It’s time to shake off the winter blues and get out and about. A visit to a literary festival is the perfect way to supplement your Oxford Open Learning course. This round-up takes us through February and March and gives an idea of what is on offer, although there are sure to be others.
The Bath Literature Festival http://bathfestivals.org.uk/literature/ is one of the best and also one of the most reasonably priced. Speakers include James Naughtie, Lynn Truss, Blake Morrison and Fay Weldon. There are many free events around the city and a large number of discussion groups to join.
The Essex Book Festival http://www.essexbookfestival.org.uk/ begins on 1st March. This is an opportunity to see John Hegley, Stella Rimington Patrick Gale and Maggi Hambling, who opens a new arts strand of the festival.
Lyme Regis provides the setting for two of this country’s great novels: Persuasion by Jane Austen and The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles. Its festival, from February 9th onwards, includes a variety of walks and tours celebrating this connection. See http://www.lymelit.org.uk/ for further details.
The Imagine Children’s Festival runs from 9th – 22nd February at the Southbank Centre in London. http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/imagine-childrens-festival. Book to see Lauren Child or Jeremy Strong or join in with one of the many interactive events, including the opportunity to play ‘flamingo croquet’ like Alice in Wonderland.
With prices starting at just £8.00, the Ways with Words Festival in Keswick from 6th March, is well worth a look. It boasts a particularly impressive line-up, too. Melvyn Bragg, Christopher Frayling, Michael Frayn, Clare Tomalin and Margaret Drabble all appear. See http://www.wayswithwords.co.uk/festivals/words-by-the-water–the-lake-district-23
Look in the local press or online. Visiting a literary festival can provide the opportunity to catch up with a favourite author or even the chance to discover something new.
I have been working for Oxford Open Learning since 2010 and love helping my students with their English and History courses. As a teacher and personal tutor, I have taught pupils from all around the world, aged from three to adult. I am often to be found with my head in a book and sometimes I have four or five on the go at the same time. I love learning about History and Art and am passionate about literature.