Monday, July 11, 2011

A different kind of review: ABBA lit fest

I've never been to a literary festival before, although I suppose they're rather like teaching conferences where you go to meet people, charge your batteries and get re-inspired. I imagine that there are those at festivals who take copious notes, and those who doodle a lot in the margin, giggle and make comments to the person sitting next to them and write key words down, which leaves them scratching their heads when they get home. ABBA lit fest wasn't like that. For a start it was online (and still is if any of you somehow managed to miss it or have ignored its existence).

After going through the programme, I dutifully went to my google calendar and created alerts based on writers that I have connected with in some way through Twitter, blogs or Litopia, but in the end I read/watched ALL the posts. And despite not getting to meet other people or doodle (yep folks that's me I was describing) I do feel re-inspired and there was so much to learn.

So without further ado these are my highlights, purely subjective and whatnot.
  1. Leila Rasheed's 300 words post takes us on a step by step journey through what makes a good opening. Fantastic.
  2. All but one of the competitions is open until 20th July, you have nine days, so go for it. 
  3. Anne Rooney and Mary Hoffman. They do spend half the video looking for a multi-millionaire, but watch it because it's really funny. 
  4. Wendy Meddour's tale of how she did not become an actress is hysterical and there is a cute little drawing to go with it. 
  5. John Dougherty - it may seem just like a competition but scroll down to the video.
  6. Linda Strachan and Cathy MacPhail's reflection on Arvon - I would love to go to one.
  7. I've learnt my lesson about research (maybe), but Jane Eagland's post will help you along the way if you are still battling. 
  8. Then there's the little boy who interviews Emma Barnes, he, his curls, his pile of books and his questions are priceless. 
  9. Katherine Langrish's post on Magical Rooms gives you plenty to think about and I'm definitely looking at my MC's room differently. 
This is my SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE moment. You know how all but one of those competitions are open to the 20th July. Well, if you've peeked at the posts that I really wanted to read, Michelle Lovric's was one that I was particularly interested in. If I tell you that in my 'to be read' pile is Helen Dunmore's Ingo maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from with this one. Anyway, this competition was for the first three people who answered. And *hee hee* I was one of the first three, SQUEE.

Finally, I'd just like to say THANK YOU to all those people at ABBA who gave up their time and organised this for us aspiring/wannabe/gonnabe writers. I've had a great weekend (well it was a bit of a long weekend if we include this morning's more leisurely perusal) and I'm now going to go and have a good hard look at my first three hundred words. 


Rachna Chhabria said...

Great post. I too have never been to a literary festival.

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

I hope you had a look at the ABBA site? There was a real buzz about it this weekend. It was almost like BEING somewhere :)


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