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.

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 […]

Taking flight July 4th – we’re up and away

13 May 2018 by Litfest
Whatever happens about the proposal for a new helicopter service from Penwith to the Scillies, one thing is for sure – Penzance Literary Festival 2018 has taken off. Want to know more about the turbo-charged 2018 event? The theme is “Taking Flight”, the dates are July 4th to 7th, and the “hub” will be the […]

Penzance? We’ve never been that far west!

04 Oct 2017 by Litfest
It’s true that Penzance is over 300 miles from London, at the end of a long rail journey or tedious drive, and only 10 miles from Land’s End, but when you arrive it’s always worth the trek. Before it was linked to Pirates by Gilbert and Sullivan, Penzance was renowned as ‘the most southern resort […]

Centenaries & Bi-centenary

29 Sep 2017 by Litfest
The long gallery of reminiscence gets longer every year and every year there is a new anniversary, centenary or even bicentenary to remember, celebrate or quietly forget. At this year’s LitFest we will commemorate the end of the Great War in 1918 with a performance of The Lark above the Trenches, with Timothy Dean and […]

Venturing Off the Map and Into the Woods…

03 Jul 2017 by Litfest
  As part of Penzance Litfest’s Uncharted Waters events, pupils from Trythall school ventured off the map and into the wilds of Trevaylor woods to explore nature, poems and stories. There they encountered characters from folktales, learnt how to use their senses to navigate their way in their uncharted surroundings, and met some unusual characters […]