17/06/2011 by Mags Walsh · No Comments
The huge range and spread of literature events thats available for adults and kids this summer is really heartening to see.
Kim Harte has a good up to date list.
For any reader, a quality literature event can be something quite special. We know from our work with young readers that events offer them the opportunity to get to grips with both new and favorite authors. Meeting a writer or illustrator, if a young reader is unfamiliar with their work, often starts a connection that will prompt the reader to devour everything by that author. In the case of meeting an author who they already know and love it can be an extraordinary experience, the memories of which will last well in adulthood.
Of course author events are not confined to young people. Reports from attendees at author and ceramicist Edmund de Waal's appearance last week as part of the Year of Craft 2011 public conference were full of joy. Audience members felt they were part of something special with this opportunity to meet the author and hear his very personal story.
However, sometimes I do worry that quantity is prioritized over innovation. Many familiar names crop up at a large numbers of festivals and while clearly the audience is hungry to meet well known authors sometimes the events that truly inspire are those where an extra bit of creativity is added in. Perhaps pairing unusual combinations of authors together or bringing diverse artists together under a theme. Other artforms have become adept at this type of programming and there are plenty of fine examples in literature also but I sometimes wish for a slighter wider chink to let the light in…..