Some of the wonderful authors who took part in the inaugural Hawkesbury Upton LitFest have now written posts on their blogs about what they made of the event and of our lovely local community. For many of them, the Festival was their first trip to our village, and they weren’t disappointed, though there were a few surprises, such as Andrew Lowe’s encounter with Madagascan Andrewhissing cockroaches in the Hawkesbury Shop (on a poster, not in real life!) “That’s a bit weird, even for Hawkesbury,” the shop assistant told him.
Andrew is the author of Ghost, and people really enjoyed his reading. One neighbour told me the other day how much they’re enjoying reading his book. Read Andrew’s post here.
Ali Bacon, who ran the programme of readings with quiet efficiency and good humour, as well as reading one of her short stories, gave a helpful analysis, including some valuable thoughts on how to make next year’s festival even better. Read her post here. Ali’s also the author of a super novel, Kettle of Fish, set in her native Scotland.
Novelist and poet Mari Howard, who travelled from Oxford and turned the event into a mini-break by staying overnight at The Fox, topped and tailed the Festival with a tour of the village and its setting, encountering a classic Hawkesbury moment down by St Mary’s Church, where a local with a dog sprang into action as a pop-up tour guide. Here’s her thoughtful post, viewing the Festival in the context of her writer’s life. I highly recommend her novels, Baby Baby and The Labyrinth Year, about the marriage between a Christian fundamentalist doctor and a geneticist.
Thanks again to all the authors who generously gave their time to the Festival for no charge, enabling us to offer first-class literary entertainment to the local community with no admission fee. I hope many of them will want to return at our Pop-Up Lit Fest at the Hawkesbury Show on 29th August, and to our next World Book Night Festival on 23rd April 2016.