I was in Oxford this weekend, in order to attend a few of the Oxford Literary Festival events! I’ve never actually been to a literature festival before (or any kind of festival on my own), so I was a bit nervous that I would get bored between events, but I was excited as well, because the events themselves looked really fun. And they were! The four events I attended (on Sunday and Monday) were:
1) A talk by Diana Gabaldon about her Outlander series – how she came up with the idea (apparently it was inspired by an episode of Doctor Who!), how it ended up getting published, and how it ended up being turned into a TV series. I actually almost missed this talk, since I was all set to arrive on Sunday morning, a short while before it was going to start, and then (quite horrifically), I realised that I’d booked my bus ticket for the wrong day, & there were no busses that would be arriving in Oxford earlier than a few minutes before the talk was due to finish! 😮 (But I made it, thankfully, with help from a speedy taxi driver and my dad, who looked up the train timetables for me…)
2) A brief talk by Robert Eaglestone about contemporary fiction and what the term really means, which was only fifteen minutes long, but was rather more theory-heavy than I was expecting… I ended up skipping the Q&A session at the end, since I wasn’t all that interested, & in any case, I needed to queue for my next event, which was…
3) A celebration of the Harry Potter series, which was a really entertaining (and interactive!) talk for children about J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books and films.
4) And lastly, a lecture by Julia Churchill (a literary agent) about how to get children’s books published, which was both incredibly interesting and entertaining, and also full of helpful advice for aspiring authors. This was the only talk that I ended up taking notes on (and I ended up taking a kind of ridiculous amount of them), and I really enjoyed it.
I also bought quite a few new books, but you’ll be seeing them in my next book haul, so until then! 😉
The Oxford Literary Festival is still ongoing (it lasts until Sunday 29th March), and you can find information on all the different events (and book tickets, if you’re interested) at oxfordliteraryfestival.org.