldine. Can you tell us something about your festival, how it came about and how long it’s been running?
The festival has been running for more than 50 years in different locations. It took a
new life when it moved
to the Quarterhouse, under the auspices of the Creative Foundation, and is now
part of the regeneration project to make Folkestone a better place to live,
create and engage with other creative people.
It takes place at the end of November, the darkest time of year, but is a beacon of light, the place to gather round the metaphorical fire and exchange stories, be enlightened, make new friends and celebrate community spirit. It symbolically starts with our opening-night speaker switching on the Christmas Lights, this year Jonathan Coe.
Who are your main speakers this year?
In alphabetical order: Jonathan Coe, David Crystal, Margaret Drabble, Marcus du
Hislop, Shappi Khorsandi, Martin Rees, Lemn Sissay, Rose Tremain, Alison Weir
and for the kids: Philip Ardagh and Axel Scheffler.
As our blog is for writers can you tell me how your festival would benefit our members?
I think they would enjoy attending the talks, especially by such wonderful writers as Margaret Drabble, Rose Tremain, Victoria Hislop, Shappi Khorsandi and Alison Weir who are all expert speakers on their writing.
Is there anything to enter (maybe a writing competition), if so could details be provided?
Yes, there are quite a few competitions to enter: http://www.folkestonebookfest.com/parallel-events/
How about staying over for the whole event. Where can people stay?
Finding a place to stay in Folkestone is not a problem. It is a lovely town and there is a lot to see beyond attending the festival such as the artworks from the previous three Triennals along the Leas, the Harbour Arm or along the seaside and there are many
lovely, quirky and orginal shops to visit on the Old High Street and
fantastic cafés where to sit and write or just enjoy life.
What does it cost to attend?
Tickets are not very expensive compared to other festivals (£7 to £12) and the more you buy, the less you pay (individually) or you could come as a group to get a discount.
Do workshops/talks fill up quickly?
Yes, they do so hurry if you want to book.
How much time does it take to organise the festival?
It’s an ongoing project and I’m already thinking of next year!
The dates for this year and possibly next.
18 to 27 November in 2016. The next one should also be the last week in November.
Link to website
Email for queries:
Elaine Roberts is a member of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and is currently working on a family saga set in the1800s. She has sold short stories worldwide and enjoys attending RNA events such as the London chapter and our annual conference. Elaine is a great fan of writing retreats either week long by the sea with friends or one-day retreats with fellow writers in her home town of Dartford. Elaine runs a writing blog along with writer, Francesca Capaldi Burgess called WriteMindWritePlace.
Thank you Elaine and Geraldine. The Folkestone Book Festival certainly looks interesting!
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