Friday 26 May 2023

Burnham Book Festival: Sue Purkiss

 Last weekend, I was invited to be part of a book festival at Burnham on Sea, which is in Somerset, just down the coast from Weston Super Mare. I was part of a panel of children's writers, with Alex Cotter and Lu Hersey (both, coincidentally, contributors to this magnificent blog). The session was moderated by Jonathan Pinnock, who writes seriously clever and very funny mathematical mysteries. (If you're like me, you'll be bewildered by them half the time, but you'll also be thoroughly entertained.)

Lu, myself, and Alex.

It was a truly delightful experience. This was only the second year of the festival, but I'm sure it's going to grow. It had a very distinct feel to it: friendly, welcoming, relaxed, inclusive - and very well-organised. Local writers had been invited in to talk about, and hopefully sell their books, as well as the writers doing actual events. Alex led a workshop in the morning for local schoolchildren, who then crossed the road to be shown round the local library. When they came back, and bumped into Alex, they greeted her like an old friend. (The subject all of them were most interested in was how much chocolate she actually needs to fuel her writing.) Going by the programme, there were lots of writing workshops people could sign up for - so altogether, a really good variety of types of event.

We didn't have a huge audience for our particular session, but the people who were there were interesting and interested and had lots of good questions. The title was something about where the magic comes from - but it was generally about children's writing, with reference to our own work. Big shout-out to Nataliya, who took the photograph!

Definitely one to look out for


Penny Dolan said...

Small, friendly festivals can really lift the spirit, espeially when they're well-organised. So essential. Glad you had a happy & enjoyable time.

Good wishes to Burnham Book Festival for the 2024 edition!

LuWrites said...

It was really enjoyable, wasn't it? Hopefully other towns will be inspired to create literary events as well organised and enthusiastically attended as this one was! X