Litfest Blog

Although the main Litfest takes place over a few busy days in early July, the Litfest team work hard all year to research and plan for the next year’s event.

In the Litfest Blog, we will share our experiences of running a Litfest as well as our thoughts on books and writing new and old. Watch out for guest authors as well as team members.

LitFest in Lockdown: We talk to Liz Fenwick

06 May 2020 by Litfest
In the fourth of our interviews with local literary figures, novelist Liz Fenwick gives us the lowdown on meeting a lockdown deadline, daily ‘plot walks’ and the importance of kindness. You’ve been working on a new novel. Did you make any changes to the story as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? I think I […]

LitFest in Lockdown: We talk to Tim Hannigan

16 Apr 2020 by Litfest
In the third of our interviews with local literary figures, the travel writer and regular LitFest contributor Tim Hannigan shares some recent reading discoveries, reveals the one item he’d panic-buy and admits to some ‘judicious trespassing’. You’re in lockdown in Ireland. Are restrictions there similar to those in the UK – or are there some […]

LitFest in Lockdown: We talk to Lisa Di Tommaso

07 Apr 2020 by Litfest
In the second of our interviews with local literary figures, we talk to the Morrab Library’s Lisa Di Tommaso about working from home, helpful reads for tough times and the importance of custard creams. What is the biggest ‘plus’ of the lockdown for you as a librarian? I’m fortunate enough to be able to work […]

LitFest in Lockdown: We talk to Patrick Gale

03 Apr 2020 by Litfest
In the first of a series of interviews with local literary figures, we talk to our Patron, the novelist Patrick Gale, about life in lockdown, how he’s staying sane, new writing discoveries and much more besides … Which aspect of lockdown are you most enjoying?The excuse to sit at my desk for hours on end […]

Borders I’ve known

01 Mar 2019 by Litfest
With cold beer in my hand, I watched the sun setting over southern Angola just across the Kavango River flowing at the bottom of the Guest House garden. Behind me lights were coming on, the town market buzzing with activity, optimism returning now SWAPO had freed Namibia of South African rule. But across that border […]

Wordsmiths of West Cornwall

17 Aug 2018 by Litfest
We all have our favourite local authors –  Patrick Gale perhaps, or Liz Fenwick, or another of the host of other contemporary writers  who know and represent West Cornwall. New voices are coming in all the time – during the 2018 Festival we were delighted to introduce (amongst others) Raynor Winn, Noel O’Reilly, and Ken […]

The Making of Historical Fiction

03 Jul 2018 by Litfest
David Taylor, author of ‘The Man Who Lived Twice’, looks at the difference between historical romance and historical realism, and how his book fits between them.   Is your story true? Historical novelists are often asked this question. Sadly, there is no clear-cut answer. Truth is a relative term not an absolute. The belief that […]

Do Guidebook Writers Go to Hell (and Back)?

20 Jun 2018 by Litfest
Lonely Planet author Des Hannigan paints an honest picture of the difference between travel writing and guidebook writing. Everyone wants to be a travel writer. And so do you… But ask me if I am a travel writer and I will happily demote to being a guidebook writer. Spot the difference… Travel writers write travel […]

Historical Fiction: Inspired or Recreated?

15 Jun 2018 by Litfest
Historical fiction, we are told by literary agents, is set to be one of the biggest literary trends of 2018 and Cornwall is being heralded as the new literary capital of the UK. But what is historical fiction? Is it history written as fiction? Or is it fiction set in a historical setting? Or a […]

Once Upon a Time in the West: How Penzance Literary Festival Began

07 Jun 2018 by Litfest
Back in 2010, at a Society of Authors meeting at the Godolphin Arms, Marazion, history was made.  Peter Levin, founder of the Festival, remembers it clearly. “Somebody said, ‘why don’t we have a literary festival’… I was the person who had the e-mail list, so it fell to me to organise it”. Looking back on that […]